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  • grog18b
    replied
    Originally posted by iamacop View Post
    After I talked to a buddy of mine in CID-Persons' Division at my department, and he showed me his active 108 cases, I said, no-way Jose'...... Maybe if the case load wasn't that bad, but that's not for me...
    I used to think the same way... Back in the early 90s some of our crime people had 100+ open cases, but that was due to having a crime commander that would not allow them to close cases with no leads. It put me off of the crime room for years. Every time I thought about it, the image of me standing in a pile of reports quickly made the thought go away. I transferred to another station with a more realistic commander that would go over cases and if no leads, would close them himself. Another consideration is location. While working in Pike County, our crime rate was over the top, being on the border of NY and NJ, with a summertime population of over 100,000 people. I transferred to a much slower area with half the population, and mostly farming communities, and was able to work a case to death. I wouldn't want a crime job in a very high crime area. Good investigations take time.

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  • iamacop
    replied
    After I talked to a buddy of mine in CID-Persons' Division at my department, and he showed me his active 108 cases, I said, no-way Jose'...... Maybe if the case load wasn't that bad, but that's not for me...

    Leave a comment:


  • ArkansasFan24
    replied
    I have never been in CID, but that realm of things appeals to me more as does ditching polyester, lol. I'm very law, report, and interview-oriented. I'm weird in the sense that I have as much fun reading statutes and writing reports as I do taking down thugs. I'm certainly a meticulous person in the work place, and I like to hang around calls longer than patrol work would normally allow. Law school is definitely something I'd like.

    However, I think the different kinds of special teams, if agencies like mine had those, dealing specifically with street crimes, narcotics, etc would be very interesting and rewarding. If I were ever to return to municipal law enforcement then I'd really want to try this.

    Leave a comment:


  • grog18b
    replied
    I worked the road for 15 years before I moved into our crime room. The transition was easy for me because in my department our crime and patrol work closely together, and for most crimes patrol conducts the initial investigation, unless the crime is serious (ie homicide). Once the initial report is taken it is up to the crime cpl to determine if the patrol member does the follow up or if the case is sent to an investigator.

    I really enjoyed working in the crime unit, and handled a few high profile cases. The one thing I really liked about patrol ( I worked mostly midnight shifts) was if something was really messed up, I always had the option of calling for an investigator. When I became the investigator, I was the one being called out at 2am for the mess.

    The thing that will benifit you the most is taking any and all extra classes you can, such as child abuse investigations, crime scene eviidence, photography, and any other class that will help you do your job better. Read, read, read. Take some major case reports done by your peers and see how they do things. Having good samples of affidavits, and warrants will also help a lot.

    My first case in the crime room was a meth lab. When I worked patrol, we pretty much secured the scene and helped with evidence collection and scene security, and did interviews. Never did the complaints for one, so I had to look all the info up. Took a while, and the subsequent ones are always easier, but it's better to do the research before you need it, and have time to do it.

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  • pulicords
    replied
    Originally posted by phillyrube View Post
    The trouble with burglaries and larcenies is there is little to go on, so clearances suffer. If you have the time, you can clear them, but the caseload gets backed up, so you have to clear and move on.
    On the other hand, the nice thing about burglaries and larcenies is: Suspects usually don't limit themselves to one incident. If you can pin a suspect down on one crime, often he/she can be connected to other open or suspended cases. Proper interrogation techniques and/or use of search warrants can go a long way towards reducing future crimes as well as recovering stolen property and clearing other offenses.

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  • phillyrube
    replied
    Don't get me wrong, I had a good time as a detective, but like Pulicords said, managing the caseload wears on you. I was mostly a property crimes detective, but did my share of CAP offenses. The trouble with burglaries and larcenies is there is little to go on, so clearances suffer. If you have the time, you can clear them, but the caseload gets backed up, so you have to clear and move on.

    Going back to uniform is hard, since everyone thinks you got $hitcanned. The only ways out of detectives is retire or promote...so I got promoted.

