How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Jefferson County, the most populous county in the State of Alabama and part of the Birmingham metropolitan area, has a population of more than 661,000. Within Jefferson County, criminal investigators work through the Criminal Investigations Division of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office currently has a workforce of 573 sworn deputies.

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How to Become an Investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Individuals who want to work for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office as a criminal investigator must first become employed as a sheriff’s deputy.

Applicants for sheriff deputy jobs must be at least 21 years old and must possess a valid driver’s license. Candidates must also be able to successfully complete the following:

  • The Alabama Police Officers Standards and Training physical agility test and knowledge tests
  • A thorough drug screening and medical examination
  • Academy training through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Academy, which includes 520 hours of APOSTC minimum standards curriculum, as well as specialized deputy sheriff’s curriculum

Individuals can be promoted to criminal investigator/detective with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office upon completion of one of the following:

  • At least 3 years of uninterrupted service as a sheriff’s deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office


  • At least two years of uninterrupted service as a sheriff’s deputy AND the completion of at least 24 semester hours of relevant coursework from an accredited college or university; coursework must in criminal justice or a related law enforcement field

Job announcements for sheriff deputy positions are posted on the Personnel Board’s website. Candidates may also obtain an application at the Board’s Employment Office, which is located in Birmingham at 2121 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard.

Working for theJefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Officers assigned to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigations Division are responsible for utilizing traditional investigative skills and advanced technical procedures to conduct a wide variety of criminal investigations. The detectives of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are responsible for investigating thousands of cases each year, including cases related to:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Arson
  • Child abuse
  • Identity theft
  • Violations of convicted sex offender laws

The Criminal Investigations Division is organized into the following units:

  • Crimes Against Persons Unit: Responsible for investigating all violent crimes committed against citizens of Jefferson County, such as rapes, robberies, murders, and assaults
  • Youth Services Unit: Responsible for investigating all crimes involving juvenile victims, including physical and sexual abuse of children; child pornography; Internet solicitation of children; juvenile runaways; mission persons; and child deaths
  • Property Crimes Unit: Investigates all property crimes in Jefferson County, including burglaries, auto thefts, theft of personal property, major felony property crimes, and commercial theft
  • Identity Theft Unit: Investigates identity theft crimes in Jefferson County

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