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A captain is a police rank in some countries, such as the United States and France.

By countryEdit


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 KingdomEdit

In the United Kingdom, the approximate equivalent rank of a police captain is that of chief inspector.

United StatesEdit

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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 however, 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. Nevertheless, the rank of police captain is separated from the ranks of police lieutenant and police sergeant. In addition, a police captain is considered upper-level management in most large urban police departments.

New YorkEdit

In the New York City Police Department, the rank of captain is below deputy inspector. Unlike the military version, where the rank of captain may be held by junior officers with 4 to 11 years of officer service, police and fire captains are usually veterans with extensive experience.

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