Police organizations are paramilitary in organizational structure that define leadership and management hierarchy. Insignia on police uniforms are visible displays of identification designating that officer's rank within the department. This visible insignia allows other officers, other agencies, the public, and the media to identify who is in charge, or has leadership and management responsibilities.
Police management can be grouped into 3 categories:
The Chief of Police is the highest ranking police officer in the department. The Chief is appointed by the City Council and commands the department.
Captains are administrative staff to the Chief of Police and command divisions within the police department. They receive their duties and responsibilities directly from the Chief of Police.
Lieutenants command a shift or bureau in which they are assigned and receive their duties and responsibilities directly from the Captain that commands their division. They may command a patrol shift or investigation division.
Sergeants are assistant supervisors and receive their duties and responsibilities directly from their immediate Lieutenant.