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    I have heard different things from different people I have asked, and I wanted to get everybody's opinion here. What is the easiest way to become a plainclothes detective? I will be graduating in a year and a half or so and some people have told me that the most important thing is doing your time in patrol and gaining experience, and others have told me that with a degree you can get into detective work much faster.

  • #2
    Apply w/ the Feds as an 1811; or become a patrolman and work your way-up.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by safadoretornado View Post
      I have heard different things from different people I have asked, and I wanted to get everybody's opinion here. What is the easiest way to become a plainclothes detective? I will be graduating in a year and a half or so and some people have told me that the most important thing is doing your time in patrol and gaining experience, and others have told me that with a degree you can get into detective work much faster.
      Do you not want to work patrol?

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      • #4
        I'd like to work patrol for a while, but I don't want to stay there forever... ive heard of officers doing patrol for 10-15 years before they make detective... just wondering what the best way to prepare is.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by safadoretornado View Post
          I'd like to work patrol for a while, but I don't want to stay there forever... ive heard of officers doing patrol for 10-15 years before they make detective... just wondering what the best way to prepare is.
          Got you.. I feel the same way.. I would guess it really depends on who you know, much like any other job.. Larger depts would have more slots, likely increasing your odds..

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          • #6
            If you want to be guarnatted plainclothes work, the like the previous poster said apply for a federal 1811 position. If you want to work for a police agency, then it depends on the agency. Typically detective or plainclothes assignments are highly sought after. That means that there is a lot of competition within your agency for a spot. That means that it really depends on what that agency is looking for in a detective. And a lot of times it is not a degree, it could be your performance on the street, your evaluations, etc... Or it's all about politics, who you drink, golf ,hunt with, etc.. Also remember most agencies (or at least the officers who work there) will expect you to put some time in on patrol before you go in to a detective position. Patrol work is where you really learn how to be a cop. If you think about it Patrol officers handle every possible thing that could happen on the street. Patrol also handles the initial investigation, if you don't put your time in , you won't be respected as a detective.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by safadoretornado View Post
              I have heard different things from different people I have asked, and I wanted to get everybody's opinion here. What is the easiest way to become a plainclothes detective? I will be graduating in a year and a half or so and some people have told me that the most important thing is doing your time in patrol and gaining experience, and others have told me that with a degree you can get into detective work much faster.

              Write detailed, complete reports while on patrol. Learn the law and take your cases to a logical conclusion. Many patrol officers just want to clear their call, write their report, and be done with it. Take cases a little bit further, when time permits.
              "Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most. " --Dwight K Schrute (The Office)

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              • #8
                I agree with miked6. Get a job with a Police Department, work hard, make good arrests, take the initiative and show your talents. Meanwhile, if you want to start the process with the feds as an 1811, do so, with the understanding that the process can take years.

                In the meantime your gaining valuable law enforcement experience...life as a Detective involves a lot of patience and typing, who knows you may decided that street level crime fighting is where you want to be.

                As mentioned above...you need to pay your dues and prove yourself to your peers, whether that's in Patrol or in another capacity.
                Last edited by kenjo; 10-10-2007, 06:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GR217 View Post
                  if you don't put your time in , you won't be respected as a detective.

                  GR217 hit the nail on the head. Also, as a new officer trying to get into detectives as soon as possible, your fellow street cops will likely view you as being too scared to work the streets. Obviously this is not always the reason for going into detectives so early, but it does happen quite frequently.

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