How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Mobile
Police Department

Mobile is the third largest city in the State of Alabama, in terms of population. As of 2013, there were about 263,016 residents in Mobile, making it the largest city in Mobile County and one of the largest municipalities along the Gulf Coast.

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According to the Mobile Police Department, there were 14,796 incidences of crime in 2013, an increase of 10 percent from 2012. The total crimes committed in Mobile in 2013 can be broken down as follows:

  • Homicides: 27
  • Rapes: 75
  • Robberies: 458
  • Aggravated assaults: 1,044
  • Burglaries: 3,221
  • Larcenies: 9,281
  • Motor vehicle theft: 690

How to Become a Detective with the Mobile Police Department

Individuals who want to become detectives with the Mobile Police Department typically begin their careers as Mobile police officers.

All applicants must be at least 20 years old and must have a valid driver’s license from their state of residence to qualify for Mobile Police Department police officer jobs.

Although not a requirement for employment, formal college degree programs are beneficial for individuals in this profession, as they result in higher pay and may result in more opportunities for advancement.

For example, the starting salaries for Mobile police officers are affected by education level as follows:

  • High school diploma: $29,361
  • Associate’s degree: $30,848
  • Bachelor’s degree: $32,410
  • Master’s degree: $34,050

To become a corporal police officer and qualify for advancement to investigative positions, individuals must work as a police officer for at least two years. However, the Department prefers candidates who have also completed college-level coursework in law enforcement.

As such, police officers with formal college degrees may be able to promote to an investigative position sooner than two years. Typical degree programs for individuals in criminal investigations include:

  • Criminal justice
  • Police science
  • Criminology
  • Justice administration

All applicants must complete a civil service test to become a Mobile police officer. Notice is usually given two weeks in advance. More information on upcoming civil service testing dates can be obtained by contacting the Personnel Board at 251-470-7727.

To become a police officer with the Mobile Police Department in order to work toward a detective career, individuals should visit the Mobile County Personnel Board’s website and complete an online application.

About the Mobile Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section

The Mobile Police Department, which has a police force of more than 500, is organized into the following units:

  • Office of the Chief of Police
  • Administrative Services Bureau
  • Field Operations Bureau
  • Support Services Bureau
  • Precinct

Within the Support Services Bureau of the Mobile Police Department is the Investigative Support Division, which is then organized into two sections:

Criminal Investigation Section

The Criminal Investigation Section consists of investigation detectives who work throughout all five of the Department’s precincts. These investigative professionals are responsible for investigating:

  • Assaults
  • Domestic violence
  • Financial crimes
  • Gun crimes
  • Homicides
  • Robberies
  • Sex crimes

Detectives in this division are also responsible for collecting, documenting, and preserving evidence from crime scenes.

Special Investigation Section

The Special Investigation Section of the Mobile Police Department investigates individuals who identify, through investigation, those selling and trafficking narcotics. This Section is also tasked with enforcing laws pertaining to the licensing of establishments that sell alcohol or provide adult entertainment, and is also responsible for investigating illegal gambling and prostitution.

The Department’s Youth Services Unit, which investigates crimes committed against and by juveniles, and the Canine Detail, which searches for suspects, explosive devices, and narcotics, are both organized under the Special Investigation Section.

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