Detectives are police officers who have gained the experience and training necessary to investigate crimes. Their responsibilities include interviewing suspects and witnesses, collecting evidence, conducting surveillance, finding and arresting suspects, writing reports, and testifying at trials. Most successful detectives are clever, curious, attentive to detail, and hard-working. Additionally, perseverance may also be important, as crime-solving doesn’t always happen linearly or quickly.
WHERE TO START FROM?
Now comes the question on how to become a detective? While the path towards becoming a police detective may vary, generally, after obtaining a high school diploma or GED, it can take anywhere from 5-8 years to be promoted from a police officer to a detective. In fact, prospective detectives will need to graduate high school, and most will complete an associate’s (two-year) or bachelor’s (four-year) degree in criminal justice, psychology, criminology, sociology, or a related field.
KEY REQUIREMENTS AND SKILLS
Becoming a detective requires both experience and training. The promotional ladder in police departments is strictly defined, and new police officers must be promoted within their own rank before they can try to become detectives. Most police departments require officers to gain four or five years of experience and pass a written exam before they can move on to a detective position. Some police departments also require prospective detectives to complete a certain number of hours of college coursework.
New detectives may attend a detective or investigator training program through their police department to learn how to interview witnesses, collect evidence, gather intelligence, and work with informants.
In addition, to be a competitive applicant for the police department, prospective officers will have to pass physical exams, background checks, and other requirements. In some cases, once hired as a police officer, candidates will attend a police academy for further training. The length of academies varies by department, city, and state. Additionally, after graduating from a police academy, aspiring detectives will need to continue developing experience for a minimum of three years. As a police officer prior to being promoted to detective. To be promoted, officers must complete an exam. They will be evaluated based on their service within the police department.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FITNESS
In order to be a successful detective, you must maintain your physical and mental health. It’s very important for a detective to be in top physical shape. Stay fit by doing lots of exercises and physical training. Exercise will also help you maintain your mental health.
Furthermore, continue to learn about new computer technologies and police techniques. It’s very important for a detective to stay abreast of new police techniques. Having good computer skills is also an important part of being a good detective along with having a good command of communication skills.
WHAT MAKES YOU STAND ALONE IN THE CROWD?
Emotional intelligence can be your special quality being a detective.
An emotionally intelligent individual is both highly conscious of his or her own emotional states. Even negativity—frustration, sadness, or something more subtle—and able to identify and manage them. These people are also specially tuned in to the emotions others experience. It’s easy to see how a sensitivity to emotional signals from within and from the social environment could make one a better detective, as for this post. Fortunately, these skills can be honed.
NOTHING’S BETTER THAN SELF-SATISFACTION
Detectives often juggle multiple cases at a time. They usually work in teams to solve crimes and make the world a better place. Some days may be action-packed, while other days may be a bit more traditional. Either way, it’s nice to know that your career is helping to make your community safer. Actually, it’s the best feeling ever. Being appreciated and respected by the people around you surely uplifts the confidence and motivates you to work harder in the future.
LIFE IS INTERESTING!
One cool thing about being a detective is that no two cases are ever the same. That means you won’t get bogged down with boring, tedious work. There’s always something fresh that’s happening in your day to day work schedule. If I ever got a chance to re-live my life, I’d want to be a detective!
Being a detective may not be as glamorous as Hollywood and prime-time TV make it out to be, but it is certainly a rewarding career.
Having all of the above-mentioned traits will gear up your confidence in becoming a detective. More about how to become a CIA agent?