How To Become A Cop

Police Chief Jobs: Leaders in Action

The police chief or sheriff is the primary leadership and executive position within the police department or county sheriff’s office.  Since there is only one police chief, police chief jobs are more difficult to come by.  This leadership position requires experience; minimally 3-5 years in law enforcement, even in small communities.  The police chief is expected to supervise the work of other officers and staff within the department, and to develop and enforce consistent policies and procedures that will govern the way the department is run.

The police chief sets the vision for police department goals, objectives and strategic priorities.  He sets the tone for the organization in terms of how the police code of ethics will be enforced and how officers will be expected to conduct themselves.  It is, of course, essential, that the police chief demonstrate the highest level of moral and ethical standards.  These are all critical elements of police chief jobs, as they are the institutional leaders.

The police chief is responsible for seeing that the department has the resources it needs to operate effectively.  This means he is an ambassador for the department in relation to the city manager, mayor, city council members, as well as the public.

It’s also essential for the police chief to have strong communication skills when meeting with other officials or with the public when there is an emergency or a critical incident.  The chief will usually be the person the press turns to when there is a difficult situation, or when new police policies need to be explained.

Typical duties for police chiefs also include an administrative role in facilitating acquisition of human and physical resources needed to run a modern police department.  Also needed is the ability to budget and monitor the expenditure of the department’s funds.  There are many reports that come from the police chief’s office.  Among those are statistical reports that must be filed with the state and federal government.  There are many other reports that need to be completed by the chief, including proposals for new equipment and the status of ongoing investigations.

As the department’s highest leader, the police chief is responsible for the conduct of every person under his or her command.  For the police chief to do his job effectively, he or she must not only have great communication skills, but the ability to command a high level of respect.

Like other government positions, the police chief does not make as much money as some executives in the private sector.  However, it is generally one of the highest paid positions within any local government.  In July 2008, according to CNN Money, the median base salary for U.S. police chiefs and sheriffs was $92,305 per year.  Police chief jobs also are accompanied by a very good benefit package. If you have aspirations of one day becoming a police chief, you may want to pursue a criminal justice masters degree.

The primary reason for applying for the job of police chief is intrinsically the same as it is for those who serve on the street cop level; the desire to protect and serve the community.


How to Become a Cop

College Criminal Justice Degree

Criminal Justice Degree Online

Criminal Justice Masters Degree

Police Officer Jobs

Duties of a Police Officer

Salary for Police Officers

Police Officer Code of Ethics