chief of police

Encyclopedia Article


In military or paramilitary organizations, such as police departments, a hierarchical organization of personnel exists, often called the chain of command.

The general rankings within a police force, depending on its size, is as follows, in order from highest to lowest rankings:

  • Chief
  • Deputy/Assistant Chief
  • Commander
  • Inspector
  • Captain
  • Lieutenant
  • Sergeant
  • Trooper
  • Police Officer

Photo Credit: 

"Beverly Lennen, police officer and future police chief, 1990," photograph, The Santa Fe New Mexican (HP.2014.14.2598). Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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