Police ranks and insignia of India

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Gazetted officers include all the Indian Police Service officers which are Class I officers of the cadre and all State Police Services officers of and above the rank of Inspector of Police (PI) and State Police forces respectively . All are arranged in a hierarchy order.

Ranks in law enforcement in India[edit]

The ranks, posts and designations of Police officers vary from state to state as law and order is a state matter. But generally the following pattern is observed-

[1][2][3]

Permanent Level

Trainee Level

Insign of Gazetted & IPS Officers[4][5][6][edit]

The Indian Police Service (IPS) uses insignia on its shoulder flashes which are similar to those used by the Indian Army. Since Police Inspectors and officers below this rank are recruited by states individually, the insignias vary slightly though the rank structure is the same. For example, Maharashtra Police constables use Yellow Epaulet on blue background for Constable ranks while Tamil Nadu Police use Black Chevrons on red background on right sleeve.[7]

Indian Police Service Officer Rank Insignia [8][9][10]
Insignia Director IB Insignia.png Director General of Police.png Director General of Police.png Insignia of Inspector General of Police in India- 2013-10-02 16-14.png Deputy Inspector General of Police.png Senior Superintendent of Police.png Superintendent of Police.png Additional SP IPS.png DySP IPS.png Assistant SP IPS 2.png Assistant SP IPS 1.png
Rank Director of Intelligence Bureau (GOI)¹ Director General of Police² Additional Director General of Police² Inspector General of Police Deputy Inspector General of Police Superintendent of Police (Selection Grade) Superintendent of Police Additional Superintendent of Police Assistant Superintendent of Police Assistant Superintendent of Police (Probationary Rank: 2 years of service) Assistant Superintendent of Police (Probationary Rank: 1 year of service)
Abbreviation DIB DGP ADGP IGP DIG SP SP Addl. SP ASP ASP ASP
Indian State Police Gazetted Officer Rank Insignia[11][12][13]
Insignia SSP State Police.png SP State Police.png Assistant Superintendent of Police.png Deupty Superintendent of Police.png
Rank Superintendent of Police (selection grade) Superintendent of Police Additional Superintendent of Police Deputy Superintendent of Police
Abbreviation SP SP Addl.SP/ASP DSP/Dy. SP
  • Note: Gazetted officers belonging to Indian State Police Service(s) lie between ranks DSP and SP.
  • Officers usually officers undergo training to attain SP rank and are awarded IPS, but this varies from state to state.
Indian State Police Non-Gazetted Officer Rank Insignia
Insignia Police Inspector insignia.png Assistant Police Inspector.png Police Sub-Inspector.png Assistant Sub-Inspector.png Police Head Constable.pngHead Constable.png Senior Police Constable.pngPolice Naik.png No Insignia¹
Rank Inspector of Police Assistant Inspector of Police2 Sub-Inspector of Police Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Police Head Constable3 Senior Police Constable3 Police Constable
Abbreviation INS API SI ASI/HCP HC SC PC
  • ¹ Police Constable has no insignia except the khaki uniform.
  • 2This rank only exists in Maharashtra Police Service
  • 3Shoulder insignia for this rank is used by Maharashtra Service
  • Note: Colour pattern and size of chevron may vary according to the different rules of several distinct Indian State Police Services.
  • NOTE: The Rank of Police Inspector in the state of Rajasthan, Tripura, West Bengal, Assam and Bihar are divided into two categories, one for gazetted and another for non-gazetted.

Organisational structure and roles[edit]

Overview[edit]

Law enforcement in India is a State matter. Hence, policing structure varies from State to State. But there is a general structure observed.

This car has a triangular flag as well as one star (on the blue box). Both these features indicate that the car belongs to a DIG rank IPS officer.
Flags (top photo) & Stars (bottom photo) on official cars of senior IPS officers, as per their rank.

Ministry of Home Affairs and IPS[edit]

The Ministry of Home Affairs is in overall charge of internal security and policing and is the controlling authority for the Indian Police Service (IPS). Home Secretary, the administrative head of MHA is an IAS officer in the rank of Secretary to Government of India. The ministry has jurisdiction over the Seven Central Armed Police Forces.

The Indian Police Service is not a law enforcement organization, but a professional body of police officers. Police officers may enter the IPS by two different routes:

  • Regular recruits: IPS candidates may apply at the federal level by taking the national exam administered by the Union Public Service Commission; if successful, they are given the probationary rank of assistant superintendent and receive further training at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy. After completion of their trainings, officers are promoted to deputy superintendent and assigned to one of the state police forces.
  • State-level selection: Candidates may take a state-level examination for State Police Service (SPS) gazetted officers; examinations are administered by the individual State Public Service Commissions. Successful candidates are gazetted with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and become members of their state police cadre. After a period of satisfactory service, state police service officers may be nominated to join the IPS at this rank or, if they receive further promotions, at the ranks of additional deputy or deputy commissioner of police. Once state police service officers join the IPS, they exchange their previous rank for the equivalent IPS rank. All chief police officers at or above the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) or its equivalent are IPS officers. SPS officers are generally paid less than their IPS counterparts.

