Talk:Proposed Features/Police facilites

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Version 1.0

The original version. Voting was opened on 2019-03-24 and prematurely closed on 2019-03-30 due to the large number of comments.

Version 2.0

On 2019-03-30, the proposal has been adapted following comments during the first voting period. Voting has been stopped.

In the new version, landuse=police has been abandoned. amenity=police will be maintained for public-facing police stations. Localized classification of police forces, as in Key:police:FR has been added.

Voting will be opened again in the future after revising comments on this new version.

Against two parts

I am strongly against breaking backward compatibility by deprecating amenity=police for public facing police stations. Also, there is nothing wrong in tagging any office as office=* even if there is specific tagging scheme for this feature. Also, new super specific landuse=* value seems like a bad idea to me Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:43, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Backward compatibility is an important point. I'd therefore even maintain {tag|amenity|police} as the general indicator for all police facilities and apply {tag|police|*} to specify the type of police facility.
We could then decide at a later whether we abandon {tag|amenity|police}, based upon the degree to which {tag|police|*} has been adopted by mappers.
I had thought of {tag|landuse|police} as a complementary tag to {tag|landuse|military}, but maybe the police doesn't use land to an extend that would make a specific tag necessary.Grimpeur78 (talk) 06:51, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
"as the general indicator indicator for all police facilities" - that would be an incompatible and (at least for me) undesirable change of meaning of amenity=police. I think that everybody agrees that currently using amenity=police for a police warehouse is a tagging mistake Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

I have redefined the future use of amenity=police. Backward compatibility shall be maintained for the current use of amenity=police as public-facing police stations. All other police facilites, that may currently have been tagged erroneously as amenity=police would be tagged only as police=*, while public-facing police stations shall be double-tagged as amenity=police and police=station. It can then be decided in the future whether amenity=police will prevail or whether public-facing police stations will be exclusively tagged as police=station, in order to be consistent with other police facilites.Grimpeur78 (talk) 12:08, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

So "Currently, there are 116 043 instances of amenity=police that would have to be re-tagged according to this scheme." is now outdated? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:40, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
At least in that consequence. All would have to be revised to identify and eliminate tagging errors. It would still be desirable to have all current instances of amenity=police be specified with the corresponding police=* tag.Grimpeur78 (talk) 10:19, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks! I am still rather against (due to potential deprecation amenity=police and landuse=police that is completely unnecessary in my opinion, just use amenity=police or police=* on area), but changes moved my opinion from "OH MY GOD NO, THIS IS A HORRIBLE IDEA" to "I dislike it and oppose, but nothing truly horrible will happen if it would pass" Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:17, 17 March 2019 (UTC)


landuse=police has been inspired in landuse=military. Police however may have less areas under their exclusive use than the military does. Military land may often be open to public use when no training is underway (at least in Germany it's like that), while police areas are usually fenced-off. So maybe there's no need to introduce this new landuse key. Land used by the police can be tagged as an areas with police=*. Grimpeur78 (talk) 11:59, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

+1 for removing the landuse tag. —Dieterdreist (talk) 13:50, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
same here: +1 for removing the landuse tag. But you kept it for the vote :-( --Nospam2005 (talk) 20:51, 24 March 2019 (UTC)


The police=storage tag is suggested to mean places where things are stored which are used by the police. What about things that are stored by the police on behalf of others, like towed vehicles or evidence/seized material. Can we propose a new value for this or should it be included? Maybe the main tag for this kind of facility (get your towed car back) should be a neutral tag that can be used for non-police facilities as well? —Dieterdreist (talk) 13:54, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

I think this is only relevant for car pounds. Other items like court exhibits will probably not be stored in centralised locations, but rather with the unit that is using the item. Car pounds are run be the police, other government agencies (municipalities etc.) or private contractors. I think that here it's better to have a common tag for this type of facility rather than tag it according to the operator, i.e. rather have amenity=car_pound together with operator=* than police=car_pound, government=car_pound and amenity=car_pound, the latter only being used for private contractors. This tag would go beyond the scope of this police-specific proposal. I'd rather have it separately proposed.Grimpeur78 (talk) 18:05, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

localized information

Looking at taginfo I noticed the tag police:FR with values gendarmerie, police and police_municipale. This is something I would like to encourage, a formal tag for the normalized local police type, as opposed to “operator” which might contain a more specific name. Should this become an additional proposal, or would you be interested to include it? —Dieterdreist (talk) 14:02, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

