With the introduction of the absolute monarchy in 1660 and subsequent strengthening of the civil service, the importance of the police increased.The bailiffs as such became part of the police structure, with their superiors, the county governor, receiving a similar role as that of chief of police.However, the individual bailiff were not removed from office until their natural retirement, leaving some bailiwick in place until 1919.The reform eliminated the difference between the rural and city police forces; yet the sheriffs were only subordinate to the chief of police in police matters—in civil matters and administration they remained under the county governors.The police force in Norway was established during the 13th century.Originally the 60 to 80 sheriffs (lensmann) were predominantly used for writ of execution and to a less degree police power.The Governor of Svalbard acts as chief of police for Svalbard.Norwegian police officers do not carry firearms, but keep their Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns and Heckler & Koch P30 pistols locked down in the patrol cars.
Specialist agencies within the services include the National Criminal Investigation Service, the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim), the National Police Immigration Service, the National Mobile Police Service, the Norwegian Border Commissioner, the National Police Computing and Material Service and the Norwegian Police University College.
Some received jurisdiction over both cities and rural areas, other just rural areas.
At the same time the existing police districts were expanded to include the surrounding rural areas.
The 19th century saw a large increase in the number of chiefs of police, reaching sixteen by the middle of the century.
Christiania established the country's first uniformed corps of constables in 1859, which gave the force a more unified appearance.