Detectives and becoming one of them-easy or tough?
|Detective is an investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person. Private detectives usually operate commercially and are licensed. They may be known as private investigators (P.I.s or "private eyes"). Informally, and primarily in fiction, a detective is any unlicensed person who solves crimes, including historical crimes, or looks into records.|
Who is a detective?
Detective is an investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person. Private detectives usually operate commercially and are licensed. They may be known as private investigators (P.I.s or "private eyes"). Informally, and primarily in fiction, a detective is any unlicensed person who solves crimes, including historical crimes, or looks into records.
Becoming a Detective
In most American police departments, a candidate for detective must have served as a uniformed officer for a period of one to five years before becoming qualified for the position. Prospective British police detectives must have completed at least two years as a uniformed officer before applying to join the Criminal Investigation Department. In European police systems, most detectives are university graduates who join directly from civilian life without first serving as uniformed officers. In fact, many European police experts cannot understand why British, Irish, American and Commonwealth police forces insist on recruiting their detectives from the ranks of uniformed officers, arguing that they do a completely different job and therefore require completely different training, qualifications, qualities and abilities. The opposing argument is that without previous service as a uniformed patrol officer a detective cannot have a great enough command of standard police procedures and problems and will find it difficult to work with uniformed colleagues.
In addition, in some US police departments, policies exist that limit the term that an officer may serve continuously as a detective, and mandate that detectives must regularly return to patrol duties for a minimum period of time. This is based upon a perception that the most important and essential police work is accomplished on patrol, and that the skills, experience and familiarity with their beats that patrol officers maintain are essential for detectives to maintain as well. Investigations, by contrast, often take weeks or months to complete, during which time detectives may spend much of their time away from the streets. In this thinking, rotating officers also promotes cross-training in a wider variety of skills, producing both better detectives and uniformed officers. Such policies also serve to prevent "cliques" within detective bureaus that can contribute to corruption or other unethical behavior.
Detectives obtain their position by competitive examination, covering such subjects as:
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