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How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Anchorage
Police Department

Located in the south central region of Alaska, Anchorage is the most populous city in state, with nearly 299,000 residents, as of 2012. Along with Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Anchorage makes up the Anchorage metropolitan area, which, as of 2012, had a total population of 380,821.

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The Anchorage Police Department is the largest police department in Alaska. The Department, which is responsible for a service area of about 159 square miles, reported 13,022 incidences of crime in 2012, which included:

  • Murder and non-negligent homicides: 15
  • Forcible rapes: 303
  • Robberies: 488
  • Aggravated assaults: 1,673
  • Burglaries: 1,158
  • Larceny-thefts: 8,554
  • Motor vehicle thefts: 831

How to Become a Detective with the Anchorage Police Department

Individuals interested in working in the Anchorage Police Department’s Detective Division must first set their sights on becoming an Anchorage Police Department police officer, which is typically the first step towards a career in criminal investigations.

To become a police officer with the Anchorage Police Department, individuals must be at least 21 years old and must possess a valid Alaska driver’s license at the time of hire. Further, all candidates must be able to meet the standards established by the Alaska Police Standards Council.

All candidates for Anchorage police officer jobs must be able to successfully complete the following:

Only select candidates are invited to complete the police officer testing process, which is administered by I/O Solutions. The Department contacts all qualified candidates via email. All applicants must meet the minimum passing score on both the ability test and the selection inventory test to be considered.

Once candidates have passed the initial employment phase, they will be offered a conditional offer of employment and enter the background phase, which includes:

  • Preliminary interview
  • Psychological assessment, which includes a written exam and an interview with a State of Alaska licensed psychologist
  • Polygraph examination
  • Command review and Chief’s selection
  • Background investigation, which includes:
    • Employment history
    • Criminal and civil history checks
    • Military records
    • Driving history checks
    • Credit history checks
    • Interviews with employers, co-workers, spouses, neighbors, references

Upon the successful completion of this portion of the employment process, candidates will receive a final conditional offer of employment, during which time they will be required to successfully pass a drug screening.

Additional information about the testing and hiring process can be found here. Interested applicants may also contact the APD Recruitment Team at 907-786-8811 or at apdjobs@muni.org.

To become a sergeant with the Anchorage Police Department and qualify for a detective job with the Department, police officers must have at least 5 years of experience as a state certified police officer, 3 of which must have been with the Anchorage Police Department.

Desirable qualifications for this position include a four-year degree from an accredited college or university. It is common for individuals in this profession to pursue degrees related to the field of work, such as:

  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Justice administration
  • Police science

Anchorage Police Department and Specialized Units within the Detective Division

The Anchorage Police Department consists of a number of specialized units, including:

  • Bomb Team
  • Canine
  • Hostage Negotiations Team
  • Crisis Intervention Team
  • Data System Section
  • Detective Division
  • Homicide Response Team
  • Identification Section
  • Records Section
  • School Resource Officer
  • Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)
  • Traffic and Crime Prevention Unit

The Detective Division, which is led by a detective captain, consists of two detective lieutenants who each lead a group of detective sergeants:

  • Assault/robbery
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Financial crimes
  • Crimes against children
  • Special victims unit
  • Cyber crimes
  • Vice

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