Police Chief

The term police chief and police commissioner are terms which typically describe the same position.

Some departments use "chief", while others use "commissioner". There are some departments that do make distinctions between the two positions, and some departments even have both positions.

The majority of Departments in the United States use the term Police Chief.

Often times you'll hear them referred to as the "top cop" by the media in news stories and articles. That's because they are the leader of the organization, and the most recognizable of the department. But lets be honest, it's a tough job.

They have to make big decisions and answer for things that the department is doing. Both well, and not so well.

If crime is on the rise, people want to know what his or her department is doing about it. They want to know why the department can't quell the problems, and they look to him for answers.

The newspapers will call out the chief in editorials and the public will demand answers. He will have to oversee department policy, interact with city officials regarding budgeting issues, crime prevention programs and all sorts of public relations work.

All during this time, he or she will have to take into account his officers whom he is expected to lead.

There will be morale issues with the rank and file, and there always seems to be some kind of attention grabbing headline on the 6 O'clock news which will require the chief to examine.

It's a non stop, full steam ahead job. I would imagine that on their days off, they're still thinking about some work related issue that will need attention.

Sure, they make more money than anyone else on the department.

But they have a difficult job which requires a balance of big decisions, public relations, public safety and constant public scrutiny...

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