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* Creator/GeorgesSimenon's [[Literature/{{Maigret}} Jules Maigret]] is both a GreatDetective and a lead police detective.

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*''Film/TheBlackHand'' has Joe, a tough Italian cop who wants to personally eradicate the Mafia in America.


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*In ''Film/KillBenLyk'', Detective Scott is put in charge of protecting the safe house. Unknown to the main cast, he is also working for the gangsters.

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* Played with somewhat in ''Series/HillStreetBlues'': Individual episodes usually followed a TwoLinesNoWaiting structure, but whenever there was a multi-episode story arc about a lengthy investigation then one of the cast would be elevated to this trope during scenes involving the A-plot. It was most noticeable when Belker or Goldblum got the gig, but even when partners [[SaltAndPepper La Rue and Washington]] were jointly assigned to the case, one of them would have a slightly bigger role than the other.


* DI Thomas "Tommy" Lynley of ''Series/TheInspectorLynleyMysteries'', who forms an OddCouple [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting duo]] with his partner DS Barbara Havers. In a break from the formula, however, if she's younger than him, it's not by much[[note]]Creator/SharonSmall is all of five years younger than Creator/NathanielParker[[/note]], and the show [[{{Deuteragonist}} is as much about her as it is about him]].

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* DI Detective Inspector Thomas "Tommy" Lynley of ''Series/TheInspectorLynleyMysteries'', who forms an OddCouple [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting duo]] with his partner DS Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. In a break from the formula, however, if she's younger than him, it's not by much[[note]]Creator/SharonSmall is all of five years younger than Creator/NathanielParker[[/note]], and the show [[{{Deuteragonist}} is as much about her as it is about him]].





%%* DI [[TheInspectorLynleyMysteries Thomas "Tommy" Lynley]], naturally, who forms an OddCouple [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting duo]] with his partner DS Barbara Havers.

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%%* * DI [[TheInspectorLynleyMysteries Thomas "Tommy" Lynley]], naturally, Lynley of ''Series/TheInspectorLynleyMysteries'', who forms an OddCouple [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting duo]] with his partner DS Barbara Havers.Havers. In a break from the formula, however, if she's younger than him, it's not by much[[note]]Creator/SharonSmall is all of five years younger than Creator/NathanielParker[[/note]], and the show [[{{Deuteragonist}} is as much about her as it is about him]].


%%* [[Film/ThePinkPanther Inspector Jacques Clouseau]] is the most famous comic example of this trope.

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%%* [[Film/ThePinkPanther Inspector Jacques Clouseau]] Clouseau from ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' films is the most famous comic example of this trope.



%%* DCI [[InspectorMorse Morse]].
%%* [[ATouchOfFrost DI Jack Frost]]
%%* DCI [[RiversOfLondon Thomas Nightingale]].

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%%* DCI [[InspectorMorse [[Literature/InspectorMorse Morse]].
%%* [[ATouchOfFrost [[Literature/ATouchOfFrost DI Jack Frost]]
%%* DCI [[RiversOfLondon [[Literature/RiversOfLondon Thomas Nightingale]].



%%* Lieutenant Fancy in ''NYPDBlue''.

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%%* Lieutenant Fancy in ''NYPDBlue''.''Series/NYPDBlue''.

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* The Creator/JulesVerne thriller ''Literature/MasterOfTheWorld'' stars John Strock, a police detective traveling around America on the track of a mysterious MadScientist. We also get to meet [[DaChief Strock's boss Mr. Ward]], as well as several subordinate agents who act as [[TheWatson Watsons]].



Contrast with the PrivateDetective and the AmateurSleuth, who also do investigations but are not part of a police force.



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!!Examples!!Examples:



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[[folder:Film]][[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]


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* In ''Film/TheFugitive'' and ''Film/USMarshals'', Marshal Samuel Gerard is a Lead Police Detective of the "large team of subordinates" variety.



