The first women in specialised units

Women in units of public order (BRIMO)
and the protection of people and property (ARRO)

he Mobile Brigade (BRIMO) is a specialised police service that supports other police units in maintaining public order, performing preventive tasks during extraordinary preventive operations, dealing with public calamities or catastrophes and, in general, carrying out all public safety activities.

Given its nature, the Mobile Brigade is deployed to large, crowded events such as football or basketball matches. It is also prepared to carry out antiterrorism interventions.

Susana Lázaro, now an inspector, became the first woman to join the Mobile Brigade in 1998.

Four more women followed in her footsteps between 2000 and 2001. The progressive inclusion of women has normalised their presence in this service, which had been the exclusive domain of men for years.

The regional areas of operational resources (ARRO) are specialists in public safety and the protection of people and property. Their origins date back to 1997 when the Regional Area of Operational Coordination was set up in Girona.

The ARROs are based in each of the police regions and mainly focus on public safety tasks. The men and women who carry out police work in them stand out for their level of specialisation and versatility in all matters related to public safety and the protection of people and property.

Female officers and their male colleagues in ARRO and Mobile Brigade uniforms.

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Video of the public visit to the ARRO in the Barcelona Metropolitan Police Region.

Women specialised in traffic policing

Catalonia’s Autonomous Police – Mossos d’Esquadra is responsible for traffic enforcement and surveillance in Catalonia. In municipalities where there is a local police force, it is responsible for urban traffic.

Traffic policing is a specialised service. The Mossos d’Esquadra officers who work in this field undergo specialised and continuous training, which includes everything from accident investigation to road safety, transport and research.

The Mossos d’Esquadra was first transferred power over traffic surveillance in Figueres in 1998. Between 1999 and 2000 this was extended to the whole of Catalonia.

Women have been involved in traffic policing since it came under the remit of the Mossos d’Esquadra. Mònica Carafi, who is currently a sub-inspector, joined the force in 1998. She was one of the three women who made the first cohort. Carafi is currently in charge of the Accident Investigation Unit in the North Metropolitan Region. Among other tasks, she has been part of the group of motorbike officers ensuring the safety of many sporting events.

The Traffic Division draws on the talent and experience of women specialised in accident investigation, helicopter traffic surveillance, road safety, investigation and documentation.

With respect to training, Sergeant Vanessa B.G., who has twenty years’ experience in the field, is the Traffic Division’s current road safety education coordinator. She is also an expert in content development for the internal training of officers in this specialisation. In addition, she has represented the Mossos d’Esquadra in this field at multiple forums, has penned several articles on this subject and is the co-author of a book on road transport published by the Catalan Traffic Service (SCT).

Press clipping featuring the chief of the Accident Investigation Unit in the North Metropolitan Regional, and photos of female traffic officers in uniform.

Women in the Canine Unit

The Mossos d’Esquadra Canine Unit specialises in detecting explosives, firearms and ammunition, narcotic substances and legal tender banknotes. It is also specialised in tracking and locating people. The police force has been working with specially trained dogs since its beginnings.

The first woman joined the Mossos d’Esquadra Canine Unit in 2000. This was Judith B.D., who is also an instructor for aspiring dog handlers in the Mossos d’Esquadra unit.

Officers in the Canine Unit with their dogs.

Video entitled “En Lobo i l’Ana, un vincle per a tota la vida” (Lobo and Ana, a lifelong bond).

Creation of the 1st victim support group in the Mossos d’Esquadra police force

The Mossos d’Esquadra victim support groups are specially trained to assist and follow up with victims of male violence, domestic violence or any other situation putting them in a vulnerable position. Available in all the Mossos d’Esquadra police stations, these groups provide personalised support and follow up on cases on an individual basis.

In 1998, the Family Violence Group of the Regional Investigation Group was created in the Girona Police Region. Francesca Pérez (sixth cohort) was appointed chief of this first group, which specialised in cases of violence. The excellent work carried out by the corporal and her team served as a model for setting up similar units, now known as victim support groups, throughout the entire region under the remit of the Mossos d’Esquadra police.

Pérez continues to work in this specialisation more than 20 years later.

Press clippings from various publications about cases of domestic violence in Catalonia.