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  • recent grad needs advice

    i am graduating in 2 weeks, and i am freaking out about my job prospects. i want to be a crimnal investigator. i DO NOT want to be a "street cop". In order to reach my goal, do I have to be a "street cop" first?(Basically I don't want to drive around in police car and pull people over etc.) Do investigators have assistants or other who work under them? I know about the fbi etc. but realistically the chances of me getting a job with them are slim to none. iI just don't think that i am cut out for all the action of a "street cop", i just want tt investigate crimes, interrogate people, and build cases, the stuff behind the scenes. anyways don't make fun of me, i am just at a loss right now.i need some good advice from someone who knows the ropes.

  • #2
    Originally posted by hdarby
    i am graduating in 2 weeks, and i am freaking out about my job prospects. i want to be a crimnal investigator. i DO NOT want to be a "street cop". In order to reach my goal, do I have to be a "street cop" first?(Basically I don't want to drive around in police car and pull people over etc.) Do investigators have assistants or other who work under them? I know about the fbi etc. but realistically the chances of me getting a job with them are slim to none. iI just don't think that i am cut out for all the action of a "street cop", i just want tt investigate crimes, interrogate people, and build cases, the stuff behind the scenes. anyways don't make fun of me, i am just at a loss right now.i need some good advice from someone who knows the ropes.
    Apply for a local police department. When you go to your interview, just make it clear to them that you are in no way interested in street cop work and that you want to be a detective. They might put you with a patrolman for a cople weeks as an orientation type of thing, but I don't see any reason why you can't become a detective right after that. It all depends on how good you look in a business suit

    Comment


    • #3
      Hdarby:

      The skills needed to be an investigator (or patrolman, for that matter) are not learned in school. You first have to be a cop, and a good one, to even think about being an investigator. Nobody is going to entertain your dream of being an investigator right out of school. Without knowing you, you are not ready. Don't take that persoanlly, but nobody in your position is ready. I'm not trying to make fun of you here, but your dream is a little naive. Get hired for patrol, put in 8 or 10 years and learn the job fully, then maybe you will be ready. Maybe.

      And a little hint, don't state that you have no interest in being a street cop, during an employment interview. That is, if you want to get hired.
      You can now follow me on twitter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SlowDownThere
        Hdarby:

        The skills needed to be an investigator (or patrolman, for that matter) are not learned in school. You first have to be a cop, and a good one, to even think about being an investigator. Nobody is going to entertain your dream of being an investigator right out of school. Without knowing you, you are not ready. Don't take that persoanlly, but nobody in your position is ready. I'm not trying to make fun of you here, but your dream is a little naive. Get hired for patrol, put in 8 or 10 years and learn the job fully, then maybe you will be ready. Maybe.

        And a little hint, don't state that you have no interest in being a street cop, during an employment interview. That is, if you want to get hired.
        Why did you just crush this kid's dreams. Who are you to say he could not be a detective right away unless you knew what kind of course he took in school.
        I saw a commercial for ITT on TV the other day and they give degrees in detectivology and stuff. Don't be so closed minded. Think "outside the box".
        The possiblilities are endless.

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        • #5
          Sorry, but I have to agree with Slowdownthere. You might not need 8 or 10 years but definitly a few. In fact most police departments career progression plans around here require at least three years in order to apply for a specialty position. Like Slowdownthere said, CERTIANLY, do not say during an interview you have no intrest in a patrolman position. That will surely be the end of that process with that department. Good luck though, eventually after a few years you can surely have a shot at detective.
          That ol' thin line will always be mine.

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          • #6
            Someone correct me if im wrong, but cant a detective's job can be just as dangerous as a patrolman? I would imagine that you aren't just sitting at a desk all the time.

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            • #7
              hey man read the job openings requirments...most entry level criminal investigator positions you can qualify with 2 years of LE exp. or 2 years military exp. OR a 4 year degree. I applied with ICE to be a CI and i passed the exam which they told me at orentation was the hardest part to get pass, so now i wait for an interview date...keep your dreams up...it says apply 9 months before you graduate then do it, I am in the same boat as you, and IF i get this job then all these people who say "you cant you cant, you HAVE to be a cop" will be wrong, I already passed the quailifications of it without having any cop exp. They send you to FLETC for 4 months to train, and some Criminal investigators i talk to say it is enough training to get you started, then they put you on in the field with a senior agent to show you the ropes...keep your hopes up. look into ICE and some homeland sercurity depts. that is where the money goes into.
              Jason
              PM me with any questions man

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              • #8
                in my dept. after taking the required tests for positions, you must have atleast: 3 years for cpl. 5 years for sgt. and atleast 8 years for detective/investigator... that is unless the Sheriff just happens to want you at whatever rank he chooses... Sheriff's perogative.
                Dont walk behind me, I may not lead. Dont walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me.

