(also politseimeister), the chief of the city police force in prerevolutionary Russia. The position of politsmeister was introduced in 1718 in St. Petersburg, where the chief of police was called the general-politsmeister and in 1722 in Moscow, where the title was ober-politsmeister. It was introduced in all provincial capitals in 1782, in accordance with the Rules on Police Administration.
The politsmeister headed the board of police, and from the second half of the 19th century, the city police administration. In capital cities, he was the chief of a territorial division. The politsmeister had authority over all police ranks. He was also in charge of all municipal institutions involved in the maintenance of “good order, decorum, and harmony,” the carrying out of the directives of higher authorities, and the execution of judicial sentences. The position was abolished after the February Revolution of 1917.