How to Make an Organizational Chart for a Police Department

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An organizational chart shows the structure of people within an organization. In a police department, it displays the reporting structure of employees with the highest authority figures at the top of the chart. Vertical lines between boxes show a direct relationship between a supervisor and employee. Horizontal lines connect departments on the same reporting level. An organizational chart is generally in the shape of a pyramid, displaying a corporate-like hierarchical structure with the upper level employees at the top and subordinates at the bottom. It resembles a flow chart without the arrows.

Write the name of the chief of police at the top of the flowchart. Typically, the head of the department will be in a separate row at the top of the chart.

Directly under the chief of police, connect to a "Department Operations" box with the name of the person responsible for operations, which may be an assistant or deputy chief of police. The second row of the chart shows who reports to the head.

Connect from the person responsible for Department Operations to a row of police departments. Some departments examples are: Patrol Operations, Special Operations, Investigations and Support Services. The third row shows the next level in the reporting hierarchy.

Make a list of units under these department categories, which should contain the units within each department. For example, under "Investigations" you might have "Crimes Against Persons," "Property Crimes" and "Property/Evidence Room."

Add any remaining key players and link them to the person who they directly report to. For example, if the chief of police has a counsel, make a box to the left of the chief of police and write "Counsel to the Chief of Police" inside the box.


  • Microsoft Word can create organizational flow charts for you. Click on "Insert" and Smart Art" and choose the organizational chart from the "Hierarchy" set.
  • If you have a small police department, it may be possible for you to fit all of the key players inside the flow chart. If your department is large, stick to units (possibly with the name of the head of each unit) to avoid a cluttered chart.


About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.

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