Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 01-02-2008, 12:33 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,870
Do detectives have rank over uniform police?

I've always been curious, because when I watch The First 48, the detectives will give orders (politely though) to the officers in blues and they are like "Yes sir, it's done." etc...

So I was wondering, since they're detectives, does that automatically give them some sort of leverage over uniformed police or do they still follow chain of command no matter what?
#2
Old 01-02-2008, 12:41 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 24,626
I'm not sure if it works the same for all police departments, but the Wikipedia entry for the New York Police Department says:
Quote:
Within the rank structure, there are also designations, known as "grades", that connote differences in duties, experience, and pay. However, supervisory functions are generally reserved for the rank of sergeant and above. The title "Detective" is not a chain of command supervisory rank within the New York City Police Department. A "Detective-Investigator" has the equivalent rank of a police officer with the specification "Detective First Grade" (highest), "Detective Second Grade", and "Detective Third Grade". Movies and TV have only perpetuated this misunderstanding by portraying detectives as having supervisory powers. While a First Grade Detective may supervise other detectives in his/her squad, he/she is still outranked in the chain of command by a uniformed police sergeant.
#3
Old 01-02-2008, 12:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
AFAICT, the men selected as detectives are policemen with experience who have demonstrated crime-solving skills while in uniform. A person named as a detective on a police force is generally considered to have a rank of sergeant or better on the force.

Also remember that in any profession similar to the military, to police, etc., there needs to be someone in charge of each individual operation they undertake. That person is answerable to higher authority, to be sure, but all those involved in the operation answer to him. Doesn't it make sense that in a major-crime investigation, the detective who has the specialized training and demonstrated skills be the person put in charge?
#4
Old 01-02-2008, 12:56 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 9,888
If you hire someone with a specific skill, it makes sense to defer to them even if you nominally outrank them. If detectives have expertise in criminal investigation, you'd expect uniformed police to listen to them, regardless of rank.
#5
Old 01-02-2008, 01:05 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,981
Each and every department has its' own command chain. So there are a billion answers to the OP.

Most depatments have the Detective in a seperate unit, but there is still a department wide command chain, in which they outline the list of rank. Most will have a Detective outranking a patrolman, and a patrol sergeant, but not a patrol Lieutenant. Once again, it depends.

There are some departments that I know of where "Detective" is an assignment, not a rank. The person is equal to a patrolman, just does different duties in plain clothes.
That, however, is not the norm.

In some departments Detectives still occassionally do patrol work, in uniform. It's times like this where the chain of command can get murky. The patrol Sgt. in charge of the shift certainly doesn't want someone from the dick bureau blowing him off just because he's working a uniform shift but has a higher rank! The department I retired from last July had this. The written policy was whomever was the shift OIC was in charge of everyone on the shift, regardless of rank. To the best of my knowledge there was never any problems with that rule (i.e. no pissing contests).
#6
Old 01-02-2008, 01:13 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hanover, PA
Posts: 302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
AFAICT, the men selected as detectives are policemen with experience who have demonstrated crime-solving skills while in uniform. A person named as a detective on a police force is generally considered to have a rank of sergeant or better on the force.

Also remember that in any profession similar to the military, to police, etc., there needs to be someone in charge of each individual operation they undertake. That person is answerable to higher authority, to be sure, but all those involved in the operation answer to him. Doesn't it make sense that in a major-crime investigation, the detective who has the specialized training and demonstrated skills be the person put in charge?
or women...
#7
Old 01-02-2008, 01:31 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 32,875
If it is a police department large enough to have ranks like sergeant, lieutenant, and captain, then the detectives will also hold those ranks. A detective sergeant will outrank a plain police officer, but not a non-detective captain.
#8
Old 01-02-2008, 01:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,928
Just watching "The First 48" can be a kind of education in how different departments are. I don't remember ever seeing a Memphis homicide detective who wasn't at least a sergeant. Detroit seems to have a grab bag of ranks in Homicide, and so forth. Some departments seem to have a pretty rigid policy that the lead detective on the case sticks with it to the end, others seem to bop the case around depending on shifts. Personally I'd love to hear more about this from pkbites, Loach, and others with hands on experience.
#9
Old 01-02-2008, 01:53 PM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray
If it is a police department large enough to have ranks like sergeant, lieutenant, and captain, then the detectives will also hold those ranks. A detective sergeant will outrank a plain police officer, but not a non-detective captain.
That's been my experience here, too. Detectives, who are almost always in plainclothes, can boss around patrolmen and -women (the lowest rank of uniformed police officers) when they're actually at crime scenes, but usually won't. They know what their respective responsibilities are and usually have more of a team approach, I think. A detective who tried to pull rank on a uniformed lieutenant, captain, etc. would get his head bitten off pretty quickly, and it wouldn't help his career either.
#10
Old 01-02-2008, 01:58 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,981
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rube E. Tewesday
kind of education in how different departments are.
It's true. Every one is different, though many are similar.

