Police captain

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A Captain is a police rank in the United States and France.

By country[edit]


Shoulder straps of a French police captain.

France uses the rank of capitaine for management duties in both uniformed and plain-clothed policing. The rank comes senior to lieutenant and junior to commandant.

This rank was previously known as inspecteur principal for plain-clothed officers, and officier de la paix principal for officers in uniform.

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the approximate equivalent rank of a Police Captain is that of chief inspector.

United States of America[edit]

In most U.S. police departments, the rank of Captain is immediately above lieutenant. A Police Captain is often the officer in charge of a precinct. In the New York City Police Department, the rank of Captain is below deputy inspector. Unlike the military version, where the rank of Captain may be held by junior officers with 7 to 12 years of service, Police and Fire Captains are usually veterans with extensive experience. In some smaller U.S. police departments, a person holding the rank of Police Captain may be in charge of a division (Patrol Division, Detective Division, etc.) within that department. In larger police departments however, a Police Captain may command only one section of a precinct which is commanded by either a Police Major, Police Inspector, or the next highest rank. Nevertheless, the rank of Police Captain is separated from the ranks of Police Lieutenant and Police Sergeant. In addition, a Police Captain is considered upper-level management in most large urban police departments.

Sources and references[edit]