How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Kentucky

The 2012 compiled publication “Crime in Kentucky,” produced by a collaboration of law enforcement agencies across the state in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting System, notes that crimes of almost all types increased in the state from 2011’s statistics.

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Some of the most notable increases were in:

  • Homicide offenses, which increased by 24.22 percent
  • Kidnapping/abduction offenses, which increased by 18.74 percent
  • Robbery, which went up by 21.14 percent
  • Prostitution, which increased by 108.93 percent

These statistics on crime in Kentucky make it evident that there is a great need for well trained, detectives across the state.

Qualifying to Work as a Detective with the Kentucky Department of Criminal Investigations

The main investigative arm at the state level in Kentucky is the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Education and Experience Requirements – Qualifications that candidates must meet to become a Special Investigative Agent with the Kentucky DCI mandate a bachelor’s degree (preferably in a criminal justice or law enforcement-related area)

Applicants who do not have a bachelor degree may substitute work experience in investigations on a year-for-year basis

General requirements include:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and good driving record

Specialized Training – Much of the training for Special Investigative Agent jobs in Kentucky will be conducted in the field, on the job. Depending upon a new Agent’s investigative focus, he or she may take classes in computer crimes, drug investigations and more.

Structure of the Kentucky Bureau of Investigations

Formerly known as the Kentucky Bureau of Investigations, the DCI is based in Frankfort and is divided into three main units:

Public Integrity/Special Investigations Branch – investigators working within this unit investigate possible cases of corruption by officials at the state and local levels in Kentucky. Examples of corruption that would be investigated by Special Investigative Agents within the Public Integrity/Special Investigations Branch deal with regulatory, law enforcement, vendor contract, legislative, judicial and executive corruption.

Drug Investigations Branch – investigators working within this unit focus on federal, state and local drug cases, particularly prescription drugs, which have become a major problem in Kentucky. Other issues that Special Investigative Agents in the Drug Investigations Branch handle include the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), working with the DEA, and working with local agencies to keep Kentucky kids safe from prescription drug abuse.

Cyber Crimes Unit – investigators working within this unit concentrate on computer crime cases and assist other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors across Kentucky in such investigations. Since its launch in 2008, the Cyber Crimes Unit has launched 286 investigations into child pornography, seized 322,173 child pornographic videos and images, trained 1711 law enforcement officers in cyber crime investigation and the collection of data, and was named by Microsoft as one of nine agencies in the United States that hosts cyber safety training for investigators.

Serving as a Detective in Kentucky’s City and County Law Enforcement Agencies

Criminal investigators in Kentucky also work in the cities and counties across the state. Sheriff’s offices and city police departments may employ detectives. Examples of just a few of these include:

  • Louisville Metro Police Department Major Crimes Division – Louisville
  • Murray Police Department Investigations Division – Murray
  • Bowling Green Police Department Criminal Investigations Division – Bowling Green
  • Lexington Police Department Investigation Bureau – Lexington
  • Owensboro Police Department Criminal Investigations Division – Owensboro
  • Daviess County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigations Division – Owensboro
  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Unit –Louisville
  • Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Investigation Division –Henderson
  • Warren County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations – Bowling Green
  • Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Section – Cynthiana

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