How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Cedar Rapids
Police Department

The Iowa Department of Workforce Development reports that 410 detectives and criminal investigators worked in the state in 2010. One major employer is the Cedar Rapids Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). The detectives that serve the CID work in three main areas: Youth Services, Narcotics/Vice, and Crime Scenes. The Police Department also employs investigators to fill specialty positions within the CID. These positions housed in CID units, including:

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Becoming a Detective with the Cedar Rapids PD Criminal Investigation Division

Detectives with the Cedar Rapids Police Department Criminal Investigation Division (CID) start out as police officers where they gain years of work experience and continual specialized training that results in a promotion.

Minimum Qualifications – The Department has an extensive list of requirements for candidates applying for police officer positions:

  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 36
  • Must have uncorrected vision of 20/100 or corrected vision of 20/20
  • Must have the ability to accurately differentiate between visual colors
  • Must have adequate hearing ability
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must be an Iowa resident
  • Must be able to speak, read, and write in English
  • Must be free of drug and alcohol addiction
  • Must be willing to use force on the job
  • Must be able to physical perform essential duties
  • Must have a valid state-issued driver’s license

Circumstances for DisqualificationThe Cedar Rapids Police Department holds its employees up to high professional and moral standards. As a result, all job applicants can expect to undergo polygraph examination, psychological testing, and mental assessment by a licensed physician prior to employment. There are also several ways that candidates can be disqualified from the hiring process, including:

  • Felony conviction
  • Aggravated assault within 5 years
  • Serious misdemeanor conviction within 2 years
  • Domestic assault, child abuse or related conviction
  • Incident of illegal drug sales or delivery
  • Illegal drug use while employed in law enforcement position
  • False representation of drug history during application process
  • Admittance of illegal drug use within 2 years

Considering College Education Options

The Cedar Rapid Police Department requires that all new recruits have a high school level of education before entering the police force. However, in a largely competitive job market, candidates that meet only the minimum education standards may be passed over for more highly educated candidates during the hiring process. If fact, over 50% of all detectives and investigators ages 25-44 hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Iowa.

Students interested in kick-starting a career as a detective through formal education are encouraged to research colleges, universities, and online schools that offer relevant degree programs. Ideally students enroll in degree programs that concentrate on an occupationally relevant subject area like human services, criminal justice, law enforcement, criminology or legal studies. Examples of courses found in criminal justice degree programs include:

  • Criminal Law
  • Justice Administration
  • Research Methods
  • Victimology
  • Sociology of Policing
  • Corrections and Punishment
  • Juvenile Delinquency

Serving as a Detective in Cedar Rapids

The primary goal for all detective and criminal investigators that work in the Cedar Rapids is to stop rising crime in the city by seeing to it perpetrators of the most serious crimes are brought to justice. According to the Cedar Rapids Police Department the number of violent crimes rose from 488 in 2012 to 523 in 2013, which equates to an increase of 7.17%. Property crimes also rose from 4,033 in 2012 to 4,268 in 2013, which equates to an increase of 5.83%. Additional crime statistics for Cedar Rapids in 2013 include:

  • Burglary — 920
  • Auto Theft — 278
  • Aggravated Assault — 244
  • Robbery — 91
  • Rape — 44
  • Arson — 19
  • Murder — 3

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