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  • advice on making Detective

    Guys I need some advice. I have been at my department for 7 years. I have spent all of it in patrol as an officer. I do not really care that much about being a supervisor but I think that I would love to work in detectives. I do not have any experience in investigations and would like to know if there are any books that I can buy that will possibly give me a leg up when I interview. There is no test and the interview is with the C.I.D. Captain and the Police Chief. Thanks.

  • #2
    Start kissing *** and writing checks to the local politicians.

    Seriously.
    Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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    • #3
      Does your agency have a training program which allows patrol officers to work in various special units periodically to gain broader experience, and see if they are both interested in and a good fit for special duties?

      I ask because several of the local PDs I work with have that type of program. Patrol officers can apply to do time with the Narcs, Robbery, Gang Unit, Crimes Against Persons, various task force assignments, etc. I've seen it where guys do a one week temporary training period to up a 6 month training period. It benefits everyone because the officer may think he's not interested in being a Narc, but after a two month temp assignment realize they really enjoy it, or the officer may want to work sex crimes cases only to realize they aren't comfortable pretending to be nice to a pedophile or rapist in hopes of getting a confession.

      The flip side is the people already in the special duties get a chance to see if the person fits in. Let's face it some great patrol officers just don't have what it takes to be investigators, and some guys who are mediocre on patrol might have the skills necessary to be really good investigators. Many have what it takes to do either, and the a training program like the ones I've seen let's the agency get a feel for those who are suited to a special duty and those who aren't.

      It really helps those patrol officers get a better understanding of what detectives need from the patrol guys to ensure successful prosecutions, and helps those patrol officers figure out what special duties they want to apply for. Further, when it comes time to apply it usually helps. An officer may be applying for a detective slot with Narcs, but have done their detective training rotation in Robbery, but they still have some real experience investigating and filing cases, which will look good.

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      • #4
        What kind of training have you been to?

        When I was uniformed, I took every training class I could get my hands on, whether the agency paid for it or I paid for it. I took classes in cyber crimes, ID Theft, Sex Crimes, Drug Interdiction, Interrogation/Interview, Terrorism stuff, etc....

        When we had an opening within our unit, I had a heads up because of all the training that I had.

        Just a thought.

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        • #5
          " Fundamentals of criminal investigation" by Charles O'Hara is a book you might want to read,also if your state offers career incentive courses such as ' interviews and interrogation', which is an 80hr. block and gives a little extra pay each month. Write good reports, they will be looking at your reports.

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          • #6
            Bullseye,

            I'm glad u brought this up...I'm in the same boat you are. I put in for CID and I am curious on what types of questions might be asked on a Detective Oral Board. I'm assuming elements of crimes, definitions of PC, etc., but If anyone has ever had an interview for a CID type position...enlighten us. PLEASE.

            Thanks...Goodluck Bullseye.

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            • #7
              Thank to all

              I appreciate all of the advice on making detective. I do not know if I would be allowed to attend the training that was suggested because we are not a large department. I will give it a try. Thanks again.

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              • #8
                In my old department two methods seem to work:

                1. Attend alot of training. Perform good investigations while on patrol. Make a good reputation for yourself as an intelligent officer.

                2. Be a 5'1" female with a sorority personality (i.e. giggle and laugh alot). Have no knowledge of the city's layout. Wreck a couple of patrol cars (while on probation).

                Either one could get you promoted to detective in a couple of years.

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                • #9
                  On my old job...............kneepads.
                  retired, NOT retarded

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                  • #10
                    As a detective supervisor I usually offer a few words of advice to new officers who ask me about becoming a detective. As a 7 year officer some of this you know but you may find some of it useful;

                    While in patrol, be the best street cop you can be. Don’t be sucked in by cynical co-workers who are going nowhere in their careers and want to keep you down with them.

                    Next, talk to people. Anybody you can. Build your communication skills. As a detective you will find that your interview skills may be the only thing that solves a homicide or other major crime.

                    Next, learn to use the English language. Good writing skills are essential for a successful detective. When I am reviewing candidates for a detective position, one of the things I do is pull a few random reports to see how they write. English 101 at a community college can do wonders for one’s writing ability.

