How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Fort Wayne
Police Department

Detectives with the Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) work round the clock to investigate crimes in the city. As part of their work with the city’s Investigative Support Division (ISD), they focus on investigating felonies that have taken place in Fort Wayne.

Forty-one people were murdered in Fort Wayne in 2013. This is an increase of 64% over 2012. In addition, there were 381 additional crimes classified as crimes against persons in 2013.

Over 100 sworn officers and civilian support staff are assigned to the ISD that includes the following sections of the Detective Bureau:

  • Robbery/Homicide
  • Domestic Violence Unit
  • Crimes Against Persons
  • Property Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes Unit
  • Financial Crimes

Eleven detectives are dedicated to the B-Shift Investigative Section. They investigate felonies that occur during the late afternoons and evenings. One of these detective works full-time with the Forensic Data Recovery Section. Detectives with the C-Shift Section conduct preliminary investigations into felonies that occur from 11 PM to 7 AM.

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Steps to Becoming a Detective with the Fort Wayne Police Department

Joining the ranks of these criminal investigators in Fort Wayne involves becoming a police officer with the Fort Wayne Police Department. New officers start on patrol and after a period of time are eligible for promotion to become a detective with the Investigative Support Division.

Potential Fort Wayne Police Department recruits must meet a number of requirements to be eligible for police officer jobs.

Basic Requirements – The FWPD only requires a high school education for its prospective police officers, but it prefers candidates that have some college training. Many applicants choose to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in relevant fields such as crime scene investigation, criminal justice, or law enforcement.

Additional requirements:

  • Being 21-35 years old when appointed
  • Being a US citizen
  • Having vision that is correctable to 20/30 in each eye
  • Live in Allen County or an adjacent county in Indiana
  • Valid Indiana driver’s license
  • Free of convictions for felonies or domestic battery
  • Not having sold, manufactured, distributed, or transported any illegal drug
  • Not having the following drug history of drug use:
    • Marijuana within 3 years
    • Other illegal drugs within 10 years
    • Illegal use of a prescription drug within 3 years

Selection Process – Applicants go through a rigorous selection process that takes about six months. The initial screening steps include the following:

  • Application
  • Test of physical ability
  • Written exam
  • Oral interview
  • Background check (including two analyses of voice stress)
  • Psychological testing

Candidates who make it through the previous steps will be offered employment conditionally and then undergo the following analyses:

  • Physical exam
  • Review with the Local Police Pension Board
  • Oral interview: Board of Public Safety
  • Review by the State of Indiana Pension Board

Training – Candidates who do not have previous law enforcement experience in Indiana are trained for at least 480 hours at the Fort Wayne Police Department Academy. This is followed by six months in the Field Training Officer Program. After that, new officers work unsupervised on probation for an additional six months.

Major Arrests by Detectives in Fort Wayne

Detectives with the FWPD routinely identify and arrest criminals who have committed violent crimes in Fort Wayne. Officers work closely with other law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Marshals, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF), and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.

Arrests made in the spring of 2014 included the following:

  • The arrest of a man for an execution style slaying during a botched robbery of a smoke shop. With the help of the public in identifying the man from surveillance footage, detectives arrested the suspect who subsequently confessed to the murder.
  • Detectives had been investigating a shooting from 2012 and arrested a suspect for attempted murder and aggravated battery.
  • The Gang and Violent Crimes Unit located a wanted felon who was preparing to flee to Arizona and arrested him for battery with a deadly weapon among other charges.

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