How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Hartford
Police Department

In 2012 there were 1,655 violent crimes committed throughout Hartford, a higher-than-average amount when compared to other cities of a similar size. The Hartford Police Department takes every one of these crimes seriously, and ensures the process of implementing justice is given due importance. The Detective Bureau is specifically charged with tackling the toughest crimes and the criminals who perpetrate them, organized into different divisions to meet these challenges head-on:

  • Crime Scene Division – manages crimes scene processing and the collection of vital evidence
  • Intelligence Division – tackles gangs, organized crime, and weapons traffickers
  • Juvenile Investigative Division – investigates juvenile delinquency but also crimes against juveniles, especially sex crimes and domestic violence
  • Vice and Narcotics Division – deals with drug gangs, prostitution, and gambling offenses
  • Major Crimes Division
    • Cold Cases
    • Homicides
    • Financial crimes
    • Auto theft

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Becoming a Detective with the Hartford Police Department

Joining the Detective Bureau takes experience and dedication. To become a detective with the Hartford Police Department, candidates will need to first get their foot in the door as entry-level police officers.

Basic Requirements – Starting out initially as a police officer is the first thing prospective detectives need to accomplish. Applying for these positions requires:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Being at least 21 years old
  • Valid driver’s license
  • US citizenship

Going beyond these minimum requirements with college education can increase an applicant’s strengths as well as lay a sturdy foundation in the field of investigations. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the following subjects will develop essential skills that future investigators can use every day in their detective jobs:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Science
  • Law Enforcement
  • Police Science
  • Law

Career Advancement to Detective – After serving at least 2-3 years as a patrol officer, candidates may apply for transfer to the Detective Bureau when vacancies are announced. Candidates are chosen after an interview the commanding officer of the Detective Bureau or chief.

Training – Training to become a criminal investigator with the Hartford Police Department’s Detective Bureau is thorough and vigorous. This starts with the investigative procedures covered during basic training, continues throughout mandated in-service and continuing education training, and expands as officers make the transition to a unit within the Detective Bureau. Specific detective training requirements are relative to an investigator’s area of assignment and can include:

  • Homicide investigation procedures
  • Identifying and interviewing witnesses, suspects, and victims
  • Conducting undercover narcotics investigations
  • Investigating white collar crime
  • Advanced crime scene investigation and reconstruction

Working as a Detective in Hartford

Hartford detectives demonstrated their drive for justice by making three recent arrests for homicides:

  • Detectives worked for two weeks to develop a suspect in the shooting death of a man in a Summer Street parking lot, who was found in his car after witnesses reported hearing gunshots and seeing another vehicle speeding off. When investigators arrested the suspect they found two firearms and nearly 100 pounds of marijuana.
  • Detectives recently pieced together DNA evidence found at the scene of a murder on Washington Street that occurred a year-and-a-half prior. After connecting the dots detectives located the man, already serving time in jail for a burglary, who was charged with beating his victim to death.
  • Again using DNA evidence recovered from a crime scene, detectives were able to charge a suspect in connection with a recent murder on Adelaide Street. The suspect was tracked down with help from his parole officers and charged with several felony counts.

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