Chiefs of Police occupy the higher ranks in a Police Force. They share some of the basic responsibilities that Police Officers have, but given their superior rank, they are required to perform some extra, and more complicated, tasks. Police Officers focus their work on protecting lives and property, whereas Chiefs of Police focus their work on solving crimes by collecting data, evidence, and interviewing witnesses and other people involved in a case.
The title of Chief of Police can sometimes be mistaken or confused with Police Detective. In the ranking within a Police Force, Chiefs of Police are higher up than Police Detectives. The difference is that the former takes on more administrative functions than the latter. The job of a Chief of Police is more office based than that of a Police Detective, whose work is more field oriented.
Chiefs of Police do the majority of the investigative work in solving a crime. They don’t only work with violent crimes, they also investigate financial frauds, theft, and smuggling of illegal substances. They use a wide range of specialized tools and systems to collect and analyze data. Their job also includes a great deal of paperwork and responsibilities. Chiefs of Police work closely with courts of law and must always adhere to provincial and federal regulations when performing their duties.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Chiefs of Police are required to complete.
- Examining crime scenes:
- Securing the bodies of deceased victims for forensic examination purposes;
- collecting and classifying evidence;
- interviewing witnesses and bystanders; and
- documenting all findings.
- Analyzing evidence:
- Studying evidence from the crime scene to uncover clues;
- processing all evidence according to legal regulations;
- examining photographs of the crime scene, collected objects, ballistic reports, and other pieces of evidence; and
- documenting all information gathered for examination.
- Reading reports based on forensic examinations on the bodies of the victims:
- Analyzing cause of death;
- checking for signs of struggle;
- checking for alterations to the body after death; and
- examining the body for clues or evidence.
- Investigating people related to the case:
- Interviewing suspects to obtain evidence or alibies;
- running background checks on suspects;
- questioning suspects to validate information;
- interviewing people close to subjects to find more information; and
- filling reports based on findings.
- Investigating the residences and workplaces of suspects or people related to the crime:
- Obtaining a search warrant from a Judge to conduct investigations in private properties; and
- collecting evidence from private properties.
- Arresting suspects and detaining them if enough evidence is collected:
- Preparing charges to arrest suspect; and
- obtaining arrest warrants.
- Using a wide range of lethal and non-lethal weapons (e.g. handguns, shotguns, batons, and pepper spray).
- Attending court and providing legal testimony when necessary.
- Collecting evidence and gathering information for cases.
- Running forensic analysis on the victims’ bodies and on the evidence found.
- Interviewing suspects, witnesses, and other people related to the case.
- Running background checks on victims, suspects, and other people related to the case.
- Tracing activities of victims and suspects.
- Conducting warranted searches of private properties.
- Documenting and reporting all findings.
- Analyzing forensic reports.
- Arresting suspects.
- Presenting evidence in a court of law and providing testimony.
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