I had thought about a tag like that in the beginning, but decided not to implement it. Tagging "normalized" local police type may work for a country like France or Germany, that basically have three police forces (Gendarmerie, National Police and Municipal Police; Bundespolizei, Länderpolizeien, Stadtpolizei). But in the U.S., for instance, there are many types of police forces on different levels (FBI, Secret Service, Sheriff's departments, Marshall, local police departments, university polices, just to name a few; according to Wikipedia, there are 18,000 police departments on the federal, state, local and city levels Law_enforcement_in_the_United_States#Types_of_police on Wikipedia). I think that for such a setting, it would be impossible to "normalize" these forces.Grimpeur78 (talk) 18:05, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
During the, we used this tag for more distinction between police forces and is intended only to be used in France. I do not know if this tag will be sustainable Gendy54 (talk) 19:24, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Adding a generic tag with not normalized values as you propose will create a mess as not exactly the same name will be used. Police:FR solves the problem properly for France, police:DE could do the same for Germany. And police:US for USA. Feel free to declare police:US as a place-holder if US mappers don't want to normalize their kind of police. I'm happy to find only police_municipale, not police municipale, police-municipale or what so ever for police:FR when it's about the local police. --Nospam2005 (talk) 21:27, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

My idea was simply to have the tag and then have a growing list of values for all states/regions that can be maintained and expanded by people with local knowledge. I cannot propose generic values because the situation is too different from state to state.Grimpeur78 (talk) 19:28, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Police:type key

Resolved: Ok with police:unit=* Fanfouer (talk) 19:53, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Hi, thank you for this clarification work.
Would it be possible to avoid police:type=* tag and get a more precise key name like police:service=* please?
Actually, type suffix doesn't bring any additional information and would encourage mappers to put many other things than the service name inside only.
department, division are also possible, we should find the most suitable one for this Fanfouer (talk) 17:42, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

I think police:service=* wouldn't provide the desired clarity either. I can imagine people tagging things like police:service=emergency or police:service=counselling, which wouldn't be helpful either. We'll have to rely on people consulting the wiki. Or come up with a fool-proof tag that hasn't been proposed yet.Grimpeur78 (talk) 19:32, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
Even if mappers will actually do what they want you can choose meaningful key names. Wikipedia states that CRS is a police corps, not a type. I didn't ever called any corps a type. police:branch=* is also an interesting possibility. Fanfouer (talk) 20:46, 25 March 2019 (UTC)


In the discussions, the different statuts of the police forces were discussed. I propose to add a tag

This tag can be used for all situations in the world and all organizations: firefighters, ambulances, sea rescue, mountain rescue. I have a preference for the 1st tag which is less ambiguous. Gendy54 (talk) 19:07, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

operator:type=* doesn't fill the need ? for ex operator:type=military|government Marc marc (talk)
I also proposed to Fanfouer, but he does not like too much. Personally it doesn't matter to me.

Applies to

Most likely this is a mistake, because the type of Multipolygon is Area.

It is now fixed Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:37, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Key: operator

Question re operator & police:unit "names".

Under :operator you have the example of NYPD, then under :unit you mention CRS & SWAT. Should they be abbreviated (which is how everybody knows them!), or spelt out full - New York Police Department, Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité (which you have under CRS barracks), Special Weapons & Tactics etc Fizzie 22.32, 7 April 2019 UTC)

I think it would be convenient to leave this to be determined by people with local knowledge. It should depend on what is the more common denomination. In Germany, some abbreviations are the commonly used denominations, while other facilities or units are commonly known by their full name and the abbreviation is of a more technical use. Grimpeur78 (talk) 08:11, 8 April 2019 (UTC)


"Currently, there are 116 043 instances of amenity=police that would have to be revised and eventually re-tagged according to this scheme. " part looks outdated, it probably should be removed Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:38, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Given that currently almost anything that has to see with the police has been tagged as amenity=police, I think the statement continues to be fundamentally valid. Anything that isn't a public-facing police station would have to be re-tagged. But I've made that clearer in the proposal.Grimpeur78 (talk) 17:20, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Inmate work facilities

It would have been cool if there was tag for inmate work facilities. For instance gardens or similar places where people go to work off fines during the day. Unless I'm missing a similar tag for those things, but I still consider them part of police infrastructure. --Adamant1 (talk) 22:05, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

in witch country ? in some (the majority?) countries the management of sentences and the work to reduce them is the responsibility of the judiciary and not the police Marc marc (talk) 17:44, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

That's what I thought, too. I've never heard of such kind of places, even less run by the police. Grimpeur78 (talk) 06:40, 15 April 2019 (UTC) Grimpeur78 (talk) 06:40, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

2.0, Shooting Range

In the 2.0 release you propose police=range for tagging a shooting range. If you want to tag a shooting range I would suggest to tag it police=shooting_range so that it's clear what is meant. Range has a... range of meanings ;-): we shouldn't have to look at the wiki to understand what is meant (or to know how to tag): no abbreviation, just simple British English. --Nospam2005 (talk) 15:09, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

This tag is copied from the military scheme, where military=range is used for shooting ranges. I thinks it's convenient to maintain same values for things that are basically the same. Grimpeur78 (talk) 06:44, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
I got your point but I would rather introduce police=shooting_range here and later propose the renaming of military=range into military=shooting_range for coherence: everywhere else in OSM range means interval. --Nospam2005 (talk) 20:09, 29 April 2019 (UTC)