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                • #9
                  yes for local or state or county, but not federal

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are criminal investigator positions you can go straight into without prior experience (at least in California). However, they tend to be with very specialized agencies such as the Departments of Motor Vehicles, Employment, Consumer Affairs, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Housing, Corporations, Secretary of State, Medical Quality Assurance, Medi-Cal, Insurance Fraud, etc. Because they are specialized, your range of activity will be very limited and in many cases you will be enforcing administrative law (licensing violations) rather than criminal matters. These positions have full police powers, however, because you are not doing general enforcement work, local police and sheriffs personnel may regard you as being a "sort of" cop rather than a real one.

                    The Department of Justice has entry level criminal investigator positions, but there will be stiff competition for them from experienced officers from small PDs who want to move into higher paying jobs.

                    Many counties also employ welfare fraud investigators that are entry level positions.

                    A quick way to find out what's available in your location is to go to the state laws that define which positions have police powers. They usually list the job positions and agency titles by name. For example, California police positions can be found at:

                    http://info.sen.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisg...ction=retrieve

                    Then it's just a matter of following up with those agencies and determining who hires investigators at entry level.
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                    • #11
                      just for the record, i am a female. anyways i really apppreciate all of the advice and i think that i might just go down to the okcpd and ask what the requirements are. i agree that it is difficult to obtain a job as a investigator without experience, but i am more than willing to be someones grunt for a few years to learn the ropes. i don't think that it is naive to have high goals, and alot of people on here downplay education. i am going to keep my goals where they are, i don't have to and won't settle for less. If all else fails i can always go to law school. But i want you all to know that i would not be the awesome investigator that i am going to be someday without my learnin.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hdarby
                        just for the record, i am a female. anyways i really apppreciate all of the advice and i think that i might just go down to the okcpd and ask what the requirements are. i agree that it is difficult to obtain a job as a investigator without experience, but i am more than willing to be someones grunt for a few years to learn the ropes. i don't think that it is naive to have high goals, and alot of people on here downplay education. i am going to keep my goals where they are, i don't have to and won't settle for less. If all else fails i can always go to law school. But i want you all to know that i would not be the awesome investigator that i am going to be someday without my learnin.
                        Let me add that your potential for an immediate dective position will also hinge on how cool you can act in your pre-employement interview.
                        Have you ever seen that CSI Miami show where that red haired actor who used to be on NYPD Blue talks with that sorta Dirty Harry voice? Try to do that, but be more feminine about it. Every time the interview panel asks you a question, pause for a full thirty seconds and look them up and down with a tough TV detective look.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hdarby,

                          Welcome to the job hunt. Now is a great time for you to put your investigative skills to work and hunt down an entry level position as an investigator. There are hundreds of positions that you can apply for online. I would suggest starting your search at usajobs and narrow your search to the GS-5/7 positions. Other than that it comes down to regular searches of the internet with smaller agencies and any contacts you may be able to make in your city or state. It also never hurts to personally contact recruiters, if for no other reason than to see what steps you might make to become more desirable as a recruit. Anyway good luck and congrats on finding a great source of information on this forum. I suggest you continue to look around this place as it has some great information.
                          Last edited by Trace; 05-26-2013, 10:51 AM.

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                          • #14
                            My .02

                            First I do not know what you have a degree in. I do know that Accounting is a highly sought after skill in some of the more well known agencies. Second, the belief that you need x number of years in local law enforcement or the military is not true. It has been my personal experience that the agency looks at number of factors when deciding on whether or not to hire you. For example, you could work as a teacher or Computer Technician for five years and then apply with the F.B.I. They would place you into one of the nine skills areas. (https://www.fbijobs.gov/sajobdesc.asp?requisitionid=368) It is not an absolute that you have any law enforcement officer experience. The F.B.I., D.E.A., etc... have hired many lawyers, cops, teachers, ex-military, the list goes on. The worst they can say is no. And you can always re-apply! I say apply and see what happens! Best of luck to you.

                            Patriot72

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                            • #15
                              this might sound like a stupid question but, are there any S/A vacancy openings that are not listed on opm website?

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