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How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Kansas

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation reported that in 2012, the overall rate of index crime in Kansas increased slightly, from 31 per 1000 residents in 2011 to 32 per 1000 residents in 2012. (Index crimes include burglary, aggravated assault, robbery, forcible rape, murder/voluntary homicide, arson, motor vehicle theft, and larceny). Violent crimes in the state increased by 2.6 percent from 2011’s statistics. Non-violent crimes increased as well, by 4.5 percent. Additionally, the crime clearance rate in Kansas decreased in 2012. All of these factors indicate a need for more criminal investigators to work at law enforcement agencies at the state, county and city levels across the state of Kansas.

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Steps to Becoming a Detective with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) was founded in 1939 as an investigative arm of the Office of the Attorney General. Detectives working for KBI conduct investigations under the direction of the Attorney General as well as assist local law enforcement agencies in investigations. Within the KBI are four main divisions:

  • Information Technology Division – those who develop software and applications used in the KBI
  • Information Services – operates state databases such as criminal history and offender registration
  • Forensic Laboratory Division – This division is classified into:

    • Evidence control center
    • Firearm and toolmark section
    • Latent print section
    • Toxicology section
    • Questioned document section
    • Biology section
    • Chemistry section
  • Investigations Division – This division is classified into two parts:

    • Field Investigations Division, which consists of:
      • High Risk Warrant Team-investigators who provide tactical support in high-risk warrants and other dangerous situations statewide
      • High Technology Crime Unit- investigators focus on technology and computer crimes
      • Training Unit-provides training for law enforcement officers
    • Special Operations Division – the narcotics investigative unit of the KBI

Investigators with the KBI are termed “Special Agents.” The criterion to become a Special Agent includes:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must have current law enforcement certification
  • Must have six years of law enforcement experience (education may be substituted if deemed relevant by the KBI)
  • Must have no misdemeanor domestic violence crime convictions
  • Prefer applicants to have two years of felony-level investigative experience
  • Prefer applicants to have a bachelor degree in criminal justice, law enforcement or a related field
  • Must pass a drug test, physical exam, lie detector test, background check and psychological exam

Training for Special Agents will be conducted at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center at the University of Kansas in Hutchinson. Applicants will already have completed the 560 hours of basic law enforcement training in order to become certified as a law enforcement officer in Kansas. Courses for Special Agents are available in a variety of subjects, including firearms, sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking and body armor.

Criminal Investigation Departments at the City and County Level in Kansas

Other criminal investigation jobs in Kansas may be found within county sheriff’s offices and city police departments. Some, but not all, of these law enforcement agencies house their own detective bureaus. A few of them are:

  • Kansas City, Kansas Police Department Investigations Bureau – Kansas City
  • Dodge City Police Department Detective Bureau – Dodge City
  • Leavenworth Police Department Investigations Division – Leavenworth
  • Wichita Police Department Investigations Division – Wichita
  • Overland Park Police Department Investigations Division – Overland Park
  • Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division – Olathe
  • Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department Investigations Unit – Kansas City
  • Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division – Wichita
  • Riley County Police Department Special Investigations Unit – Manhattan
  • Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit – Topeka

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