Police detectives gather evidence and investigate crimes. Some are assigned to work for an interagency task force that specializes in specific crimes such as homicide or fraud. They examine records, conduct interviews, and arrest suspected criminals. They are assigned cases on a rotating basis and will work on a case until it is closed or a conviction is secured.
A career as a police detective typically means long days, intermitent battles with politics, investigative dead ends and regular sleepless nights. This career can also lead to a fulfilling adventure into the world of law and criminal justice. Most police detectives specialize in a specific area – such as white collar crimes, homicide or sex crimes – and they work each case until it is either solved or goes 'cold'.
A few select police detectives are commissioned by federal law enforcement agencies to work on task forces toward a common end. For example, VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Unit) is a task force that is comprised of FBI Profilers, FBI Special Agents, police detectives and forensic pathologists who investigate violent crimes with federal jurisdiction.
To become a police detective you must usually start out as a uniformed police patrol officer. A patrol officer is required to pay his or her dues and gaining experience and education before moving up the ranks to become a police detective. As positions become available a police officer can test for the position of police detective. Many police agencies allow patrol officers to test to become a detective after 2 to 3 years with the department. Some departments require 5 years. The promotion from police patrol officer to police detective is typically not a speedy process. Larger departments require applicants to possess 60 units of college credit or an associate degree. Smaller police departments may not require college credit but a college degree or college education at some level makes for a much more well-rounded and qualified police detective.
For more information online police detectives view the police officers page.
||Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
||Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
||Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
||Colorado Technical University (CTU) A degree from Colorado Technical University can connect you to what matters most - a powerful professional network, real-world faculty and accessible, innovative technology. So once you earn your degree, you can hit the ground sprinting. Learn More >|
||University of the Rockies University of the Rockies provides high-quality, accessible learning opportunities globally for diverse groups of individuals seeking preparation for life goals, professional practice, service, and distinguished leadership. Learn More >|