- Maintenance of public order was early the responsibility of city government. In the city's interior, police duties were entrusted to sergeant jurors (sergent-jurés) under the authority of the amman. The gates and ramparts of the town wall were guarded by companies of citizens and by groups drawn from the guilds. The crossbowmen's guild also performed police duties.Following Belgian independence (1830), each commune furnished a police force. Police and the civic guard—a citizen force serving under elected officers—were maintained as separate entities by each borough in the 19th century. After 1918, the civic guard forces were largely eclipsed by local police. Police work was hampered in the 19th century and much of the 20th by the many separate forces in existence. In April 1893, demonstrators advocating universal manhood suffrage were banned in Brussels but welcomed in Saint-Gilles, Ix-elles, and other communes.National reforms were introduced following the scandals engendered from police and judicial incompetence in the Dutroux case (1996). A law of 7 December 1998 put in place a nationwide federal police force, effective 1 January 2001, and local police corps, which regroup former communal corps and area brigades of the national police (gendarmerie). Police corps operate in six zones in Brussels:1. Brussels Capital/Ixelles2. Brussels West (Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Koekelberg, Jette, Ganshoren, Berchem Sainte-Agathe)3. Zone South (Anderlecht, Saint-Gilles, Forest)4. Uccle/Watermael-Boitsfort/Auderghem5. Zone Montgomery (Etterbeek, the two Woluwes)6. Schaerbeek/Evere/Saint-Josse-ten-NoodeEach corps is headed by a chief responsible to a police board composed of the burgomasters of the municipalities in that zone.The city's central police station is located at rue Marché au Charbon 30.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.