The chief administrative offices of a company (1930s+)
Managers; executives: What's the front office think?(1930s+)
A police station (1900+ Underworld)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with front-office
The policy-making or executive individuals in an organization, as in I'll have to check with the front office before I can give you a discount. This term was originally underworld slang for police headquarters or the main detective bureau. It soon was extended to other administrative offices and their personnel.
[ c. 1900