How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

El Paso County is the largest county in Colorado, with about 623,000 residents (as of 2010). In 2012, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office investigated:

  • 3 homicides
  • 10 attempted murders
  • 3 kidnappings
  • 23 robberies
  • 54 other deaths
  • 207 sex crimes

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office’s Investigations Division is responsible for investigating the majority of felony cases in El Paso County, including crimes against persons and property. The Investigations Division includes the following units:

  • Major Crimes Unit
  • General Investigations Unit
  • Sex Crimes Unit
  • Financial/Computer Crimes Unit

The Investigations Division also oversees the Metro Crime Lab, the Evidence Facility, Victim Advocates, and the Metro VNI.

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How to Become a Detective with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

Before applying for a job with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office as a sheriff’s deputy, individuals must ensure they meet the minimum requirements for employment, which include the following:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must possess a Colorado driver’s license
  • Must be CPR/first-aid certified

Applicants must be able to: successfully pass a polygraph examination, a post-offer physical examination, a background investigation, a computerized voice stress analysis examination, a psychological evaluation, and a drug screening.

Many individuals in the law enforcement field, particularly criminal investigators, choose to complete a formal degree program in areas such as: criminology, criminal justice, sociology, and criminal justice administration. Earning a college degree in an area related to criminal investigations may help propel a career as a criminal investigator and may initiate any number of professional opportunities.

Although the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office does not specify the length of time deputy needs to work as a sheriff’s deputy before promoting to a detective role, advancement periods for deputy sheriffs are as follows:

  • Deputy Designee (during training academy)
  • Deputy III (upon graduating from the training academy)
  • Deputy II (after one year of service)
  • Deputy I (after two years of service)
  • Senior Deputy (after five years of service)

The Investigations Division of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

The Major Crimes Unit is led by a commander, overseen by two lieutenants, and staffed with a sergeant and five detectives. Investigators within this unit are responsible for investigating crimes against persons, including: suspicious deaths, aggravated robberies, homicides, kidnappings, major assaults, and attempted murders.

The General Investigations Unit is staffed with a sergeant and three detectives. Investigators within this unit are responsible for investigating property crimes, including residential and commercial burglaries, motor vehicle thefts, and motor vehicle criminal trespass.

The Sex Crimes Unit consists of one sergeant and five detectives. The investigators of this unit are responsible for investigating all sexual-related offenses, including: child molestation, luring, incest, and sexual assault. Investigators are also responsible for conducting compliance checks on registered sex offenders.

The Financial/Computer Crimes Unit consists of one sergeant and five detectives. Investigators of this unit are responsible for investigating computer and financial crimes, such as: organized crime, fraud, forgery, identity theft, financially related scams, and the sexual exploitation of children.

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