Thread: Rank question
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: Rank question

My Police Rank table, with GURPS Rank, typical Titles (which vary wildly by jurisdiction), and duties:

7 - Commissioner or Supervisor. Head of the Department for larger cities and state/provincial police forces.
6 - Chief or Assistant Supervisor. Head of the Department for smaller cities, day-to-day manager for larger cities and state/provincial police forces.
5 - Commander. Section, Division, or Bureau Commander for cities and state/provincial forces; head of the Department for larger municipalities.
4 - Captain, Sheriff, or Inspector. Precinct or Unit Commander; head of the department for smaller municipalities.
3 - Lieutenant or Deputy Sheriff. Duty or Shift Lead Officer for precincts and smaller municipalities.
2 - Sergeant, Senior Detective. Squad Leader, veteran plainclothes detective.
1 - Detective. Investigator, CSI team lead.
0 - Officer. Beat Cop, CSI technician.

Note that police forces typically have at least two parallel pay grades: uniformed officer grades and detective grades. A junior detective would officially be an equivalent rank to the rookie beat cop, but his effective authority would be slightly higher, able to call upon the street cops or a SWAT team for backup. A uniformed Lieutenant and a Lieutenant Detective (like Columbo) would likewise have equivalent pay grades, but their authority (and actual Rank) differs. Some jurisdictions break things up into up to a half dozen pay grades with the same effective authority, with pay grades determining seniority and pecking order inside the unit.

Once you get up to and above Police Rank 4, you're getting into primarily administrative duties rather than investigations.

CSI teams, for those jurisdictions that have their own without outsourcing them (in some fiction, it's often just one or two guys with access to a lab), have the authority to perform investigations at the crime scene itself but lack the power to make arrests, passing their information onto detectives who make the actual arrests.

Hope this helps.
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