kids encyclopedia robot

Chicago Police Department facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Chicago Police Department
Flag of the City of Chicago and of the Chicago Police Department
Flag of the City of Chicago and of the Chicago Police Department
Abbreviation CPD
Motto We Serve and Protect
Agency overview
Formed 1855
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Chicago, Illinois, United States
Operational structure
Officers 13,700
Unsworn members 2,700
Agency executive
  • J.P. Weis, Superintendent of Police
Districts 25
Official site:

The Chicago Police Department, also known as the CPD, is the main law enforcement agency of the City of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States, under the jurisdiction of the city mayor. It is the largest police department in the Midwest and the second largest in the United States after the New York City Police Department with over 13,600 sworn officers and over 2,600 other employees. Dating back to 1837, the Chicago Police Department is one of the oldest modern police forces in the world.


Chicago police officer on segway
Chicago police officer

The Superintendent of Police leads the Chicago Police Department. With the assistance of the First Deputy Superintendent, the Superintendent manages four bureaus, each commanded by a bureau chief.

There are 25 police districts, each led by a commander who oversees his or her district. Commanders report to the three area deputy chiefs, who report to the Bureau of Patrol Chief.


Chicago cops
Chicago Police Department officers in Marquette Park.

Chicago's five-pointed star-shaped badge (referred to as a "star" instead of a "badge" in the vernacular of the department) also changes to reflect the different ranks of officers. The stars of most Chicago Police officers (patrolmen through captain) are of silver-colored metal, with broad points. Command ranks have gold-colored stars with sharp points. A ring surrounding the full-color city seal in the star's center changes color for each rank within these two classifications. Like most American police forces, the officer's rank is written in an arc above the center element.

The Chicago Police Department's shoulder sleeve insignia, worn on the top of the left sleeve, is unusual in two regards.

  • Its shape is octagonal instead of one of the more typical shapes used by most other American police forces.
  • The embroidery colors vary depending upon the wearer's rank. In all cases, the patch is a white octagon with a full-color rendering of the city seal, ringed in gold, with "Chicago" written in an arc above the seal, and "Police" written in an arc below the seal. For patrolmen and detectives (detectives are occasionally uniformed for ceremonies and details), the octagon's outer edge is finished in dark blue thread, and the text is embroidered in dark blue thread. For sergeants, lieutenants and captains, the octagon's outer edge is finished in gold-colored thread, and the text is embroidered in dark blue thread. For "command ranks" (commander through superintendent), the octagon's outer edge is finished in gold-colored thread, and the text is embroidered in gold-colored thread.

Service longevity is reflected just above the left cuff on most outer garments. Five years of service are indicated by a horizontal bar, embroidered in gold-colored thread; ten years by two bars; fifteen by three bars; twenty by a five-pointed star, embroidered in gold colored thread; twenty-five by one star and one bar and so-forth.

An embroidered rendering of the flag of Chicago, its borders finished in gold-colored thread, is worn on the right shoulder sleeve.

A two-part nameplate in gold-colored metal is worn above the right pocket. The upper portion bears the officer's name; the lower portion indicates the district or command to which the officer is assigned.

Weapons and duty equipment

Chicago Police Camera
Chicago Police Camera in 2006
Chicago Police helmet & billy-club
Chicago Police helmet & billy-club circa 1968

Chicago police officers are required to buy their own duty equipment (except Taser x3, x26 and Motorola radio Motorola phone. But also if having a radio they do need to buy their own shoulder mic.) All field officers must also be qualified to carry a Taser. Some officers choose to carry a backup weapon as well, which must meet certain specifications and requires annual qualification.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Departamento de Policía de Chicago para niños

kids search engine
Chicago Police Department Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.