How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Lexington
Division of Police

Detectives that work for the Lexington Division of Police are appointed to the Bureau of Investigation. Here, the main goal for detectives is to conduct follow-up investigations on all reported crimes that enter the division. By striving towards this goal, detectives focus on protecting community residents, arresting criminal suspects, and preventing future offenses.

There are four main sections within the Bureau of Investigation: Property Crimes, Personal Crimes, Special Investigations, and Special Victims.

According to the Lexington Police Department’s Annual Report, detectives handled 13,554 serious crime offenses in 2013. Major crime statistics for Lexington include:

  • Larceny Theft—9,040
  • Breaking and Entering—2,604
  • Auto Theft—890
  • Robbery—484
  • Aggravated Assault—369
  • Forcible Rape—101
  • Arson—47
  • Murder—19


Becoming a Detective with the Lexington Division of Police

The Lexington Division of Police is the largest employer of detectives in Lexington, Kentucky. The agency’s hiring policy mandates that new employees work as a patrol officer for three years before being eligible to become a detective. However, positions are only filled upon availability. Since job vacancies differ between units within the Investigations Bureau, specialized work experience is considered an asset.

The Lexington Division of Police’s hiring process lasts between six and eight months. During this time, all candidates must:

  • File a “Point of Interest” form
  • Submit a job application form
  • Pass written examination
  • Pass physical fitness testing
  • Pass oral board interview.

In addition, applicants must meet several eligibility requirements, including:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • United States citizen
  • Between 21 and 37 years old by application deadline date
  • Official birth certification from State Bureau of Vital Statistics
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Legal ability to possess firearms
  • No serious misdemeanor convictions within 12 months
  • No felony convictions
  • No illegal drug or prescription medicine use within 12 months
  • No forced resignation or termination of job within 12 months
  • No permanent revocation of peace officer certification in another state
  • No visible tattoos while wearing official uniform
  • No dishonorable discharges from the Armed Forces

Better Education Equals Better Pay in Lexington

The Lexington Division of Police only requires a high school diploma or GED to become eligible for employment. However, candidates with college education experience are often favored during the hiring process and rewarded upon hire. Part of the Lexington Division of Police’s salary and benefits policy includes a “College Incentive Pay” condition. This condition monetarily rewards employees according to the amount of college education they have:

  • Bachelor Degree—$1,500/yr.
  • 90-119 hours—$950/yr.
  • 60-89 hours—$750/yr.
  • 30-59 hours—$450/yr.

Detectives that want to increase their marketability and salary prospects by earning a degree should research accredited colleges and universities. The Lexington Division of Police does not stipulate which area of study that employees must choose to receive college pay incentives. However, students are generally encouraged to select a field that supports occupational objectives like criminal justice, criminology, law enforcement or forensics.

Examples of relevant degree programs offered in Kentucky include:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement
  • Associate of Arts in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Security Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Justice Administration
  • Master of Arts in Criminology

The Sections that Comprise Lexington’s Bureau of Investigation

Property Crimes Sections – Detectives appointed to the Property Crimes Section concentrate on offenses that involve property. There are five specialized units within this section: Auto Theft Unit, Commercial Burglary Unit, Financial Crime Unit, Major Violator Unit, and Residential Burglary Unit.

Personal Crimes Section – Detectives appointed to the Personal Crimes Section concentrate on offenses that victimize another person(s). Exceptions to this section include children, spouses and incidents of family abuse. There are five specialized units in this section: Homicide Unit, Robbery Unit, Major Cold Case Unit, ROPE Unit, and Crime Stoppers Unit.

Special Investigation Section – Detectives appointed to the Special Investigation Section concentrate on offenses that involve issues of sensitivity. This section is distinctive in its use of covert operations and long-term investigation assignments. There are five specialized units in this section: Narcotic Enforcement Unit, Intelligence Unit, Alcoholic Beverage Control Office Unit, VICE Unit, and Drug Court Liaison Unit.

Special Victims Section – Detectives appointed to the Special Victims Section concentrate on offenses that involve adult domestic violence and/or sexual assault. In addition to criminal investigation, this section is distinctive in its victim advocacy initiatives. There are two specialized units in this section: Domestic Violence Unit and Sexual Assault Unit.

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