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Columbus Police Department (Ohio)

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Jim Silvania

Joseph Reass

About the Columbus Police Department 

The Columbus Division of Police came into existence in 1868.  Today, it is a full service law enforcement agency with over 1800 sworn police officers and over 350 civilian police personnel.  The Columbus Police Department is organized into five subdivisions. The subdivisions include the Administrative, Investigative, Support Services, and two Patrol subdivisions, East and West. Each subdivision is commanded by a Deputy Chief. The nature of each task to be performed determines which subdivision has responsibility and authority.


The individual subdivisions are further divided into bureaus or zones, each of which fulfills a more specific mission. Each zone or bureau is supervised by a police commander. The zones or bureaus are subdivided into sections or watches and are commanded by a police lieutenant or civilian employee of equivalent position. The sections and watches are broken down into precincts, units, squads, or teams. Each is commanded by a police sergeant or civilian.


The Division of Police operates in a semi-military manner. Authority descends from superior to subordinate and responsibility ascends from subordinate to superior. The City of Columbus covers over 225 square miles and extends into three adjacent counties: Franklin, Delaware, and Fairfield. Columbus surrounds the cities of Bexley, Upper Arlington, Whitehall and Worthington. In order to efficiently and effectively safeguard this area, the City is divided into 19 precincts.

Selected book by a Columbus Police Department police officer

Dragon Men
Joseph D. Reass  More Info

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