When I was a child and/or teenager we sometimes watched French films starring Louis de Funes. He was a famous French comic actor and made many films, usually playing some bumbling something or other. He made several films about 'le Gendarme de Saint Tropez', showing his failure to control the town, his wife, his daughter and the other gendarmistes (is that a word?). He had to deal with female gendarmistes (I've decided it is), nude sunbathers and aliens. His daughter had a beau (to stay in French mode), his men fumbled along and there would always be a few nuns in an old renault screeching down some hill.
Of course, that view of the gendarme isn't correct. They usually don't have to deal with aliens (not sure about the rest) and they do fine work. Now, you might wonder who the gendarme are. Well, I asked a lovely policewoman in Paris and she told me they were the military policeforce among civilian populations.
They have the same rights and duties, plus a few added ones, mostly the military themselves. They do border checks (in the Netherlands anyway), guard the Royal homes (again in the Netherlands) and accompany military formations en route to wherever. Not all countries do have a gendarme, but here are a few that do: Italy (Carabinieri), Spain (Guardia Civil), Netherlands (Royal Marechaussee).
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Photo taken May 2010, in Paris, France