How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Fresno
Police Department

The Fresno Police Department Investigations Division is responsible for the investigation of all violent crimes. It is organized into five, separate bureaus:

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  • Street Violence Bureau: Investigates violent criminal activity, including robbery, homicide, and serious assaults
  • Family Justice Bureau: Investigates domestic violence incidents, sexual assaults, child and elder abuse, and missing persons
  • Special Units Bureau: Investigates gang incidents and includes a number of specialized task forces
  • Special Investigations Bureau: Investigates narcotics and vice-related incidents
  • Criminal Investigations Bureau: Investigates financial crimes, identity theft, and cyber crimes

How to Become a Detective with the Fresno Police Department

To become a detective with the Fresno Police Department, aspiring law enforcement professionals must first gain valuable experience by working as a police officer.

Joining the Fresno PD – To become a police officer with the Fresno Police Department, individuals must be citizens of the United States; must possess a California driver’s license; and must be at least 21 years old.

All qualified candidates for Fresno Police Department police officer jobs must successfully complete the employment process, which includes:

  • Written examination: assesses a candidate’s knowledge of:

    • Vocabulary
    • English usage
    • Punctuation
    • Report writing
    • Grammar
    • Leadership
    • Public contact
    • Interpersonal relations
    • Judgment skills
  • Panel interview
  • Polygraph test
  • Extensive background investigation
  • Police Department interview

Only those candidates who successfully complete all phases of the pre-employment process may receive a conditional offer of employment to become a police officer recruit. The final phase of the employment process includes the successful completion of a psychological evaluation and a medical examination.

To become a police officer, a police officer recruit must work for the Department for six months. After the completion of this initial experience, new recruits are sent to the Police Academy for a rigorous course of training. They must then complete a 16-week field training program.

Career Advancement to Detective – To become a sergeant (criminal investigator/detective) within the Fresno Police Department Investigations Division, individuals must serve as a patrol officer with the PD for at least 5 years.

Candidates who have completed at least 60 semester units from an accredited college or university may substitute their education for one year of experience. It is typical for officers interested in becoming detectives with the PD to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in areas such as:

  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • Justice administration

Interested applicants can apply online through the City of Fresno Careers website.

The Impact Criminal Investigations and Other Initiatives Have had on Fresno

Fresno, as the fifth most populous city in California, had a population of 509,000, as of 2013. The Fresno Police Department has served this major California city well, reporting that overall crime rates, between 2001 and 2013, fell an impressive 28 percent. This decrease in crime equated to nearly 10,000 fewer crimes being committed during this time.

The Fresno Police Department reported that violent crime, from 2001 to 2013, also saw major decreases. In fact, crimes against persons—defined as murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults—during this time plummeted nearly 40 percent. The Department credits its focused-policing philosophy, its gang eradication efforts, and its community involvement for the significant drop in crime in recent years.

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