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* ''Series/InspectorMorse'': Chief Inspector Morse, with his partner Sergeant Robert Lewis. After the series ended, Lewis was promoted to Lead Police Detective in ''Series/{{Lewis}}''.


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* ''Series/{{Taggart}}'': Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart, assisted by Detective Sergeant Peter Livingstone and then Detective Sergeant Mike Jardine. Following the death of Taggart's actor, Jardine was promoted to Lead Police Detective and gained a sidekick of his own.


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%%[[folder:Literature]][[folder:Literature]]
* The ''Literature/NurseryCrime'' series features DCI Jack Spratt, with Sergeant Mary Mary as his main assistant, and team of subordinates named Butcher, Baker and Kandlstyck-Maeker.



%%* DCI [[Creator/JasperFforde Jack Spratt]]



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%%[[folder:Live
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[[folder:Live
Action TV]]TV]]
* In ''Series/FoylesWar'', Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle has a higher rank than usual but still investigates his cases in person, due to being in a small town and having a manpower shortage on account of the War. He is assisted by Sergeant Paul Milner (invalided out) and MTC driver Sam Stewart (female).
* ''Series/MidsomerMurders'': DCI Tom Barnaby, with a succession of assistants. At the end of the thirteenth season, Barnaby retired, and was succeeded by a new character, DCI John Barnaby, his cousin.
* In ''Series/PieInTheSky'', Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe is the protagonist. He investigates with the assistance of WPC Sophia Cambridge (who levels up to Detective Sergeant by the end of the series) and later PC Ed Guthrie and WPC Jane Morton.



%%* An exception with ''FoylesWar''- Christopher Foyle is a Detective Chief Superintendent.
%%* Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe, ''Series/PieInTheSky''.



%%* [[MidsomerMurders DCI Tom Barnaby (later his cousin John Barnaby)]].



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%%* SherlockHolmes stories had Inspectors Lestrade and Gregson.


[[folder:Film]]
* [[Film/ThePinkPanther Inspector Jacques Clouseau]] is the most famous comic example of this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* DCI [[InspectorMorse Morse]].
* DCI [[Creator/JasperFforde Jack Spratt]]
* [[ATouchOfFrost DI Jack Frost]]
* SherlockHolmes stories had Inspectors Lestrade and Gregson.
* DCI [[RiversOfLondon Thomas Nightingale]].
* [[Creator/GeorgetteHeyer Inspector Hemingway]], although he's [[OvershadowedByAwesome the assistant to Superintendent Hannasyde]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheBill''. [[LongRunner 26 seasons on the air]], it featured 8 Detective Inspectors among its regular cast during that time. The most famous of them probably being Detective Inspector Frank Burnside.
* Inspector Kerry Vincent [[Series/{{Rush}} Rush]]
* Lieutenant Horatio Caine, ''Series/{{CSI Miami}}''
* Lieutenant Fancy in ''NYPDBlue''.
* An exception with ''FoylesWar''- Christopher Foyle is a Detective Chief Superintendent.
* Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe, ''Series/PieInTheSky''.
* DI [[TheInspectorLynleyMysteries Thomas "Tommy" Lynley]], naturally, who forms an OddCouple [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting duo]] with his partner DS Barbara Havers.
* [[MidsomerMurders DCI Tom Barnaby (later his cousin John Barnaby)]].
* Although he's a bit more rough around the edges than is typical for this trope, Detective Inspector Jack Regan of ''Series/TheSweeney'' still counts.

