How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Sacramento
Police Department

Sacramento, the capital city and sixth largest city in the State of California, had a total of 21,117 reported crimes in 2013, according to FBI statistics. This represents a decrease of 10 percent from just a year earlier, despite the fact that the city’s population increased from 470,956 to 476,509 during this period.

The Sacramento Police Department reported 34 homicides in both 2012 and 2013, while incidents of rape decreased during this time from 125 in 2012 to 95 in 2013.

Other crimes that saw significant decreases in Sacramento between 2012 and 2013 include:

  • Robberies: 1,211 in 2012 and 1,158 in 2013, a decrease of 4.4 percent
  • Aggravated assaults: 2,150 in 2012 and 1,850 in 2013, a decrease of 14 percent
  • Burglaries: 4,474 in 2012 and 3,886 in 2013, a decrease of 13.1 percent
  • Larcenies: 12,147 in 2012 and 11,233 in 2013, a decrease of 7.5 percent
  • Motor vehicle thefts: 3,346 in 2012 and 2,861 in 2013, a decrease of 14.5 percent

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How to Become a Detective with the Sacramento Police Department

To become a detective with the Sacramento Police Department, applicants must first work as police officers for at least two years. This means that the path to becoming a detective initially starts by becoming a patrol officer with the Sacramento Police Department.

All new recruits must serve in a probationary capacity for 18 months upon being hired with the Sacramento Police Department. Once the probationary period has ended and after two years on patrol duty, police officers may be promoted to one of the Department’s specialized units, such as investigations.

College Credit Requirements – To become a police officer with the Sacramento Police Department, applicants must first meet the minimum requirements of the Department, which include at least 60 semester credits (90 quarter units) from an accredited college or university

Candidates who have not completed the required education must show proof that they are enrolled in a program and will complete their educational requirements by the end of Academy training.

Just a few of the areas typically studied by aspiring criminal investigators include:

  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Justice administration
  • Sociology
  • Police science

The Application Process – The first step to becoming a Sacramento Police Department police officer, upon ensuring that all minimum requirements are met, is to apply by submitting a City of Sacramento Employment Application.

Upon being accepted by the Department as a potential candidate, applicants are required to complete the following:

  • POST-certified entry-level law enforcement written test
  • A physical agility test administered by the Police Department
  • An oral interview (reserved only for candidates who have successfully passed the written exam)

Upon completion of the oral interview, all qualified candidates are then placed on an eligibility list that is used by the Department to fill vacancies as they occur. Prior to appointment, candidates are then required to successfully complete the following:

  • Background investigation, which includes a polygraph test, fingerprinting, and drug usage history
  • Medical examination
  • Psychological exam
  • Pre-employment drug screening
  • 23-week POST Basic Police Academy
  • Field training program

Applicants may also contact the toll-free job line at 1-877-773-5627 or the recruiting department at police_recruiting@pd.cityofsacramento.org for more information on the hiring process and upcoming recruitment events.

Criminal Investigator Jobs in Sacramento, California

The Sacramento Police Department supports a number of criminal investigator jobs through its extensive Detective, Youth and Family Services, and Special Investigations Divisions:

Detective Division – The Detective Division of the Sacramento Police Department is responsible for the investigation of a number of crimes, ranging from theft and robbery to homicide and aggravated assault. The Detective Division also oversees the Crime Alert/Secret Witness Program, which focuses on the apprehension of criminals in the Sacramento area.

Special Investigations Division – The Special Investigations of the Sacramento Police Department investigates drug-related crimes that range from street-level drug deals to major drug trafficking organizations. The Special Investigations Division is comprised of teams that investigate illegal drug activity by obtaining information from informants and members of the community.

Youth and Family Services Division – The Sacramento Police Department’s Youth and Family Services Division is responsible for conducting investigations involving family abuse and domestic violence cases. This Division also oversees a number of community programs related to family/domestic crimes.

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