How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Champaign
Police Department

The latest statistical data from the Champaign Police Department shows that the crime rate in the area is hovering consistently around 386.7, higher than the national average of 301.1. The violent crime rate in the Champaign area is proportionally much higher, at 468.4 compared to the average national violent crime rate of 214.

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In order to bring these rates down, detectives and police officers in the city of Champaign must be highly qualified, community conscious, and willing to devote themselves to bringing the crime rate down.

The Champaign Police Department has undergone numerous changes in the last few years and has been making productive steps in reducing the amount of crime around the city. In 2012, Anthony Cobb was sworn in as the new Chief of Police, and it has been his mission to work with all 144 sworn officers and the community to create a safer living environment for all.

Becoming a Detective with the Champaign Police Department

Joining the Champaign PD – In order to become a detective in the Champaign Police Department, applicants must first go through the process of becoming a sworn police officer with the Department. The qualifications for becoming a police officer in Champaign are:

  • Applicants must be 21 years old
  • Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or a GED equivalency certificate
  • Cannot have been convicted of a felony at any point
  • Pass both written aptitude and physical fitness tests
  • Submit the $25 testing fee
    • Waivers are available to those who qualify

Applicants that score within the top 100 in the written and physical aptitude tests will be added to a rank-order eligibility list. The Board of Police will evaluate this list in full, and once approved, applicants will be hired per rank on the list and as openings dictate.

The list will remain active for one year, after which time another testing process will commence.

Career Advancement to Detective – After becoming an officer, applicants must go through a probationary period of at least a year, more likely two, before attempting to become a detective. The Champaign Police Department promotes police officers to the rank of detective by compiling an eligibility list of applicants, and then promoting them by rank, based on openings that become available.

In order to get on the eligibility list, applicants must go through a testing and interview process that involves:

  • A demanding study process that focuses on key aspects of detective work
  • A written exam paired with an interview that measures: qualifications for detective work, knowledge of Champaign city policies, and application of that knowledge to specific situations

Once the eligibility list is compiled, it will be active for three years. Any promotions to fill detective jobs will follow the order on the list.

Working as a Detective in Champaign

In the Champaign Police Department, detectives are employed in the Investigations Division, underneath the broader umbrella of the Operational Support Division. Deputy Chief Troy Daniels oversees the Operational Support Division and employs 13 detectives and 3 detective sergeants that operate directly under Lieutenant Robert Rea.

Detectives are tasked with investigating:

  • All major crimes
  • Crimes that patrol officers are unable to look in to
  • Juvenile issues, such as runaways

One detective is also extensively trained in investigating and preventing technological crime. The Investigative Division also consistently works with other federal and state organizations when they require assistance.

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