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[[folder:Film]]
*
%%[[folder:Film]]
%%*
[[Film/ThePinkPanther Inspector Jacques Clouseau]] is the most famous comic example of this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
*
%%[[/folder]]

%%[[folder:Literature]]
%%*
DCI [[InspectorMorse Morse]].
* %%* DCI [[Creator/JasperFforde Jack Spratt]]
* %%* [[ATouchOfFrost DI Jack Frost]]
* %%* SherlockHolmes stories had Inspectors Lestrade and Gregson.
* %%* DCI [[RiversOfLondon Thomas Nightingale]].
* %%* [[Creator/GeorgetteHeyer Inspector Hemingway]], although he's [[OvershadowedByAwesome the assistant to Superintendent Hannasyde]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live
%%[[/folder]]

%%[[folder:Live
Action TV]]
* %%* ''Series/TheBill''. [[LongRunner 26 seasons on the air]], it featured 8 Detective Inspectors among its regular cast during that time. The most famous of them probably being Detective Inspector Frank Burnside.
* %%* Inspector Kerry Vincent [[Series/{{Rush}} Rush]]
* %%* Lieutenant Horatio Caine, ''Series/{{CSI Miami}}''
* %%* Lieutenant Fancy in ''NYPDBlue''.
* %%* An exception with ''FoylesWar''- Christopher Foyle is a Detective Chief Superintendent.
* %%* Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe, ''Series/PieInTheSky''.
* %%* DI [[TheInspectorLynleyMysteries Thomas "Tommy" Lynley]], naturally, who forms an OddCouple [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting duo]] with his partner DS Barbara Havers.
* %%* [[MidsomerMurders DCI Tom Barnaby (later his cousin John Barnaby)]].
* %%* Although he's a bit more rough around the edges than is typical for this trope, Detective Inspector Jack Regan of ''Series/TheSweeney'' still counts.

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counts.
%%[[/folder]]

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The Lead Police Detective is a plain clothes police officer who serves as the chief investigator and (often) protagonist of the story. They report to DaChief, but have, at minimum, one subordinate (in many television series, this is a [[OldCopYoungCop younger partner]]) who often acts as TheWatson for them. This character has just enough rank to order people around, and not enough to justify spending all their time in HQ. Instead of sitting in at his desk directing entire units, he will be out and about investigating crime scenes and interviewing witnesses himself.

In LongRunners, the character may be promoted to DaChief or retire, prompting their partner (or a completely new character) to replace their role as Inspector. Both the Inspector and DaChief can be compared to TheCaptain, the military equivalent. Depending on the story, the Lead Police Detective may have a large team of subordinates who are there primarily to show they have rank.
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!!Examples
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Film]]
* [[Film/ThePinkPanther Inspector Jacques Clouseau]] is the most famous comic example of this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* DCI [[InspectorMorse Morse]].
* DCI [[Creator/JasperFforde Jack Spratt]]
* [[ATouchOfFrost DI Jack Frost]]
* SherlockHolmes stories had Inspectors Lestrade and Gregson.
* DCI [[RiversOfLondon Thomas Nightingale]].
* [[Creator/GeorgetteHeyer Inspector Hemingway]], although he's [[OvershadowedByAwesome the assistant to Superintendent Hannasyde]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheBill''. [[LongRunner 26 seasons on the air]], it featured 8 Detective Inspectors among its regular cast during that time. The most famous of them probably being Detective Inspector Frank Burnside.
* Inspector Kerry Vincent [[Series/{{Rush}} Rush]]
* Lieutenant Horatio Caine, ''Series/{{CSI Miami}}''
* Lieutenant Fancy in ''NYPDBlue''.
* An exception with ''FoylesWar''- Christopher Foyle is a Detective Chief Superintendent.
* Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe, ''Series/PieInTheSky''.
* DI [[TheInspectorLynleyMysteries Thomas "Tommy" Lynley]], naturally, who forms an OddCouple [[TheyFightCrime crime-fighting duo]] with his partner DS Barbara Havers.
* [[MidsomerMurders DCI Tom Barnaby (later his cousin John Barnaby)]].
* Although he's a bit more rough around the edges than is typical for this trope, Detective Inspector Jack Regan of ''Series/TheSweeney'' still counts.

[[/folder]]

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