How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Wichita
Police Department

A recent news article in the Wichita Eagle praised the Crime Stoppers tip line for providing information that led to the arrest of a murder suspect in February of 2014. The incident is the fifth serious crime to be resolved by the Crime Stoppers network within twelve months. The talented team that investigates tips streaming in from the Crime Stoppers hotline is a squad of detectives from the Wichita Police Department Criminal Investigation Division (CID).

The crime rate in Wichita for 2012 was much higher than the national average crime rate that same year. According to the Wichita Police Department, in 2012 detectives were charged with the task of investigating a caseload that included 2,161 violent crimes and 21,249 property crimes:

  • Theft—15,670
  • Burglary—3,743
  • Auto Theft—1,836
  • Aggravated Assault—1,402
  • Robbery—484
  • Rape—259
  • Homicide—16


Steps to Becoming a Detective in Wichita

According to the Wichita Department of Human Resources, law enforcement professionals learn how to become detectives through a combination of work experience as a police officer and college credits.

Education and Experience Requirements:

The 8 different pathways by which job candidates can qualify to become a detective with the Wichita Police Department are:

  • 3 years of experience working as commissioned police officer for the Wichita Police Department
  • Hold a degree from a 4 year college including 27 hours of police science credits

OR

  • 3.5 years of experience working as a commissioned police officer for the Wichita Police Department
  • Completion to 60 hours of college credits including 27 hours of police science credits

OR

  • 4 years of experience working as a commissioned police officer for the Wichita Police Department
  • Completion of 27 hours of police science credits

OR

  • 8 years of experience working as a commissioned police officer for the Wichita Police Department

The Wichita Police Department requires potential job candidates to spend 3 to 8 years as a commissioned police offer before they can qualify for a promotion to detective. Therefore, it is important to become familiar with the basic qualification and disqualification guidelines set forth by the Wichita Police Department for its new police recruits:

Police Recruit Qualifications:

  • At least 21 years old
  • United States citizenship
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Military personnel must have honorable discharge standing
  • Valid Kansas driver’s license
  • Must reside within 30 miles of Wichita city limits

Police Recruit Disqualifications:

  • No misrepresentation of self during application process
  • No misdemeanor convictions related to moral conduct, drugs or weapon charges within 5 years
  • No history of using, possessing or buying marijuana or steroids within 3 years
  • No history of federal-level controlled substance use
  • No involvement in felony crimes linked to juvenile offenses
  • No current charges/indictments for criminal activity, excluding minor traffic offenses
  • No criminal convictions of a deceitful nature
  • No incidents of dishonesty in previous law enforcement positions

Earning College Credit to Become a Detective:

Applicants that do not have 8 years of experience working as a commissioned police officer in the Wichita Police Department will need at least 27 college credits in police science. Candidates with little experience will need a 4-year college degree to become eligible for detective jobs.

Fortunately, Kansas boasts several accredited colleges, universities, and online schools that offer post-secondary degrees in police science and other law enforcement disciplines:

  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Science in Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Crime and Delinquency Studies
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Wichita’s Criminal Investigations Division

Once hired, detectives begin to work for the Wichita Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID). The CID is comprised of two bureaus, the Property Crimes Bureau and the Crimes Against Persons Bureau. The four major responsibilities for detectives in the CID include:

  • Perform follow-up investigations on current cases
  • Collaborate with outside agencies, crime victims, local residents and criminal witness to aid investigations
  • Use crime analysis techniques to recognize crime trends
  • Devise tailored methods to reduce crime in targeted areas

The CID includes several units, including:

  • Homicide/Robbery/Accident Follow-Up Unit
  • Sex Crimes/Felony Assault/Domestic Violence Unit
  • Gang Unit/Night Detective Unit
  • Exploited and Missing Child Unit
  • Burglary/Financial Crimes Unit
  • Auto Theft/Larceny Unit
  • Technical Services Unit
  • Victims Assistance Unit

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