One department I know of the lowest rank is "patrolman" and the next rank up is "police officer", though both do the exact same work, and the police officer has no authority over the patrolman. It's just a title to indicate seniority. Another has ranks like: police officer 1, policer officer 2, police officer 3, Sergeant, Lieutenant, etc.. And some have Corporals.

I've observed that some State Police departments tend to stick a little more closely to military type rankings, having Colonels, Commanders, etc..

There was one department where the chief left without much notice and the P&F Commission named a Sergeant as officer in charge until a new Chief was selected.
That meant a Segeant had authority over Captains. Strange, huh?
#11
Old 01-02-2008, 09:15 PM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,203
I work on a police department that has around 95 personnel in a town of about 60,000. Patrolman is the lowest rank. At 15 years you automatically become a senior patrolman (5% pay increase, corporal stripes). Anytime over 5 years you can attempt to be selected for sergeant. Then there are lieutenants, captains and the chief. Detective is not a promotion. It is a lateral move. Just a change in duty assignment. Detective is the same as patrolman (or senior patrolman depending on the length of service). A detective can not order around a patrolman but they do get handed control of crime scenes. At serious crime scenes there will be a sergeant or above anyway. The detectives also have sergeants and LTs. In fact in many ways it is a hardship and not an honor to become a detective. It looks good for promotion down the road (a better rounded career) but the schedule is better on patrol and there is more opportunity to make extra money. The patrol schedule lends itself better to working construction and other extra jobs that come up. Sometimes they have a hard time filling the dective slots and there tends to be a lot of new guys doing it. All of the departments in my area are the same.

Last edited by Loach; 01-02-2008 at 09:17 PM.
#12
Old 01-03-2008, 12:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,244
The general convention is that detectives and/or investigators are specialized police officers. In terms of pay, they usually make more than the uniformed officers, but less than the sergeants. In terms of rank, detectives rank below sergeants.
#13
Old 01-03-2008, 01:59 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,981
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerberus
The general convention is that detectives and/or investigators are specialized police officers. In terms of pay, they usually make more than the uniformed officers, but less than the sergeants. In terms of rank, detectives rank below sergeants.
That's not how it worked with us. The Deets outranked a patrol Sergeant and got paid more.

But like I said, every department is different.


Since retiring I took a job with another agency, part-time. Their structure is almost identical to the one I was on for over 2 decades, EXCEPT we have an Inspector (just one) who has duties that on any other agency would be called "Deputy Chief'.
#14
Old 01-03-2008, 06:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,804
Disclaimer - I am not a policeman! - but in the UK detectives (members of the CID - Criminal Investigation Department - etc) have the same rank structure as the uniformed branch.

Constable - Detective Constable
Sergeant - Detective Sergeant
Inspector - Detective Inspector
Chief Inspector - Detective Chief Inspector
Superintentent - Detective Superintendent
Chief Superintendent - Detective Chief Superintendent

Then come the senior ranks where there is no distinction. Normally Assistant Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable, Chief Constable but the Metropolitan (London) police is headed by a Commissioner (as is the City of London force) and adds in Commanders to the senior ranks.

