Police captain

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A captain is a police rank in some countries, such as 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[edit]

Rank insignia for a typical U.S. police captain, consisting of two yellow bars (similar to that of a U.S. Army captain) on a white shirt. Some U.S. police departments use silver-colored bars as well as a variety of shirt colors.

In most US police departments, the rank of captain is immediately above that of lieutenant. A police captain is often the officer in charge of a precinct.

In some smaller 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, 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. A police captain is considered upper-level management in most large urban police departments.

New York[edit]

In the New York City Police Department, the rank of captain is immediately below deputy inspector. Captains are usually veterans with extensive experience.

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