Chief of Police

Manage a police force.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$47,000 – $124,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Chief of Police do?

As the head of the police force, the Chief of Police is the person who gets things done. The Chief of Police controls everything from giving orders to other Police Officers, to laying out a yearly budget. Serving the public and keeping them safe is the Chief of Police’s main goal, and it takes a healthy, close relationship with your Officers to keep crime rates low and the community thriving.

In this position, most of your days are spent keeping abreast of all the planning and paperwork that goes into running a police force. You schedule speaking events within the community and fill out the legal forms required for your current cases.

Once the day is going full swing, you instruct your Officers where to patrol and what assignments to tackle. It’s your duty to see that each Officer is well trained and prepared for his or her job. Though most days involve routine surveillance, those rare occasions when you must tackle a murder investigation or other high-profile crime require you to take advantage of all your resources.

While your crew is out making their rounds, you handle complaints and questions from the public. This makes up the bulk of your work. When the community knows it can turn to you for help, people feel safer and more willing to help out during a criminal investigation.

From reporting a stolen car to complaining about loud neighbors, citizens come to you with a wide variety of problems. You’re not only there to fight crime, you’re also there to help your community grow.


Should I be a Chief of Police?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.

  • Also known as: Chief of Harbor Patrol, Police Chief Deputy

    How to become a Chief of Police

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