As I understand it a Detective Sergeant does not outrank a uniformed Sergeant and they are in different command chains but I would not be surprised to find a situation where a Detective, as the specialist investigating a crime, would assign duties to a number of uniformed officers supporting the investigating team.
#15
Old 01-03-2008, 07:53 AM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,203
I should have added that for us it is not a permenant postion. Some stay as a detective for a year or two. Some stay there for many years. Some bounce around between the different detective divisions, general investigations, vice, juvenile... All lateral moves.
#16
Old 01-03-2008, 12:23 PM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusF
...As I understand it a Detective Sergeant does not outrank a uniformed Sergeant and they are in different command chains but I would not be surprised to find a situation where a Detective, as the specialist investigating a crime, would assign duties to a number of uniformed officers supporting the investigating team.
That certainly seems to be the case in the Helen Mirren Prime Suspect movies, which from all I've read have been generally praised for their accuracy in showing British police procedure. DCI Tennison rules!
#17
Old 01-03-2008, 01:13 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,981
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites
There are some departments that I know of where "Detective" is an assignment, not a rank. The person is equal to a patrolman, just does different duties in plain clothes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach
Detective is not a promotion. It is a lateral move. Just a change in duty assignment.

One of the departments whos' jurisdiction boardered ours had this set up. One of the few that I know of that Detective as an assignment not a rank.

What I found interesting was that many of the people that worked on their dick bureau were often eager to return to patrol work.
#18
Old 01-03-2008, 01:27 PM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,203
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites
One of the departments whos' jurisdiction boardered ours had this set up. One of the few that I know of that Detective as an assignment not a rank.

What I found interesting was that many of the people that worked on their dick bureau were often eager to return to patrol work.
Dealing with the brass everyday can wear on you. Most find it refreshing to get back on the road.
#19
Old 01-04-2008, 02:23 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,870
Wow, great responses, I had no idea at the differences. Thanks, guys ! Also, I read somewhere, maybe here, that Police Chiefs in some states sometimes don't have power to arrest someone, basically it's just a political office position. Is that true?

Last edited by diggleblop; 01-04-2008 at 02:23 AM.
#20
Old 01-04-2008, 09:58 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 32,875
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
Wow, great responses, I had no idea at the differences. Thanks, guys ! Also, I read somewhere, maybe here, that Police Chiefs in some states sometimes don't have power to arrest someone, basically it's just a political office position. Is that true?
I don't think it's generally true.

Generally speaking, a police chief is a civil servant and has only the police power granted to him by legislative or regulatory authority.

Generally speaking a county sheriff is a constitutional office holder and holds power derived from the state constitution. A sheriff's authority cannot be taken away by the local government.

So, usually, a sheriff has much more power than a police chief.

Most of the time, where there is a police department in operation, the sheriff will allow the police to handle routine patrol and arrest duties. When a county is completely covered by police departments, a sheriff will usually just handle court and jail operations. But, being a constitutional officer, the sheriff always has the power to patrol and arrest; that can't be taken away from him by a police department.
#21
Old 01-04-2008, 10:54 AM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,847
In Ohio, a police chief is the top uniformed officer in his department. He (rarely she) is appointed by the mayor; sometimes, depending upon the city charter, only with the advice and consent (routinely given) of city council. A chief has arrest powers just as any other police officer does, but spends most of his time doing administrative work or making public appearances. Below the mayor but over the chief in most Ohio cities is a safety director (sometimes called a safety service director), a civilian who also oversees the fire department.

In Ohio, sheriffs have countywide jurisdiction. In urbanized counties, they tend to be limited to running the county jail, providing courthouse security and serving process in Common Pleas cases. In more rural counties, they and their many deputies do all this but also patrol any unincorporated areas outside of cities and villages.
#22
Old 01-04-2008, 01:34 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,981
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggleblop
I read somewhere, maybe here, that Police Chiefs in some states sometimes don't have power to arrest someone, basically it's just a political office position. Is that true?
Never heard of that. Anything is possible, though. Every Chief I know of has power of arrest. They are sworn Peace Officers. Though that in itself does not grant the power of arrest.

How so? Because Wisconsin statute 939.22(22) defines Peace Officer as any person vested by law with a duty to maintain public order OR make arrests for crime.
In other words, in Wisconsin all cops are Peace Officers, but not all Peace Officers are cops.

What this means is, if a City charter were to dictate that one of the duties of Aldermen was to maintain public order, that would legally make them a Peace Officer.

At one time some city/town/village charters had language of that sort in their charter. Eventually most (all? ) wrote it out.

