How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

The crime rate in Indianapolis creates an endless caseload for the detectives who work in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s (IMPD) Criminal Investigations Division (CID). The city’s homicide rate in 2013 was the highest in seven years, resulting in a murder rate greater than that of Chicago.

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Officers work together with CID detectives to solve crimes in Indianapolis. The IMPD thoroughly screens, trains, and evaluates the men and women who are assigned to this division.

Becoming a Detective with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Candidates pursuing detective jobs in Indianapolis have two options. If they are already Indiana law enforcement agents, they can transfer laterally into the IMPD. Those who do not have experience in law enforcement can join the force as police recruits. After they have proven themselves to be skilled officers, they can be promoted to the CID.

With a force of 1600 sworn officers, the IMPD frequently hires new officers. Applicants must meet a number of requirements, although it may be possible to join the force without meeting all of the ones listed.

Basic Requirements – The basic educational requirement to join the IMPD is to have a high school education. Those seeking to become detectives would be well advised to obtain additional training such as obtaining a college degree in law enforcement, forensic science, crime scene investigations or criminal justice.

Standard qualifications:

  • Must be between 21 and 36 years old by the date they are appointed
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Must be a resident of Marion County or one of the 7 adjoining counties at the time of appointment
  • Must not have a dishonorable military discharge
  • Must not have been arrested or charged with any of the following crimes:
    • Felony
    • Misdemeanor domestic violence

Training – All police officers hired by the force are trained at the highly regarded IMPD Law Enforcement Training Academy. Those who have already completed a law enforcement training course that makes them eligible to be a police officer in Indiana may have a shortened training curriculum.

The curriculum at this academy is a mix of physical of academic courses designed to give recruits the most up to date training possible. Recruits train for 932 hours over a 24 week period. The courses with the most hours include the following:

  • Use of force
  • Patrol procedures and traffic services
  • Criminal investigations and forensic sciences

Detectives at Work in Indianapolis

One hundred and twenty-four people were murdered in Indianapolis in 2013, and 2014 is shaping up to be an even worse year for homicides in the city. Eight people were murdered within a 15 hour period in February 2014, resulting in an increase of 30% in the rate of murders during the first seven weeks of the year.

Detectives also investigated 656 cases of rape, 5,894 aggravated assaults, and 3,800 robberies in 2013. In addition to a dedicated Criminal Investigations Unit, the CID includes the following units:

  • Criminal Gang
  • Missing Persons
  • Organized Crime
  • Vice

Detectives in Indianapolis routinely make significant arrests, including several high profile ones in May 2014 alone:

  • Within a week of a fatal home invasion robbery, homicide detectives had arrested a suspect in the case. They charged a 31 year old man with murder and robbery.
  • An undercover detective took part in a sting that led to the arrest of a man involved in prostitution in several states. One of his prostitutes was a 17 year old girl who he kept under his domain with threats of force.
  • Detectives arrested a suspect who had committed a number of felonies against the members of the Indianapolis Chin community. Formal felony charges included the following:
    • Attempted murder
    • Child exploitation
    • Criminal recklessness
    • Dissemination of matter harmful to minors
    • Intimidation
    • Obstruction of justice
    • Serious violent felon in possession of a firearm
    • Stalking

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