                    Finally, once you become a detective, don’t think that your job is superior to others in the agency. Patrol, traffic, school resource, marine, K-9, court security, corrections, crime scene, etc… all have important jobs to do just like detectives. Learn to work with not against the other units in your department.

                    Good luck.
                    Fear not the armed citizen but rather the government that tries to disarm him.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks DETSARG.

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                      • #12
                        I interviewed and got a Detective position in my agency last year. It was a great experience but it didn't last long. My number came up in a Sgt promotion so back to patrol I went. My advice is make the best of what you have now. If training is not available then learn on your own. Search places like Amazon for books on interview and interrogation and basic investigations. You can sometimes get great deals on used books so they don't cost too much. Next take your investigations on patrol to the next level. Put more work into them showing your bosses and agency Detectives that you are putting in the effort. Talk to your Detectives, ask questions, watch them work when you can. Talk to DAs about the types of evidence you need in court for certain crimes. Basicly be a sponge. In our agency when you interview for Detective they pull a random sampling of your reports. Be prepared to talk about them, good or bad. Remember that now, so all your reports from now on are first rate. Don't take short cuts and don't be afraid to put in some work. Know your search and seizure laws as well as Miranda, Messiah rights.

                        If you put in the effort it will show, trust me. Good luck and let us know how things go.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cblackthorne View Post
                          In my old department two methods seem to work:

                          1. Attend alot of training. Perform good investigations while on patrol. Make a good reputation for yourself as an intelligent officer.

                          2. Be a 5'1" female with a sorority personality (i.e. giggle and laugh alot). Have no knowledge of the city's layout. Wreck a couple of patrol cars (while on probation).

                          Either one could get you promoted to detective in a couple of years.
                          Well I think your a complete idiot for quote number 2 but I personally made detective in exactly a year in my department. All I had to do was make a good reputation, stand up to idiot deputies who make comments like you about women on the force and of course kick *** and get shot saving my partner.
                          ‎"I'm angry. It's okay. I'll process my anger. I love myself. Whoosah.

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                          • #14
                            Why not go to the guys who will interview you and ask them what you need to do to make detective? Make sure your sergeant knows your goal, too. Offer, whenever possible, to help other guys with their cases, especially the more complex ones. When at a call, instead of taking a transport or scene security, take an interview. Go to the nitpickiest FTOs and sergeants and ask for honest critiques of your reports. Do the same with the detectives and prosecutors who work off your reports.
                            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                              Why not go to the guys who will interview you and ask them what you need to do to make detective?

                              Make sure your sergeant knows your goal, too.

                              Offer, whenever possible, to help other guys with their cases, especially the more complex ones. When at a call, instead of taking a transport or scene security, take an interview.

                              Go to the nitpickiest FTOs and sergeants and ask for honest critiques of your reports. Do the same with the detectives and prosecutors who work off your reports.
                              These are all excellent responses...here, in my opinion is why...

                              1 - As long as there are, currently, no exams/orals for the position in-progress - these are questions that are not a threat to your co-workers who will try for the same position, and do not place the evaluators ina compramising position...they should be able to tell you.

                              2 - So your sergeant can write evals/commendations/etc. stating that you are already doing work at the "next level."

                              3 - Learn the phrase "GOYA AKOD", it is an acronym for "get off your...keester...and knock on doors." After an arrest, or a crime (one of your own), re-visit the area, check in with potential witnesses who may have a story to tell, but were not available on the day of the arrest/report. That will usually help nail shut your case...or perhaps exonerate the suspect (Yeah, it's rare, but it shows objectivity).

                              4 -Good advice for anyone wanting to do better work at any time, whether a promotion is in the works or not.

                              And a couple of my own...

                              Learn every info gathering system/criminal database known to LE. Imagine the look on your friends' faces when you uncover the several years old, out-of-state felony warrant for a suspect that has usually had a "revolving door" experience with your local agency.

                              When one of your cases is being presented to the D/A for filing, ask the detective if you can go along. See how the Det works with the D/A.

                              Learn interveiwing techniques, crisis negotiation, peer counseling...these activities require "active listening" techniques which require you to master the art of open-ended questions.

                              Seek training on an advanced field of investigation, great if the agency pays, but if it's available and you have the time and money, go on your own. Make sure there's a certificate of completion/attendance to go in your personnel file.
                              "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                              Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                              Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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