Rossella Selmini describes the result of an empirical research on the local police forces within the Region Emlia-Romagna, focused on their nature, functions and identity needs. Nine police functions have been identified, from the most important (traffic) to the least relevant (taxation). Within each these functions, the activities to be performed have been also defined. These activities have been ranked according to the relative frequency with which they are performed. Out of 14 activities related to the function traffic police, 8 were performed in more than 90% of the cases. Within the other 8 functions, the activities which were performed with a similar frequency were altogether only 10. A ranking of the same activities according to their relevance has been obtained also. Among her concluding remarks, Rossella Selmini points out that the character of the professional identity of local police is still shaping out, although important advances have been made during the most recent period.