Himachal Pradesh as political entity came into existence on 15th April, 1948. It was constituted by integrating the princely States of Chamba, Mandi, Suket, Sirmaur and 26 smaller states known as the Punjab Hill States. Subsequently, in 1954 Bilaspur, which was then a part "C" State, was also merged with Himachal Pradesh. In 1960 District Kinnaur was carved out of District Mahsu which was earlier constituted by merging 27 hill states.
After the re-organization of Punjab in 1966, Shimla, Kangra, Kullu, Lahaul & Spiti Districts, Una Tehsil of Hoshiarpur District and Nalagarh Tehsil of Ambala District were also merged with the Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh. In 1972 Districts of Kangra and Mahasu were reorganized. District Kangra was trifurcated and Una and Hamirpur Tehsils were made into separate Districts. Some areas of Mahasu District were merged with Shimla District while the others formed the new District of Solan.
In 1948, states like Mandi, Chamba, Sirmaur, Suket and Bilaspur had their regular Police forces. Other smaller states had a common Police Force. The Rulers of Punjab Hill States, with the exception of Sirmaur and Bilaspur, realized the advantage of establishing a common system of Policing in their States. The system was adopted as an experiment for three years from 1st April, 1943. This was, in the true sense, the beginning of Himachal Pradesh Police. For proper administration of the scheme, an Executive Committee, consisting of 5 members was constituted. Four members of this committee were elected by the Rulers from amongst themselves. The 5th member was nominated by the Political Agent of the Punjab Hill States to represent such states which may be under his direct administration due to minority of the Rulers or for other reasons. The Committee elected one of them as its chairman.
In order to ensure proper administration of Police work, an officer of the status of Supdt. of Police in British India was appointed. He had the authority to exercise general supervision over the Police Cadre in these States.
In 1948, after the constitution of the Union Territory, efforts were made to stream line the Police force in the State to bring it at par with other forces of the India Union. The Police force drawn from different States having varying backgrounds and traditions were amalgamated to form the H.P. Police.
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The Police Administration in the State was headed by an Inspector General of Police who was also Inspector General of Police for Union Territories of Delhi and Ajmer. Sh. S.R. Chaudhary IP, was the first IGP. In 1953, a separate Inspector General of Police was appointed for Himachal Pradesh. This officer of the Imperial Police Services was from Punjab Cadre on deputation.
The Union Territory of H.P. was given statehood on 25th January 1971. Initially there was only one Range in the entire State with Hqtrs. at Shimla with all the 12 Districts under it. On 16th Feb, 1974 the Northern Range with Headquarters in Dharamshala was created and 7 Districts viz. Chamba, Una, Kangra, Mandi, Lahaul & Spiti, Kullu and Hamirpur were placed under it. The Southern Range with Headquarters in Shimla was left with 5 Districts viz. Shimla, Kinnaur, Bilaspur, Solan and Sirmaur. On 24th April,1986, the Central Range with Headquarters at Mandi was created and 5 Districts viz. Mandi, Kullu, Lahaul & Spiti, Hamirpur and Bilaspur were placed under its jurisdiction.
The Recruit Training Center, which was functioning at Chamba since the beginning was shifted in 1974 to Junga in District Shimla and on 25th July 1995 it was shifted to Drongarh in district Kangra, after it attained the status of full fledged Police Training College (PTC). It is headed by a Dy.Inspector General of Police as its Principal.
There are seven armed police battalions in Himachal Pradesh - one of the HPAP and six India Reserve Battalions. The 1st Armed Police Battalion was created in 1971 and located at Junga. The purpose was to meet the emergent duties at Shimla and to assist to local police whenever required. The first India Reserve Battalion was raised in June,1993 with its Hqtrs. initially in Darongarh. Its present Hqtrs. are located at Bangarh District Una. The 2nd IRBn has been raised in 2005 with the reorganization of the existing 2nd and 3rd HPAP Bns. with its headquarters at Dharamshala. The 3rd IRBns. was also raised in 2005 with its Headquarters at Pandoh, Distt. Mandi. The 4th IRBn raised on 09-07-2008 at its Hdqrs. at Jungleberi in Hamirpur District, 5th IRBn (Mahila) raised on 26-08-2008 with its Hdqrs.at Bassi in Bilaspur District and 6th IRBn raised on 17-11-2009 with its Hdqrs. at Kolar in Sirmaur District. The main function of these Battalions is to assist the State police in maintenance of public order and to render assistance to other States on the request of the Centre.
In the year 1988, the State Forensic Science Laboratory was established at Shimla, which was later shifted to Junga on 26th August 1996. The laboratory has been designed as per National Standards. Presently 6 areas viz. Biology/Serology, Chemistry & Toxicology, Documents/Photography and Physics & Ballistics divisions are functional. Presently two FSLs are also functional at Mandi and Dharamshala.
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H.P. Police Wireless Organization came into existence during 1954 and has two wings i.e. Cryptography and Wireless Communication. An officer of the rank of Dy. Inspector General of Police is the overall Incharge of this organization. The wireless organization has been renamed as Directorate of Police Communication & Technical Services (C&TS) in 2007 and it has been reorganized.
The Vigilance department was established in 1965 to investigate cases involving corrupt public servants and those who misuse their official position for pecuniary benefits. It is headed by an officer of the rank of Addl. Director General of Police. There are 2 Zones and 12 anti-corruption units.
The Enforcement directorate was created in 1981 as a specilised wing to prevent to leakage Govt. revenue and to investigate cases involving all economic laws applicable to the State. It is headed by an officer of the rank of Addl. Director General of Police. There are 2 Zones - Northern Zone with Hqtrs at Dharmshala and Southern Zone with Hqtrs in Shimla.
As per H.P. Government Notification No.Per(Vig.)A(4)-2/99 dated, 15-11-2006 the existing Vigilance and Enforcement Departments have been merged to form one new Department namely The State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau(SVAB) with its Headquarters at Shimla. The Bureau is to be headed by an officer of the rank of Director General of Police/Addl. Director General of Police.
Today there are 114 Police Stations in the State including 12 PSs of SVACB, 2 PSs of TTR and 1 PS of CID. 112 Police Posts located in the 12 Districts and 1 Police District Baddi of the State. The present strength of Himachal Pradesh Police includes 89 IPS officers, 169 State Police Services officers, 2051 NGOs grade-I, and 14794 NGOs grade-II.