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What Do You Need To Be A Police Detective

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Complete Coursework & Field Training

What does a Police Detective do?

The coursework involved in a program that leads to work as a police officer can vary depending upon the institution and the degree level. For instance, those in a training academy will dive right into the nitty-gritty of everyday police work and not touch on general education requirements, such as you would find in an associate degree program. In both the associate and the bachelors program, students will encounter not only general education courses and several possible electives, but they will also focus on the core courses for police officers, such as those in criminal justice, ethics, corrections systems, communication, and more. Heres a good idea of courses you might encounter, either in the core curriculum of the degree program or at the police academy:

  • Patrol Procedures
Step 5

What Does A Homicide Detective Do

The work of homicide detectives begins at the crime scene, where they work alongside crime scene investigators . They are responsible for analyzing relevant evidence procured from CSIs, such as fingerprints, which can help them identify suspects in murder cases, but they also look beyond forensics to collect information about the crime. Homicide detectives spend a significant amount of time interviewing suspects and others who have knowledge about these individuals. Homicide detectives can then use the information gathered to present assumptions or recommendations to legal professionals through detailed reporting. In some cases, homicide detectives might testify at court proceedings to describe collected evidence and statements in order to shed additional light on the case.

Job Duties & Responsibilities Of A Police Detective

Many people choose law enforcement as a career with the goal of becoming a detective or criminal investigator. Detectives experience a sense of personal and professional satisfaction from solving complex criminal cases, and many people are attracted to detective work because of the great variety in job duties. Generally, detectives and criminal investigators dont know from one day to the next what they will encounter on the job. Listed below are a few common activities

Completing Paperwork

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, through its online database, lists a number of additional duties that a police detective may have during a criminal investigation. Not only do detectives take statements from witnesses and suspects, but they record those interviews. Law enforcement involves the completion of many files, including reports for the commanding officer, files on suspects, and records of the progress of investigations. The detective, along with the criminal investigator, preserves, processes, and analyzes the evidence from suspects, crime scenes, and criminal investigations. Records and files often exist on repeat offenders, and its the detectives job to find those files. Additional tasks may include preparing charges to arrest suspects as well as search warrants.

At the Scene of a Crime

Other Tasks

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Consider Additional Education Or Certification

Youll learn all about interviewing and interrogating people in school and on the job, but taking classes through your department shows initiative that others will recognize when the need for a new detectives arises. Carlin says such classes usually last about a week and you earn a certificate upon completion.

Becoming a detective means trying to gain a promotion when you are working as a police officer. Its important to look around your department and consider what will make you most eligible for the job.

Start Your Journey To Becoming A Homicide Detective Today

Police Recruitment Guidance

A career as a homicide detective holds potential to be both exciting and rewarding because of the significant contribution homicide detectives bring to society. Each step along the path to become a homicide detective holds value. Completing police academy training can help students earn credit hours toward a bachelors degree, as well as reveal options for specialized career paths. Following training, aspiring detectives can apply their knowledge to valuable on-the-job experience, paving the way for faster, more lucrative advancement to detective work.

Find out how to get started by learning more about Maryville Universitys online criminal justice program.

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How To Become A Police Officer In Toronto

The Toronto Police Service is an elite law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the people of Toronto. As the Canadian metropolitan area with the most police officers, Toronto has many career opportunities for aspiring and current police officers, but the hiring process can be competitive. A policing degree or a criminology degree can set candidates apart, lead to promotions, and open doors to a broad range of job opportunities.

Lauriers online Bachelor of Arts in Policing and online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing develop analytical and critical thinking skills, foster key competencies required for leadership roles, and give public safety professionals an edge in their overall careers and salary potentialno matter where in Canada they may be studying from.

What Are The Minimum Requirements For Ontario Police Officer Applicants In Ontario

Before applying, ensure that you meet the minimum requirements. The following list of application requirements applies to most police agencies in Ontario:

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Fluency in English
  • Canadian high school diploma or equivalent
  • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Valid current standard first aid / CPR C certification
  • Class ‘G’ driver’s license, full driving privileges, and a maximum of 6 demerit points
  • No criminal convictions which have not been pardoned and no criminal charges pending

In addition to the above, the Toronto Police Service requires candidates to meet the following requirements:

  • Possess a valid O.A.C.P. certificate,
  • Be able to pass a security clearance as well as a background investigation, credit check, and reference check.

Willingness to serve anywhere in the province is an additional requirement for those applying to the Ontario Provincial Police.

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Are You Already A Police Officer

If you are a working or retired police officer, Lauriers Honours Bachelor in Policing degree is just for you. Designed for those with at least a year of full-time professional work as a police officer, this program is a great fit for those with experience seeking to elevate their career and understanding.

