How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Little Rock
Police Department

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and its largest city, with a population of 724,385, as of 2013. The Little Rock Police Department reported 17,358 incidences of crime in 2013, which included:

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  • Criminal homicides: 32
  • Rapes: 104
  • Robberies: 1,013
  • Aggravated assaults: 1,869
  • Burglaries: 2,904
  • Larcenies: 10,278
  • Vehicle thefts: 1,067
  • Arsons: 91

How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Little Rock, Arkansas

Aspiring detectives that want to work as criminal investigators for the Little Rock Police Department must first become police officers.

Police officers with the Little Rock Police Department are eligible for promotion to criminal investigator positions after 5 years of service with the Department. Although not a requirement for becoming a criminal investigator, many individuals choose to complete a degree in criminal justice or a similar major so as to gain a competitive edge for promotional opportunities.

Meeting the job requirements of the Little Rock Police Department includes being at least 20 ½ years old by the date of the written examination and having no felony convictions.

Candidates who meet the minimum requirements of the Department must then complete the employment process, which includes:

Completion of an application: The City of Little Rock Human Resources accepts applications once or twice a year (2014 recruitment dates can be found here), depending on the needs of the Department. Applicants must complete the online application and supplemental questionnaire as part of the application and selection process.

Completion of phase I of the background investigation: Applicants will be assessed to determine if they possess: felony convictions, poor driving records, and domestic abuse convictions.

Completion of the written examination: Eligible candidates will receive notification of scheduled dates and times for the written exam. The exam is a nationally published entry-level police examination, which assesses a candidate’s:

  • Basic reading, writing and math skills
  • Judgment and problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills

Completion of physical ability testing: The physical ability test is administered at the Little Rock Police Department Training Academy. It consists of a number of physical tasks that must be completed within the time limit of two minutes, three seconds.

Completion of the structured interview: Candidates are assessed in the following areas:

  • Tolerance to stress
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Work standards
  • Assertiveness
  • Decision making/judgment/decisiveness
  • Integrity
  • Verbal communication skills

The hiring process then proceeds through the following steps:

  • Completion of phase II of the background investigation
  • Conditional offer of employment
  • Completion of the polygraph examination
  • Command staff interview
  • Placement on the eligibility list
  • Completion of pre-employment screenings:Includes a psychological examination, a medical examination, and an alcohol screening

Completion of the Little Rock Police Department police training academy: Each annual training program typically begins in July and includes 24 weeks of training.

More information on police recruiting can be obtained by calling the Recruiting Department at 501-918-4300 or the job line at 501-375-5773.

Structure and Organization of the Little Rock Police Department

The Little Rock Police Department is organized into the following bureaus:

  • Executive Bureau
  • Field Services Bureau
  • Investigative and Support Bureau

Criminal investigators/detectives within the Little Rock Police Department work through the Investigative and Support Bureau, which is further organized into the Detective Division and the Special Investigations Division:

  • Detective Division: The Detective Division is responsible for follow-up investigations of all major offenses; this division also provides searches of crime scenes and photographic services.
  • Special Investigations Division: Consists of the following units:
    • Narcotics
    • Street narcotics
    • Special narcotics
    • Vice unit
    • Intelligence unit

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