How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Davenport
Police Department

There are approximately forty detectives employed by the Davenport Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). These detectives either work in the Detective Bureau or the Tactical Operations Bureau of the CID. The Detective Bureau consists of four units: Juvenile and Sex Crimes, Property Crimes, Person Crimes, and Computer Forensics. The Tactical Operations Bureau consists of two units: Covert and Overt.

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Hardworking detectives are making a positive impact on the criminal atmosphere in Davenport. In fact, according to the Davenport Police Department’s 2012 Annual Report, there was a 6.8% drop in overall crime and a 7.5% drop in violent crime. Yet criminal activity still persists. There were 593 violent crimes and 4,503 property crimes reported in 2012:

  • Homicide – 1
  • Rape – 45
  • Robbery – 162
  • Aggravated Assault – 385
  • Burglary – 961
  • Theft – 3,198
  • Vehicle – 326
  • Arson – 18

Qualifying to Become a Detective with the Davenport Police Department

Most law enforcement agents learn how to become a detective through years of experience working as a police officer. The Davenport Police Department typically selects seasoned officers with specialized job training and elevates them to detective positions through promotion.

Requirements to Join the Davenport PD – According to the Human Resources Department, all detectives that start careers as police officers must meet certain qualifications:

  • Must be at least twenty-one years old
  • Must have a high school diploma (or GED)
  • Must have completed at least thirty college credits
  • Those with one year of military service or sworn officer experience are exempt from education requirement
  • Must have United States citizenship
  • Must submit to a background check with polygraph testing
  • Must have relatively good vision, physical endurance, and balance
  • Must be willing to become a Scott or Eastern Muscatine County resident within the first two years of employment

Advancing to Detective with a College Degree Most detectives complete at least thirty credits of post-secondary education before entering the Davenport Police Department as new recruits. Academic credits must be earned at an accredited college or university. Students are encouraged to pick courses in field-related disciplines such as criminal justice, law enforcement, criminology, homeland security or forensics. Examples of field-related degrees offered in Iowa include:

  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Crime Investigations
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Applied Studies in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Units that Comprise the Davenport PD Criminal Investigation Division

Person Crimes Unit: Detectives assigned to the Person Crimes Unit investigate cases of homicide, robbery, domestic violence, assault and missing adults. Some detectives serve specialty roles within the unit: Warrant/Sex Offender Detective, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Task Force, and Polygraph Examiner.

Property Crimes Unit: Detectives assigned to the Property Crimes Unit investigate cases of property theft, vehicle theft, residential and commercial burglary, and incidents relating to pawn shops. Some detectives serve specialty roles within the unit: Pawn Shop Investigator and Davenport Schools Liaison Officers.

Juvenile and Sex Crimes Unit: Detectives assigned to the Property Crimes Unit investigate cases involving adult sexual assault victims and children. Some detectives in this unit also investigate juvenile criminal offenders that commit burglary, assault, theft, and robbery.

Computer Forensics Unit: Detectives assigned to the Computer Forensics Unit investigate cases that involve the usage of computers to commit crimes like child pornography. These detectives are specially trained to forensically process computer and electronic devices to discover evidence.

Covert Unit: Detectives assigned to the Covert Unit investigate the avenues by which illegal drugs are brought into Davenport. As a result, they often investigate and arrest offenders that distribute, purchase or make transactions involving illegal drugs. Detectives also help to establish federal violations of drug trafficking laws

Overt Unit: Detectives assigned to the Overt Unit investigate “quality of life” crimes, violent crimes, property crimes, and gang-related crimes. Prostitution, disorderly conduct and public intoxication are all considered quality of life crimes. Some detectives perform undercover patrols to witness or prevent crimes in motion.

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