Depending on your prior education and professional experience, you may be eligible to transfer up to 10 of the 20 total credits mandated for the program’s completion. Connect with an enrolment advisor or to learn more.

While police organizations provide new recruits with basic constable training, obtaining a policing degree provides the necessary skills to evaluate and apply different perspectives to better operate in a society that often scrutinizes and challenges police actions. You’ll combine the real-world skills and experience you have acquired in the service with a broader understanding of justice, investigative technique, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving that will help you better serve citizens. Earning a degree later in your career expands your options for new higher-paid roles after retiring from the service.

Potential Disqualifiers For A Policing Career In Canada

What’s it really like to be a Detective?

When preparing yourself for a policing career, you need to be aware of what will disqualify you from the police application process. As far as the written, physical, and medical exams, the requirements are fairly consistent across all agencies.

Language Disqualifier: You need to be fluent in either English or French including being able to speak, read, and understand one of these languages.

Physical Disqualifier: You cannot be in poor physical condition. Failure to successfully complete the physical examination in the minimum time frame is an automatic disqualification.

Test particulars can vary from one police agency to the next. However, all tests simulate critical incidents that police officers are exposed to. For example. the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation , used by the RCMP, consists of three sections:

  • Running 6 laps around a 350-meter obstacle course where you are required to climb stairs and jump over hurdles
  • Pushing and pulling a 70lb weight
  • Carrying 80lbs over a 15-meter distance.
  • Psychological Disqualifiers: A candidate can be disqualified if they do not meet the minimum psychological examination requirements.

    Work Environment Disqualifiers: Police departments require you to work shift work which includes nights, evenings, weekends, and holidays as policing takes place 24 hours per day. If you are unwilling to accommodate this type of work schedule, you will be disqualified from the process.

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    Whats It Like To Be A Police Officer In Ohio

    As with any police department, there are multiple avenues that the law enforcement system is involved in. At its core, youll be responsible for maintaining order throughout your community as well as protecting its citizens.

    You can expect your career to be challenging and demanding, especially with the many tasks youre assigned to do. Lets look at a few of the most common tasks of police officers in Ohio:

    Detective Salary And Job Outlook

    According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2019 the median annual salary for detectives and criminal investigators was $83,170. Any of the following factors may influence a detectives specific salary level.

    • Experience: Those with more years on the force will usually command higher salaries.
    • Education: Having an advanced criminal justice degree or certificate can also result in higher pay.
    • Geography: Certain cities, communities and jurisdictions may pay more or less than others based on factors including crime levels and population.

    It may also be noted the BLS projects detective jobs to grow by 5% annually, which is slightly faster than the average for all other jobs.

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    Get The Right Police Education & Training

    There was a time when becoming a police officer was as simple as graduating high school or earning your GED, then attending a short training academy before diving into on-the-job training. And though those opportunities do still exist, especially in smaller departments, most departments have raised their standards of education to at least two years of post-secondary work. This means pursing an associate degree in law enforcement or a related field, such as criminal justice, criminology, or police science should be the first option to consider. The associate degree can then serve as a stepping stone to the bachelors degree, which then leads to graduate degree options.

    However, other routes to the profession do exist. In addition to the on-the-job training after completing academy training, there is also the military option. Those who work as military police or in a similar capacity while serving their country can be perfectly suited to move into a police force after their military time is up. Lets take a look at the options.

    Associate Degree in Law Enforcement

    Bestfor? Those who want to stand outagainst the competition, or need a basic college degree to apply fora particular job opening.

    Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement

    Best for? Those who have the time and financial resources to earn a four-year degree, want to work in federal law enforcement, or anticipate future professional advancement.

    Masters Degree in Law Enforcement

    Military experience in lieu of a degree

    Preparing For A Police Officer Career: Find The Right Environment

    Good Reasons to Become a Police Officer

    When an aspiring police officer chooses to go to school to obtain formal education, a world of possibilities opens up. Here are some of the potential places where the certificate or degree can be earned.

    Vocational/Trade School

    Some vocational or trade schools have certificate programs that may count towards college credit, such as for a future associate or bachelors degree. Some might offer associate degrees. Vocational or trade schools can provide a way to save money on college costs while receiving necessary college course instruction.


    Military experience is well regarded by law enforcement agencies and police departments. Familiarity with firearms, mental toughness, physical conditioning, discipline and an understanding of command structure and culture are all benefits that come with hiring a recruit with military experience.

