A chief concern for detectives working in Kansas City is reducing the city’s crime rate. In 2012, the crime rate was 478.7. This figure is notably lower than crime rate of 522.9 in the previous year. However, in both years the Kansas City crime rate far exceeded the average national crime rate of 288.5. In addition, the city’s violent crime rate was 352.3 compared to the national average of 214.0. A statistical breakdown of crimes according to offense includes:
- Auto Thefts—1,028
Detectives that secure jobs in the Kansas City Police Department are generally appointed to specialty roles within the Criminal Investigations Bureau. Here, detectives work to solve crimes by interviewing victims, interrogating suspects, questing witnesses, collecting crime scene evidence and tracking stolen property.
There are several distinct units that comprise the Kansas City Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau:
- Major Case/Robbery Unit
- Crimes Against Persons Unit
- Crimes Against Property Unit
- Night Response Unit
- Crime Scene Investigation Unit
- Logistics Unit
- Victims Services Unit
Becoming a Detective with the Kansas City Police Department
The fastest way to become a detective in Kansas City is to join the Kansas City Police Department as an entry-level police officer. If hired, police officers spend years fine-tuning their skills through experience and training until they are promoted through the ranks to become detectives.
The Kansas City Police Department has a selective hiring process that involves several points of qualification. The basic requirements include:
- Must be a citizen of the United States
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must have adequate hearing and vision
- Must have correct vision of at least 20/100 or corrected vision of 20/20
Education Incentives Offered by the Kansas City Police Department
Although the Kansas City Police Department’s only educational requirement for new officers is a high school diploma or GED, they definitely prefer to hire employees with some college experience. In fact, there is a compensation incentive scale for detectives that complete college credits or earn degrees.
- Detectives with 12 hours of college credits earn an addition $50/month
- Detectives that hold an associate’s degree earn an additional $100/month Detectives that hold a bachelor’s degree earn an additional $125/month
- Detectives that hold a master’s degree earn an additional $155/month
There are dozens of colleges and universities across Kansas that offer degree programs for students building careers in criminal investigations. Popular fields of study include criminal justice, criminology, forensic science, corrections and paralegal studies. Although some students earn as associate’s degree, the most common degree among field professionals is a bachelor’s degree. Examples of courses found in criminal justice degree programs in Kansas include:
- Public and Private Security
- Introduction to Corrections
- Judicial Process
- Criminal Justice Communications
- Principles of Investigation
- Criminal Law
- Police and Community
Kansas City Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau Units
Crimes Against Persons Unit: Detectives working in the Crimes Against Persons Unit concentrate on cases involving violent crimes. Crimes that fall under this category include rape, child abuse, felony assaults, hate crimes and missing persons.
Crime Scene Investigation Unit: Detectives working in the Crime Scene Investigations Unit concentrate on examining crime scenes and providing court testimony for criminal cases in Kansas City. Major job activities in this unit include photographing, collecting and analyzing crime scene evidence.
Night Response Unit: Detectives working in the Night Response Unit concentrate on investigating felony crimes that are reported from 5pm-8am in Kansas City. Depending on the severity of the crime, detectives arrive at crime scenes to determine if the assistance of additional units are required.