A Chief of Police, also known as Police Chief or sometimes shortened to just Chief, is the title typically given to the top official in the chain of command of a police department, particularly in North America. Alternate titles for this position include Police Commissioner, Colonel (according to Rhode Island State Police), Police Superintendent, and Chief Constable. In contrast to a Sheriff (who is generally elected by the voters of a county, except in the states of Rhode Island and Hawaii), a Chief of Police is usually a municipal employee who owes his allegiance to a city or town. Some states have both an appointed and an elected Chief of Police (Louisiana). In some jurisdictions the head of the police commission is the leader of the police and holds a position analogous or similar to the one described here, in this case he is referred to as Commissioner. The New York City Police Department has both a Police Commissioner and a Chief, formerly called the Chief Inspector, now called the Chief of Department. In Louisiana, a Chief of Police may serve as the Chief of Police, Marshal, and Constable for a city. The fraternal organization International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is an organization often associated with many Chiefs of Police.
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