Police Officer Specialization & Advancement


Special Assignments & Promotion

Tempe PD has many opportunities for specialization and advancement to include a variety of special assignments and promotion. Newly hired police officer recruits become police officers upon graduation from the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy. In addition to several specialties officers may seek, those who qualify may promote to the rank of sergeant or beyond. Below are several of the special assignments within Tempe PD. 

 Investigations Division

Organizational Services Division

Patrol Division



Rank Structure

  • Chief
    • The highest ranking officer who oversees all department operations.
  • Assistant Chief
    • Manages the operations of a division, or group of bureaus.
  • Commander
    • Oversees bureau operations. Bureaus have an operational specialty, such as Criminal Investigations. 
  • Lieutenant
    • Supervises a bureau or, depending on bureau size, several units in a bureau. The Patrol Division, for example, has several lieutenants who supervise multiple patrol squads.
  • Sergeant
    • Leads several officers or detectives who are part of a squad or unit such as detectives or patrol officers.
  • Officer or Detective
    • Officers are the most visible people within our community.  Officers carry out a variety of assignments but most patrol our neighborhoods.
    • Detectives are investigators who conduct follow-up investigations to solve crimes and locate criminals who could not be found immediately.