This was confusing for the public, resulting in the police services reorganizing to a homogenous organization during the 1980s, whereby the civil tasks being organized as part of the police stations.

The National Police Directorate, located in Downtown Oslo, is the central administration for the Norwegian Police Service.

Several other national responsibilities are under the command of Oslo Police District, such as the Emergency Response Unit and the two police helicopters.

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The Governor of Svalbard acts as chief of police for Svalbard.

Norwegian police officers do not carry firearms, but keep their Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns and Heckler & Koch P30 pistols locked down in the patrol cars.

The 19th century saw a large increase in the number of chiefs of police, reaching sixteen by the middle of the century.

Christiania established the country's first uniformed corps of constables in 1859, which gave the force a more unified appearance.

In the cities the duties were originally taken care of by a gjaldker.

The sheriffs were originally subordinate to the sysselmann, but from the 14th century they instead became subordinate to the bailiff (fogd) and the number of sheriffs increased.With the introduction of the absolute monarchy in 1660 and subsequent strengthening of the civil service, the importance of the police increased.The bailiffs as such became part of the police structure, with their superiors, the county governor, receiving a similar role as that of chief of police.The police force in Norway was established during the 13th century.Originally the 60 to 80 sheriffs (lensmann) were predominantly used for writ of execution and to a less degree police power.The first titled chief of police was hired in Trondheim in 1686, thus creating the first police district, although his jurisdiction only covered the city proper.