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  • GVBD59
    replied
    I'm a little late in chiming in and think you already received some great info. The only thing I would add is you have to be really self motivated to work as a detective. I loved it, but I've seen some officers who were very good on the street fail miserably as detectives, because they couldn't get organized and manage their cases as has been stated. When you take on the job of detective even though it isn't necessarily a promotion in some agencies you are given alot more responsibility. Your supervisors will expect that you got there for a reason and from my experience you won't have near as much actual supervision. The only other advice I would give you is on call sucks. I hated it. I'm in charge of our negotiations unit now and get called out occasionally, but as a detective I couldn't sleep at all the weeks I was on call.
    Last edited by GVBD59; 10-22-2009, 04:37 PM.

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  • YELLOWLAB
    replied
    Thanks to all, who took the time to respond to my question. I know all of us/you have busy liives and you took the time to respond. All your info. is well received and its great to have such help from those who only know of me by a screen name.

    Thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Loose Cannon
    replied
    The toughest thing about working as a detective was learning proper "case management." You get a huge amount of cases assigned, but can only realistically handle so many of them. Some (by necessity) must be suspended or cleared in an expeditious manner, so the most important cases can be handled thoroughly to conclusion. Recognizing which cases to place emphasis on, for how long and with what resources is very tough for some investigators to get a handle on.

    By nature, I hated to "dump" cases (even those with minimal chances of clearance). Learning how to handle those numbers was like juggling chainsaws and paperclips. You've got to get rid of the paperclips to keep from getting your arms cut off by the chainsaws. Once you can properly prioritize your responsibilities, it's amazing how successfully you can deal with serious issues. Without question (IMHO), this ability to prioritize is the toughest key to being a successful detective.
    Pulicords is right on. I did ten years as well and the biggest issue was the case load. That was also the biggest reason I transferred out. If you are given the discretion to prioritize then you can manage, but in my case retirements, promotions, and transfers changed the entire landscape of CID management. The unwritten rule no longer applied regarding violent crimes, crimes against persons, children etc. worked to conclusion and the rest worked when you can. The last three years, I was assigned one case for every two work days. That coupled with a decrease in the number of detectives. More cases and more on-call time. The new bosses were of the attitude that a case number is as good as any other case number period. Cases were pulled at random for quality control and review. So, never mind that I had been working for two weeks running down leads on an armed robbery, I got gigged for not following up on a lead lets say on a forged check. I said all of that to say this; take a good look at your particular situation and the way your detective office is being run. I had some great years and for most of them, ours was run great and I really enjoyed it and it was very rewarding work. But, like anything else, if it is not being managed properly, it can be a nightmare. A couple of things I remember about first going back to CID. It took a while to get used to sitting at a desk. I just needed to drive somewhere. I was so used to driving all day, I couldn't sit still. And I looked like a Goodwill detective until I got my first uniform allowance check, which was nearly a year. Luckily, my Lt. and I were the same size and he took pity on me. He cleaned out his closet of things he no longer wore and gifted me. Man, did that help. I guess as I look back on it, I had about five good years and about five pretty crappy years. The first two, was learning and earning respect as a worthy detective. The next five were great. The last three were spent trying to survive and trying to make up my mind if I really wanted to transfer out. I did and now life is great again. The experience left me a better officer, with a better understanding of the whole picture, and a better attitude in general.
    Hope all of that incoherent rambling helps.
    Last edited by Loose Cannon; 10-22-2009, 03:30 PM.

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  • pulicords
    replied
    I worked investigations for twelve years: Six years in vehicle theft related assignments ("GTA Desk" and multi-agency taskforce) and six years in "Robbery-Homicide." I loved it because:
    1) I had the ability to use investigative skills to follow-up on cases to their conclusion (arrests/filings/convictions).
    2) I was able to resolve cases for victims or their family members (by arrest/conviction and/or recovery of property).
    3) I had the freedom of working the cases with the best chance of resolution (vs handling "everything" with only moderate success).
    4) I learned the science of interview and interrogation, the techniques needed for success, and I obtained the necessary skills to put that knowledge to use.
    5) I was able to build on my successes by passing new found knowledge to co-workers in other details (investigative and patrol) so they could better do their jobs. This laid the groundwork for my next assignment, when I promoted to sergeant.

