Police Career Hierarchy

The police force works for the welfare of the people and to protect them from any sort of crime. The hierarchy of police force model is quasi military Hierarchy structure. To serve the civilians in a better way, it is quite important to organize the police force in a well-knit structure.

Hence, ranks of the police force are structured in a hierarchical arrangement, widely known as police career hierarchy. The police career hierarchy is described from the highest rank to the lower one as below with a brief description of all the ranks:

Police Career Hierarchy
Police Career Hierarchy

Chief of Police

The highest rank in the police career hierarchy is chief of police sometimes also referred as a superintendent, a sheriff or a police commissioner. A chief of police is always an official municipal employee whose services and duties are owed to the town and people of the town. The entire police department is directed to report to the police chief. He is responsible for management of police force in his area of duty.

Deputy Chief of police

The second highest rank in the police career hierarchy is deputy chief of police also known as deputy commissioner, undersheriff or a deputy superintendent. He is the second in charge in the town and acts according to the orders of the chief police.


Next in the hierarchy is inspector, also called a colonel or a commander. An inspector has to act both at police level and at administrative level. Inspector reports directly to chief of the police.

Major/ Deputy Inspector

The fourth in charge in the town is a major or we can also refer it as a deputy inspector. He is directed to report to his senior, inspector and works with the orders of inspector.

Police Captain

A police captain is a mid level rank in the police career hierarchy. He is junior to the deputy inspector but senior to the sergeant and detective. He works with a team of junior officers to maintain law and order in the town.


Sergeant is the next rank in the police career hierarchy, meaning ‘one who serves’ in French. They report to the major or the police captain to get their orders. It ranks above officer and below police captain.


A detective is also referred as an investigator. A detective is assigned with the task of solving the crime cases, even historical crimes. This is second lowest rank in the police career hierarchy next to sergeant. In some countries, a detective position is not officially appointed and serves the police department as a private investigator.


The lowest rank in this hierarchy is police officer or simply a police man also called a cop or a constable in some countries. He is a warranted employee of the police force, fulfilling the duty of prevention and detection of the crime in the city. A police cop reports to either a police captain or a sergeant.