How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Fairbanks
Police Department

Located in the Tanana Valley along the Chena River, the City of Fairbanks is the second largest city in Alaska, with a population of 34,540 residents as of 2013. It is part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, which, during the same time, had a population of more than 97,000.

In 2009, the Fairbanks Police Department documented 26,681 calls for service. Of those calls, 2,696 people were arrested.

As of 2013, the Fairbanks Police Department had 47 sworn officers and an authorized budget of $6.2 million. Specialized assignments include a Bicycle/Foot Patrol, a Traffic Enforcement Unit, a K9 handler, a Tactical Police Team, a Drug Investigator, and a School Resource Officer.

How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Fairbanks Police Department

Applicants interested in becoming a detective for the Fairbanks Police Department must first gain valuable experience as a police officer.

Candidates for police officer jobs in Fairbanks must be at least 21 years old and must be able to successfully complete Police Academy training and the required period of service required to achieve (within 18 months of employment) a Basic APSC certificate. The employment process for police officer candidates includes:

  • Meeting minimum physical fitness requirements
  • Passing a hearing and vision examination
  • Obtaining a valid first aid and CPR card
  • Passing a written examination
  • Passing polygraph and psychological examinations
  • Passing a background investigation

Although the Fairbanks Police Department does not specify how much experience a police officer must attain before being eligible for promotion to detective, the Department notes that experienced officers may be assigned to the investigation units and that as experience and training are gained, the degree of direct supervision decreases.

Fairbanks police officers may also increase their chances for advancement to investigative positions upon completion of a formal degree program related to the profession. Typical degree programs pursued by individuals interested in a career in criminal investigations include:

  • Forensic psychology
  • Sociology
  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Criminal justice administration

Candidates who want to apply for a police officer position with the Fairbanks Police Department should submit a City of Fairbanks application to the City Personnel Office at 800 Cushman Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701.

Criminal Investigations with the Fairbanks Police Department

The criminal investigators of the Fairbanks Police Department work through the Department’s Investigations Unit, which includes Major Crime and Property Crime sections. The Investigations Unit works together as a team for all major incidents; however, these units are typically organized as follows:

  • Major Crimes
    • Homicide
    • Robbery
    • Sexual assault
    • Child abuse
    • Felony assaults
    • Other serious crimes against persons

  • Property Crimes
    • Felony-level theft
    • Felony-level vehicle theft
    • Burglary
    • Forgery
    • Criminal mischief
    • Fraudulent use of an access device

In 2009, there were no reported homicides in Fairbanks, although there were several attempted murder cases and 37 death investigations. During the same year, there were 127 cases investigated by the Property Crime Unit.

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