Know why?
#23
Old 01-04-2008, 02:00 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 23,422
In New York City, the Chief of Police is the top uniformed officer in the department and is a full-fledged cop. The department as a whole is overseen by a civilian Police Commissioner, appointed by the mayor.
#24
Old 01-04-2008, 08:37 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 12,523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir
In Ohio, a police chief is the top uniformed officer in his department. He (rarely she) is appointed by the mayor
In DC, a policewoman named Cathy Lanier is the chief of police.
#25
Old 01-05-2008, 03:39 AM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,203
In New Jersey there has been a trend within the last few years for towns to have a police director instead of a police chief. The director is a civilian without police powers although in many cases he used to be a high ranking police officer. This is viewed as an attempt for the politicians to exercise more direct control and influence over the day to day operations of the department. A civilian director serves at the pleasure of the mayor and council and can be fired at anytime. Basically the mayor's lapdog. Sworn police officers must be fired for cause. My town went to a director for a while but went back to a chief. It's the same guy.

Bigger departments need to have the responsibilities spread out between two people and may have a director and a chief. The director handles the administrative aspects, budgets, contracts etc. The chief handles policy and procedures.
#26
Old 01-05-2008, 08:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Clinton County, MI USA
Posts: 664
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna
In DC, a policewoman named Cathy Lanier is the chief of police.
And in Detroit that title and rank belongs to Ella Bully-Cummings.
#27
Old 01-05-2008, 01:15 PM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiveroptic
And in Detroit that title and rank belongs to Ella Bully-Cummings.
Which still does not contradict the quote that it is rarely a woman.
#28
Old 01-05-2008, 03:48 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Creve Coeur, MO
Posts: 6,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
AFAICT, the men selected as detectives are policemen with experience who have demonstrated crime-solving skills while in uniform. A person named as a detective on a police force is generally considered to have a rank of sergeant or better on the force.

Also remember that in any profession similar to the military, to police, etc., there needs to be someone in charge of each individual operation they undertake. That person is answerable to higher authority, to be sure, but all those involved in the operation answer to him. Doesn't it make sense that in a major-crime investigation, the detective who has the specialized training and demonstrated skills be the person put in charge?
IN the military, this was called, "Don't confuse your rank with my authority." In essence, the lowest private MP/SP could pull over and arrest the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs if he had probable cause.

So the whole detective/uniformed cop thing I think breaks down like this: the detectives, by virtue of experience and specialized training, have the skill sets to examine a crime scene and hopefully gather enough evidence to catch the perp. To this end, they have certain authority in the conduct in the investigation, up to and including giving orders or instructions to uniformed police officers of higher rank, in the furtherance of that investigation.

Just my SWAg, though.
__________________
"Get crazy with the cheez whiz!"
#29
Old 01-05-2008, 04:31 PM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach
Which still does not contradict the quote that it is rarely a woman.
Quite true. But another counterexample that may be of interest - the chief of the San Francisco PD: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Fong

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 01-05-2008 at 04:31 PM.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:19 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: well control box zac fine narrator gal friday tough nuggies oodalolly robin hood jodphur pants guey translation 6 legs animal medium frauds thompson violin case cancun topless primatene abuse jewish strings sad bluegrass 7ft person male butterface loitering illegal champagne corking blood type bracelet keira knightley underbite hebrew swears colder than sayings bounce legs horchata vomit indian test pattern boom botz yellow pine furniture stephen or steven coca leaves seeds flyering cars tie tuesday black and khaki nyc whore usain bolt pronunciation tk publishing bona fides pronounce this url has been excluded from the wayback machine simpsons lenny and carl what does arnold schwarzenegger sound like 1000 ways to die breast implants is it illegal to drive with parking lights on how much do horses cum brother printer is in error state make a pass at raw ground beef turns brown how to find steam game folders what aisle is molasses in at walmart will rubbing alcohol kill ants she paid for the first date how far does a horse travel if it gallops at an average speed of 25 km/h for 30 min? harrison ford orange magic trick plug tv into wall what does the 1 and 2 mean on an automatic car when voting do i have to vote on everything how much does it cost to update garmin nuvi similar vein or vain gas cap seal check engine light my garbage disposal is humming but not working city of issuance on a passport ray jessel cause of death d&d elemental damage types put on the foil flatware and silverware difference 1999 colorized silver eagle what size shoelaces do i need is the new york daily news conservative or liberal 17 and 20 year old dating can taking too much benadryl hurt you