How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Stamford
Police Department

Every year hundreds of violent crimes are committed against innocent civilians in Stamford. While the patrol officers of the Stamford Police Department are often the first law enforcement officials to arrive on the scene, for the more challenging and heinous crimes the police department calls upon its Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

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Detectives in this section are experienced professionals who at times see the worst side of Stamford. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is divided into three segments:

  • Crimes Against Persons Unit – investigates violent and other serious crimes committed against Stamford residents and visitors. In 2012 this included:

    • 5 homicides
    • 25 cases of rape
    • 145 robberies
    • 176 aggravated assaults

  • Crimes Against Property Unit – detectives investigate cases of burglary, vandalism, and arson among other things
  • Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit – investigators focus on white collar crimes, drug trafficking, prostitution, illegal possession of weapons, and other vices

Road to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Stamford Police Department

Joining the Stamford PD – To become a detective and join the ranks of the Stamford Bureau of Criminal Investigation, applicants will need to start by developing their skills as a patrol officer. Entry-level officers will find there is no shortage of investigative work to do even when working in a patrol capacity.

Getting pointed in the right direction for detective jobs with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation starts by becoming a regular police officer. The initial requirements to apply for an entry-level police position are:

  • Be a US citizen at least 21 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Have a valid driver’s license

Career Advancement – Candidates who are considering long-term criminal investigator jobs may also consider obtaining a college education. Going beyond the minimum requirements for hire is a good way candidates can demonstrate their level of commitment, and an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the following subjects will also prepare candidates for the fundamentals of detective work:

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

Patrol officers are eligible to take the civil service test for promotion to the rank of detective after their initial 18-month probationary period has passed and they have demonstrated good service. Promotional opportunities to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation are offered approximately twice a year as demand dictates, and officers are considered individually upon their strengths. Some can make the transfer as early as two years after initial hire while for others it may take over a decade.

Criminal Investigator Training – The detective training for investigators assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation goes beyond the initial training cadets will receive in their police academy. Depending on a detective’s area of expertise, advanced criminal investigator training could include courses from both the Stamford Police Department and outside organizations such as the FBI, including classes on topics such as:

  • Interviewing vulnerable and traumatized victims
  • Conducting investigations of suspicious deaths
  • Reconstructing the scene of a burglary
  • Conducting investigations against child predators, including on the internet
  • Running undercover and surveillance operations
  • Conducting operations into gang activities

Education Incentives Offered by the Stamford Police Department

To underscore the value the Stamford Police Department places on college education, it offers the following annual degree-based incentive pay system:

  • 30 college credits – $150
  • 60 college credits – $300
  • 90 college credits – $450
  • Bachelor’s Degree – $650
  • Master’s Degree – $900
  • PhD or Law Degree – $1,100

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