State police forces and their structure[edit]

Each State Government's Home Department is responsible for its State Police force.Generally the administrative head of the Home Department of a state is an IAS officer in the rank of Additional Chief Secretary or Principal Secretary to State government. However in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana this is not the case.

Each state police force is headed by an IPS officer in the rank of Director General of Police. The head of a state police force has the designation of Director General of Police, and is assisted by one to several Additional or Special DGPs. Each Additional/Special DGP is responsible for a bureau within the state police (Law & Order, Crime, etc).[14][15][16] Some large state police forces, such as the Maharashtra Police and Tamil Nadu Police are generally divided into zones, ranges and commissionerates. However even some large police forces such as Uttar Pradesh Police and Bihar Police don't have Police Commissionerates. Smaller state police forces, such as the Andaman and Nicobar Police or the Arunachal Pradesh Police, are typically only divided into ranges; however, this system of divisions can vary from force to force.[17][18][19][20] Each range or zone is headed by an officer in the rank of Additional DGP or Inspector General of Police.

Commissionerates generally encompass major cities that are so designated, such as Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai. Each commissionerate has its own individual police force headed by an IPS officer with the designation of Commissioner of Police (CP). The Commissioner of Police may be of the rank of Additional DGP, or IGP but can also be in the rank of DIGP. The Commissioner of Police is empowered with the powers of an executive magistrate, and functions as such. The Commissioner of Police is assisted by one to several Joint Commissioners of Police, who usually hold the rank of IGP (or Deputy IGP).[21][22] Each is in charge of a bureau (Law and Order, Crime, etc.), mirroring the organisation of the state police as a whole. Below the JCPs, the organisation is typically as follows:

  • Region: Headed by an IPS Additional Commissioner of Police (Addl. CP) in the rank of DIGP. Gazetted officers below the rank of DIGP may either be IPS or SPS officers.
  • Zone: Each region is divided into a number of zones, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police in the rank of Superintendent of Police.
  • Division: A zone usually contains one to two divisions, each headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in the rank of Deputy Superintendent,[23][24]

The general organisation outside commissionerates is as follows:

  • Range (or Zone): Headed by an IPS officer in the rank of ADGP or IGP
  • Range: Headed by an IPS officer in the rank of IGP or DIGP
  • District: Headed by a Senior Superintendent or Superintendent of Police.
  • Area: Headed by an additional superintendent of police.
  • Sub-division - Headed by a Deputy Superintendent of police.
  • Circle: Not in every locality, but headed by a senior police inspector or Circle Officer, if exists and comprising several police stations.
  • Police station: Commanded by a non-gazetted police Inspector sometimes designated as a senior police inspector (Sr. PI). In a city, the Sr. PI may be in charge of one police station, but may be in charge of a "circle" of several police stations in rural districts. The Sr. PI commands several inspectors (PI) of equal rank.

However, District Superintendents of Police are not empowered with the powers of an executive magistrate, in Districts these powers, like promulgating Section 144, granting arms licenses, are exercised by the District Magistrate, who is an IAS officer.

Sub-inspectors (PSIs), the first police officers who may file a charge sheet, often command police stations in rural districts or police outposts or substations; in cities, they operate out of a police station and administer beats (chowkies). Sub-inspectors are assisted by assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs), who may also be in charge of chowkies, under them are head constables (senior constables), who lead teams of constables.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Police Ranks" (PDF). Maharashtra Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Governance of Kerala Police". Kerala Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Police Ranks and Badges". Odisha Police. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Police Ranks" (PDF). Maharashtra Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Governance of Kerala Police". Kerala Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Police Ranks and Badges". Odisha Police. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Indian Police Force Uniform Rules". Govt of India. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Police Ranks" (PDF). Maharashtra Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Governance of Kerala Police". Kerala Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Police Ranks and Badges". Odisha Police. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Police Ranks" (PDF). Maharashtra Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Governance of Kerala Police". Kerala Police. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Police Ranks and Badges". Odisha Police. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  14. ^ Maharashtra Police
  15. ^ Tamil Nadu Police
  16. ^ Bihar State Police
  17. ^ Maharashtra Police
  18. ^ Tamil Nadu Police
  19. ^ Bihar State Police
  20. ^ Karnataka State Police
  21. ^ Mumbai Police
  22. ^ Tamil Nadu Police
  23. ^ Pune Police
  24. ^ Tamil Nadu Police