US Police Hierarchy

There are three major components of the criminal justice system in the United States, out of which law enforcement is one, the other two being the courts and corrections. Each of the three components work independently from each other but there is some sort of interrelation between each one of them. The law enforcement agencies maintain the order and service functions, investigates the suspected criminal activities and after getting the results of investigations; they refer the suspected criminals to the respective courts. The law enforcement agency consists of different types of US Police consisting of a somehow similar type of hierarchy. There is a certain US police hierarchy prevalent in the police department and this hierarchy is very much important in maintaining the law and order situation of the country.

Basically, there are five types of police in the United States in accordance with the US police hierarchy, which are as follows:

US Police Hierarchy
US Police Hierarchy
  • Federal Police: The federal police officers implement various laws at the federal level as per the authority that is assigned to them under the US Codes.
  • State Police: They are normally the part of State department of Public Safety. They are operated by the statewide government agencies and the agencies assign duties to them.
  • County Police: The County law enforcement is provided by the Sheriff’s department. The county police mostly exist in the metropolitan areas. There are three categories of county police such as full service, limited service and restricted service. The full service police provides full spectrum of police services to the entire county. The limited service county police provide services to only the unincorporated areas of the county. And, the restricted service provides security to parks and the various public facilities owned by the county.
  • Municipal Police: The metropolitan departments have jurisdictions which cover different municipalities and communities. The municipal police work under these jurisdictions and resolve various jurisdictional problems. They are also appointed on a contract basis to provide full police service to the local cities within the counties.
  • Others: They are referred to as special purpose police working for various districts. Their functions may vary according to the various jurisdictions. These can be transit police, campus police, airport police, general services police, park police etc.

The US police hierarchy or the ranks that are prevalent in the department are as follows, starting from the highest rank towards the lower rank:

  • Police Chief: This is the top most position of the police department. The annual salary of a Police Chief ranges from $90,570 to $113,930.
  • Deputy Chief: The annual salary range of a Deputy Chief ranges from $74,834 to $96,209.
  • Police Captain: The annual salary range of a Police Captain ranges from $72,761 to $91,178.
  • Police Lieutenant: The salary range of a Police Lieutenant ranges from $65,688 to $79,268.
  • Police Sergeant: The salary range of a Police Sergeant ranges from $58,739 to $70,349.
  • Police Corporal: The salary range of a Police Corporal ranges from $49,421 to $61,173.