How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Nampa
Police Department

Over 4,600 criminal offenses were reported in Nampa, Idaho in 2013. This included 1,018 crimes against persons; however, property crimes represented the biggest share of these criminal offenses.

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Crimes against persons that year included:

  • One murder
  • One case of negligent manslaughter
  • 37 reported cases of rape
  • 671 simple assaults
  • 143 cases of aggravated assault

In addition to having a sizable number of officers on patrol, the Nampa Police Department (NPD) employs detectives in its Criminal Investigation Division (CID) who specialize in investigating the city’s most serious crimes.

Becoming a Detective with the Nampa PD Criminal Investigation Division

US citizens who want to become detectives in Nampa must first join the Nampa Police Department as patrol officers. Those who are hired for these jobs and have demonstrated their aptitude for investigations are eligible to be promoted to investigators in the CID.

Educational Requirements:

Although the basic educational requirement to join the NPD is to have a high school education, the department gives preference points to applicants who have 64 credits from an accredited college or university. Although these credits can be in any field, many applicants choose to study criminal justice, crime scene investigations or forensic science to prepare themselves for detective work.

Basic Requirements:

  • Being a legal US citizen
  • Being at least 21 years old
  • Not having any of the following crime history:
    • Convictions since the age of 18:
      • Felony
      • Serious misdemeanor
    • Undetected crimes of these types since the age of 18
    • Minor misdemeanor convictions in the past 5 years
    • Adult criminal waivers under the age of 18
  • Not having the following history of drug use:
    • Marijuana within the last 3 years
    • Any other illicit drug use within the past 5 years

Additional Preference Points:

  • Military experience that directly relates to civil police work
  • Being bilingual in Spanish
  • Idaho POST training:
    • Certification as a Level One Reserve Officer
    • Being enrolled in or having completed the Self-Sponsored Student Program and the Basic Academy


New officers undergo a thorough training that includes the following:

  • NPD mini academy for 6 weeks
  • Field training program in four phases for 14 weeks
  • Idaho POST Academy for 10 weeks

Officers on the force must take part in 40 hours a year of block training. They also must take part in firearms training and qualification quarterly.

Specialized Criminal Investigation Units within the Nampa CID

The Nampa PD has three specialized units within its Criminal Investigations Division:

Persons Crime Unit – In addition to a Sergeant, Corporal, and two victim/witness coordinators, five detectives investigate all felonies related to crimes against people. This includes the following types of crimes:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Aggravated assault/battery
  • Child abuse
  • Felony domestic violence

One of the detectives in this unit investigates cyber crimes. The Persons Crimes Unit is part of the Nampa Family Justice Center that coordinates police and victim services.

Special Investigations Unit (SIU) – The NPD formed this unit in 2002 to concentrate on the burgeoning amount of narcotics manufacturing and trafficking in the city. Previously the department carried out its narcotics investigations as part of the City/County Narcotics Unit (CCNU) of Canyon County.

Concerned citizens provide many of the tips that lead to arrests for drug trafficking in Nampa. The department assures strict anonymity for those who provide these tips and does not record calls or use caller ID.

The members of the SUI carry out both active and undercover investigations. They are trained to identify narcotics and process clandestine labs. In addition, its detectives investigate felony gang related crimes.

The SIU works closely with a number of other agencies ranging from the federal to the county level. This includes the following agencies:

  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
  • Idaho Bureau of Narcotics
  • Army Counter Drug Unit’s National Guard personnel

To facilitate the investigation of narcotics trafficking throughout this part of Idaho, the SIU has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ada County Narcotics Unit. This allows both of these units to cross Canyon and Ada County lines to investigate drug traffickers.

Property Crimes Unit – The seven detectives that staff this unit investigate an array of crimes including:

  • Burglary
  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Grand thefts
  • Insufficient funds checks
  • Internet fraud
  • Robbery

These investigators also monitor stolen property that is sold through pawnshops and recycled metal businesses. The unit’s detectives work with local business owners to reduce losses from employee theft and job site theft.

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