How To Become A Police Detective

Police detectives help save the lives and property of citizens. They are criminal investigators who collect evidence while investigating many different types of crimes. The duties of police detectives vary according to which agency they work for and the size of the agency.

Job Description
The following is a list of critical tasks performed by the police detectives:

  • Testify as a witness in court
  • Secure dead bodies and obtain evidence from them
  • Gather evidence from suspects
  • Record investigation progress, maintain criminal information, and submit reports for warrants
  • Check wounded victims if they are breathing or alive
  • Prepare charges or responses against charges by using set procedures
  • Gather facts and statements from complainants, witnesses, and the suspects
  • Prepare and give search and arrest warrants
  • Note, mark, measure, and photograph objects to collect evidence

How to Become a Police Detective?
To be a police detective, you must be a US citizen and at least 21 years old. You will be required to have a valid driver's license and must pass a fitness test for police detectives. The fitness test also requires you to meet hearing and vision standards. Detectives have to pass drug tests, lie detectors, and have several background checks before they are employed.

Police detectives are required to have a high school diploma or a GED. However, most states prefer police detectives to acquire an associate or a bachelor's degree. Police detectives should preferably have degrees in law enforcement, police science, criminal justice, or criminology; however, detectives may be hired if they have earned another type of undergraduate degree. To become a police detective, you may also choose the option of online education, with is both convenient and cost effective. Detectives who speak more than one language are preferred by urban police departments and federal law enforcement agencies.

To be a police detective
, it is usually required that you serve as a police officer or in armed forces for several years. This experience is not always required, but this experience may help you stand out while competing with others who are looking for a police detective job. Agencies also require the individuals to receive training before they are able to work as police detectives. Training is conducted at local and state operated police academies.

There are certain qualities and skills that are important for the police detectives:

  • Multitasking ability to carry out various tasks and complete documentation.
  • Communication skills to speak to people and gather facts.
  • Empathy to understand other person's perspective.
  • Good problem solving ability and judgment to make correct decisions.
  • Leadership, strength, and stamina to perform the role of police detective effectively.

Career Outlook and Salary
The employment opportunities for police detectives are likely to grow by seven percent between 2010 and 2020. The jobs in local police departments will increase due to the continued demand for safety, but state and federal detective jobs are likely to get more competitive over time. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual pay for police detectives was $55,010 in May 2010.

Q:How long does it take to become a police detective?

A:It can take you anywhere from 4 to 8 years to become a police officer after high school. The first step is to get a 4 year bachelor degree. Most states require a bachelor degree or an associate degree for becoming a police officer. You can then start your career as a police officer after getting formal training. After completing the probationary period and gaining enough experience on the job, you can progress towards police detective careers.

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