    The toughest thing about working as a detective was learning proper "case management." You get a huge amount of cases assigned, but can only realistically handle so many of them. Some (by necessity) must be suspended or cleared in an expeditious manner, so the most important cases can be handled thoroughly to conclusion. Recognizing which cases to place emphasis on, for how long and with what resources is very tough for some investigators to get a handle on.

    By nature, I hated to "dump" cases (even those with minimal chances of clearance). Learning how to handle those numbers was like juggling chainsaws and paperclips. You've got to get rid of the paperclips to keep from getting your arms cut off by the chainsaws. Once you can properly prioritize your responsibilities, it's amazing how successfully you can deal with serious issues. Without question (IMHO), this ability to prioritize is the toughest key to being a successful detective.

    Leave a comment:


  • kcpd2528
    replied
    Went to investigations this year, and I love it. I loved patrol, too, but always knew I'd want to try investigations. Couldn't tell you which one I like better. Loved the adrenaline on the street. As a detective, I like the thinking games and I love going out and catching my own bad guys. I'd rather hit the street than sit at a desk anyday...and I guess I'm lucky to have the option.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ten10
    replied
    I'll share my opinion because I was in your shoes not too long ago. I was "strongly" encouraged to apply for our detective trainee spot. I stressed out about it for a while, mainly because deep down I knew I didn't want to do it, but I didn't want to disappoint the individuals pushing me towards it. At the end of the day, I decided at this point in my career (which is early), the road is where its at for me. Part of it was the schedule, I love dog watch and I work 12's...investigations is days and 9's. To each his own I guess...just not something I'm interested in right now.

    Leave a comment:


  • mdrdep
    replied
    Gained 30 lbs.

    Leave a comment:


  • YELLOWLAB
    replied
    Philly, Smurf, TY for your time and detailed info. It sure does not seem what its cut out to be. I like patrol and it would be strange not to get dressed and be proactive. We'll see.

    Leave a comment:


  • Smurfette_76
    replied
    I miss the road. However, my sarge and I have a compromise so to speak. I was originally promoted to patrol investigator three years ago. At my agency, a patrol investigator was there to handle all the "serious" calls. If it needed photographing, interviewing, a search warrant, etc then I handled it or oversaw the road officer IF the road officer wanted to run with it. In the cases that required CID callout, I automatically took the case and handled the scene until a Major Case detective arrived, then I was pretty much at their beck and call.

    Chief then announced that he was doing away with Patrol Investigators and making two new CID Detective positions. The rest of CID works M-F 8-5 with call outs. The two new positions were going to be a modified schedule to cut back on the money spent (double time) to cover CID callouts. I can't work M-F 8-5 in plain clothes. Not only is that NOT something I'm interested in, it doesnt' work with all the therapies, meetings and stuff I have to do with my son. So, this new Detective position sounded great. I ended up being one of the two picked.

    It took me.....six or eight months to get used to it. I do not like plain clothes. I do not stay in an Office and am constantly on the road. IMHO, its an Officer safety issue and I am very uncomfortable getting out of my car on someone wearing plain clothes. I work anything from a 12 to 12 to a 5 to 5, depending on what my case load looks like. I wear plain clothes in and have my uniform in the car. When I'm done with office work, I change clothes and out I go. I don't have to answer calls for service, though I back up the on duty shift all the time. I can self-initiate everything and it usually doesn't take long to end up knee-deep in something. If there is a call that would be CID, then I'm there. I still oversee patrol, covering all follow ups for two patrol teams.

    I like it. It took me, kicking and screaming, to learn to like it. I didn't want to give up being a Detective because I liked it, but I am not going to sit in an Office for 12 hours. As it is now, I have a compromise. Should that change, I'll turn it in and go back on the road. I truly miss patrol...I didn't know I was an adrenaline junkie. Yeah, its a bit of a rush arresting on the bigger cases, but...for ME it's not the greatest of trade offs.

    Leave a comment:

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