View Full Version : Chain of Command in Law Inforcement

07-18-2012, 06:15 PM
What is the chain of command in law enforcement? I've only seen stuff on TV and read a few things.

Law & Order has a "Captain," but I've also heard "Chief of Police." Are they one in the same?

What about Officers, Detectives, etc.? Do you start out as an officer and work up to Detective?

I'm confused and want to make sure I have it right if I'm going to write about it.


07-18-2012, 06:27 PM
A quick Google search would likely suffice. It really depends on the size, complexity and setting. The NYPD would have vastly different levels of command to say, the Fargo or "hicksville" Missouri. Google NYPD chain of command and hit the Wiki link for a bare bones basic chart.

Quick answer is Captain is not equal to Chief. Detective then officer.

07-18-2012, 06:44 PM
I am looking at Metropolitan DC area, (Alexandria, VA area, specifically) and a google search brought up mostly links to getting a job in law enforcement. Will try more googling.

07-18-2012, 07:06 PM
did a different search - think I've got it now. Thanks :)

07-18-2012, 07:43 PM
We like a happy ending. Good to know you found what you need.

Maryn, who got married in Alexandria

07-20-2012, 08:00 PM
As a reminder, every department has a Public Information Officer that will happily answer this type of question about their department. Just ask.


07-22-2012, 07:06 PM
@ Maryn - Wow, small world!! I used to live off of Ft. Hunt Road. (smiles)

Thanks WeaselFire - I'll check that out to make sure I have it right. I appreciate the post :)