    Community College

    Community colleges provide multiple options for students who want to become police officers. Students can complete their associate degree in two years or a certificate in a few months. As an added bonus, many community colleges allow credits earned in a certificate program to go towards an associate degree.

    Law Enforcement School

    4-year schools

    Departments that require a bachelors degree are often found at the federal level. However, even if a four-year degree isnt required, getting a bachelors degree can be a prudent decision: it can increase the chances of getting hired and promoted.

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    Earn A Bachelors Degree

    While a bachelors degree in criminal justice is not required to become a police officer, it may help officers advance to higher positions in the force. To have those types of opportunities, it is key to combine skills gained from this type of degree program with comprehensive on-the-job training and experience.

    Criminal justice degree programs allow students to examine crime as a social phenomenon by combining theoretical learning with field-based education. Additionally, some programs allow students to earn credits toward a bachelors degree for successfully completing police academy training. For example, Maryville Universitys online bachelors in criminal justice degree program allows students to get up to 13 credit hours for successfully completed police academy training through select academies.

    Typical criminal justice coursework can include criminology theory, criminal law and procedures, multicultural policing, abnormal psychology, and more relevant subjects to help students approach detective work from a broader perspective.

    Police Officer Salaries Across The Us

    Salaries of police officers are based on many factors, including experience, skills and training. However, one of the most important factors is based on geography. Certain areas of the country pay more, but are often in areas that have higher costs of living. For more information about what police officers can make and where they can make it, check out the map below.

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    How To Become A Police Officer Or Detective

    The education typically required to enter the occupation ranges from a high school diploma to a college degree. Most police and detectives must graduate from their agencys training academy before completing on-the-job training. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, usually at least 21 years old, and able to meet rigorous physical and personal qualifications.

    How To Become A Homicide Detective: The Complete Guide

    Do You Need College To Be A Police Officer?

    Learn how to become a homicide detective and read what it takes to be successful on the job.

    Murder is the ultimate crime. No amount of wishing is going to bring someone back from the dead. Thats why solving murder is so important for our society, and why it takes a special person to be an effective homicide detective. Heres how to become a homicide detective and what youll do in this demanding career.

    When a murder is reported, homicide detectives and the CSI unit are sent out to evaluate the crime scene. They work together to examine the scene, talk with witnesses, and check for and collect evidence. While the CSI unit, with its state-of-the-art equipment processes evidence, homicide detectives interview witnesses and suspects. The sooner detectives act on information and evidence, the better their chances of solving a murder. Effective teamwork between detectives and their CSI unit is one of the main ways that police are able to solve murders.

    The homicide detective in charge of the murder scene has certain duties and responsibilities. Once you become a homicide detective, youll do, and oversee, the following tasks:

    When theyre not at the scene of a crime, detectives review case files to look for clues or analyze the previous days notes.

    Homicide units are set up in a variety of ways, but its common to have one or more homicide teams on a police force, supervised by a lieutenant, with each team having a sergeant in charge, and detectives working under him or her.

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    You Need To Pass Background Checks And Physical Exams

    In order to qualify for a position as a police officer, you must pass the background check. This check is very important, as it ensures that you have the moral strength and the aptitude to possess a gun and a police badge. The recruiting officers may obtain transcripts from your school and interview your teachers and professors to find out more about your study habits and demeanor. They will reach out to your friends and family and look at your criminal records to ensure you dont hide anything.

    In addition to background checks, you need to pass a physical examination. Here, the recruitment officers will check to see if you have a good sense of hearing and sight and verify your level of strength, dexterity, stamina and overall agility. Some states may require you to pass a psychiatric evaluation.

    Nature Of The Work For Detectives And Criminal Investigators

    The work of a detective and criminal investigator, sometimes referred to as an agent or special agent, involves protecting peoples lives and property while collecting evidence and gathering facts for criminal cases. A detectives job is to issue citations or warnings to individuals who break the law. Detectives will spend a lot of time writing reports or keeping records of any incidents they may come across. Detectives will also gather facts and collect evidence as well as other investigative duties.

    The work of a detective depends on where you work, such as a local, State, or Federal agency as well as their occupational specialty. The duties a detective may perform in a Federal agency to enforce aspects of the law can also vary. No matter where they work, report writing and keeping detailed records are the most important part of a detectives job, especially if they are needed to testify in court.

    Also known as plainclothes investigators, some detectives will be assigned to interagency task forces depending on the specific crime that needs to be combated. The work of a detective can involve examining records, conducting interviews, participating in raids or arrests, and observing suspects activities. Homicide and fraud are examples of violations as detectives will usually specialize in one type of violation. Once cases are assigned to detectives on a rotating basis, detectives will work on the case until it is either dropped or an arrest is made.

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