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What does a Chief of Police do?

The chief of police is usually an elected or appointed position that oversees the police department, a local government agency. The chief of police is a broad position that covers everything from meetings with politicians to working on high-level criminal investigations. They may also be responsible for the overall management of the department, including hiring and maintaining staff.


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Working as a Chief of Police

The duties of a chief of police vary depending on the scale of the city or town in which they work and the needs of the department. A typical day may involve:

  • Running press conferences after a high profile event
  • Meeting with city councils, politicians, boards and other department heads as needed
  • Hiring and overseeing all of the staff within the department
  • Managing the department budget and operations
  • Overseeing large scale criminal investigations within the department
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How much does a Chief of Police make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $102,438
Low $58,837
High $178,350

The average salary for a chief of police is $102,438 per year in the United States. 490 salaries reported, updated at September 21, 2023

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Where can a Chief of Police earn more?

Compare salaries for Chief of Polices in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?

Police Sergeant

Job openings

Average $83,358 per year

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Common questions about for a Chief of Police

What skill set do you need to become a chief of police?

The chief of police needs to be comfortable in a position of leadership and will need to be able to hire, train and manage staff. In addition, a police chief will need to be able to budget, have computer skills and be able to manage the public relations side of the job.

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How can I know if I am being paid fairly as chief of police?

If you’re unsure about what salary is appropriate for a chief of police, visit Indeed's Salary Calculator to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.

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Who does the chief of police work for?

This depends on the town or city. Usually, the chief of police works for either the mayor or the city council.

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What is the schedule for a chief of police?

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