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Municipal ordinances dictate the scope of authority a chief possesses and limits them in the abilities of commanding. The following list is a general sense of the actions and responsibilities held by any chief of police.
- Oversight of a department's totality of operation and budgeting.
- Oversight of officers.
- Limited disciplinary actions to be addressed on infractions of policy, rules, regulations, laws or ordinances.
- Full dismissal or heavy sanctioning of officer duty varying by municipal ordinance.
- Promotion and rank placement of officers.
- Patrol, investigating, and other duties performed by officers.
- Production and development of department policies and regulations.
- Upkeep and updating of department equipment such as police vehicles, firearms, communications equipment and uniforms.
- Attending community events and council meetings to give briefings on department conditions or other undisclosed information vital to municipal operation and well being.
- Reporting to the municipality's mayor or city director regarding operations (and dismissal of officers for misconduct varying by municipal ordinance).
- Reporting to the municipality's board of directors.