September 30, 2011. (Romereports.com)
The Vatican police force known as the Gendarmerie celebrates the day of their patron saint, Michael the Archangel, every September 29th. This year, during the ceremony, Italian Prince Sforza Ruspoli gave the Vatican the pontifical flag that still waved high when the Papal States fell in 1870.
In attendance this year were many leaders from the Italian government as well as Vatican officials. Among the cardinals present was the Vatican secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and the president of the Vatican governorate Giovanni Lajolo.
During the parade, the Gendarmerie showed off the newest additions to their police force which included Ducati motorcycles and smart cars.
The Gendarmerie is also responsible for certain emergency services. The police vehicles were then followed by the Vatican's own firetruck and ambulance.
The vehicles were then followed up by a marching band and the Gendarmerie officers. The official ceremony of feast day was then celebrated with a handing over of the flag.
The Gendarmerie police force along with the Swiss Guard are responsible for providing Vatican security.
The Swiss Guard are responsible for protecting the pope while the Gendarmerie are charged with regular police duties such as border control, crime prevention and investigation, and enforcement of financial and commercial regulations.