How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Delaware

According to 2012 statistics from the FBI, the violent crime rate in Delaware was 547 per every 100,000 residents, or a total of 5,020 incidences. Other crimes throughout Delaware during the same time included:

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  • Murder/manslaughter: 57 incidences
  • Forcible rape: 243 incidences
  • Robbery: 1,492 incidences
  • Aggravated assault: 3,228 incidences
  • Property crime: 30,639 incidences
  • Burglary: 7,371 incidences
  • Larceny: 21,832 incidences
  • Motor vehicle theft: 1,436 incidences

At the state level, the majority of criminal investigator jobs are found through the Delaware State Police’s Special Investigations Section. Many city police departments in Delaware also have well-established criminal investigations departments, the largest of which include:

  • Wilmington Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division
  • Dover Police Department, Criminal Investigations Unit
  • Newark Police Department, Criminal Division

How to Become a Detective with the Delaware State Police

The first step to becoming a Delaware State Police detective is to become a Delaware State trooper. Candidates for state trooper jobs must have completed at least 60 semester credits (90 quarter credits) from an accredited college or university.

It is therefore typical for individuals interested in a career as a Delaware State criminal investigator to complete an associate’s degree program in a field related to the profession, such as:

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

Candidates with at least two years of active duty military service may also qualify with just 30 college credits. However, to compete for the rank of sergeant within the State Police (typically required for becoming a state detective), state troopers must have obtained at least 60 college credits. To qualify for the rank of lieutenant, state troopers must have a bachelor’s degree.

Delaware State police troopers who have at least two years of experience are eligible for promotion and to specialty assignments, such as criminal investigations.

Criminal Investigations Units Within the Delaware State Police

The Special Investigations Section of the Delaware State Police consists of a number of criminal investigative units and two offices (northern and southern). The units within the Special Investigations Section include:

Auto Theft: Responsible for the oversight and coordination of all auto theft investigations in the DSP service area.

Drugs North: Responsible for long-term narcotics investigations in New Castle County.

Drugs South: Responsible for long-term narcotics investigations in Kent and Sussex Counties.

FORCAST: Responsible for state and federal asset seizures (currency and property) and long-term financial/organized crime investigations statewide.

Vice: Responsible for investigating all vice-related crimes, including gambling, prostitution, and child pornography.

Federal Liaison Officers (FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, DEA, and U.S. Marshals Service): Liaison officers maintain close working relationships with all federal law enforcement agencies; includes work with the following task forces:

  • Delaware Joint Violent Crime Fugitive Task Force: FBI task force that conducts investigations, apprehends violent fugitives, and investigates and prosecutes violent gang operations in Delaware
  • Operation Disarm: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware task force that works with the ATF and several city police departments; assists in the investigation of firearms cases, conducts investigations of firearms offenses and offenders, and identifies sources of illegal firearms and firearms-related violence
  • First State Fugitive Task Force: U.S. Marshals task force that locates and apprehends individuals wanted on outstanding federal or state felony warrants, particularly those with violent histories or those identified as career criminals

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