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How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Connecticut

The State of Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Crime Analysis Unit reported that, as of 2012, Connecticut’s murder rate was 3.98 per 100,000 residents. The Crime Analysis Unit also reported that total criminal offenses in 2012 were 87,367, which were broken down as follows:

  • Murders: 143
  • Rapes: 923
  • Robbery: 3,691
  • Aggravated assault: 5,410
  • Burglary: 14,738

Detectives and other criminal investigators at the state level work through the Connecticut State Police, which has about 1,130 sworn troopers. The Division of State Police is organized into three components: the Office of Administrative Services, the Office of Professional Standards and Training, and the Office of Field Operations.

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How to Become a Detective in Connecticut through the Connecticut State Police

To become a detective through the Connecticut State Police, a candidate must first become a state trooper, which require, at a minimum,

A high school education is required; however, a college education is encouraged. This may mean completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program in a subject related to criminal investigations:

  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Justice administration
  • Forensic psychology
  • Sociology

After working as a Connecticut State trooper for at least two years (or as a law enforcement officer in an municipal police department or county sheriff’s office), individuals may apply for a position as a Connecticut State Police detective.

Detectives with the Connecticut State Police are expected to have knowledge of:

  • Police and security practices and procedures
  • Relevant state and federal laws, statutes, and regulations
  • Criminal and civil matter investigation techniques
  • Criminal law
  • Court procedures

These investigative professionals must also possess:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Interviewing skills
  • Investigative ability
  • The ability to lead others
  • Basic computer skills

Criminal Investigation Units within the Connecticut State Police

Detectives working for the Connecticut State Police serve with the Office of Field Operations, which consists of the following units/divisions:

Bureau of Criminal Investigations: The Bureau of Criminal Investigations is made up of specialized investigative units/task forces, which include:

  • Statewide Narcotics Task Force
  • Statewide Organized Crime Investigative Task Force
  • Statewide Urban Violence Cooperative Crime Control Task Force
  • Connecticut Regional Auto Theft Task Force
  • Theft Task Force
  • Motor Vehicle Fraud Task Force
  • Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force
  • Central Criminal Intelligence Unit
  • Fugitive Task Force/Extradition Unit
  • Office of Counterterrorism

The majority of these task forces are staffed with Connecticut State Police officers, although some of them are augmented with personnel from Connecticut’s municipal police departments, the Connecticut Motor Vehicle Department, and the Connecticut National Guard. Further, many investigations include established partnerships with a number of federal agencies, including the FBI, the DEA, and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, among others.

Major Crime Squad: The Connecticut State Police’s Major Crime Squad is an investigative unit that is responsible for processing major crime scenes and assuming primary investigations for homicides, bank robberies, serious assaults, kidnapping, and suspicious deaths. Investigators within the Major Crime Squad also assist State troopers with evidence processing, complex crime scene management, and follow-up investigations.

Fire Investigations Unit: The criminal investigators of the Fire Investigations Unit are responsible for investigating fire, arson, and explosion incidents.

Criminal Investigation Bureaus in Connecticut’s Municipal Police Forces

Detectives in Connecticut may also work through the State’s city police departments, the largest of which are:

  • Bridgeport Police Department, Detective Bureau
  • New Haven Police Department, Investigative Bureau
  • Hartford Police Department, Investigative Services Bureau
  • Stamford Police Department, Bureau of Criminal Investigations
  • Waterbury Police Department, Criminal Investigations
  • Norwalk Police Department, Investigative Services

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