How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Louisiana

In 2012, a report published by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) showed that Louisiana was the murder capital of the United States. That year, Louisiana had 10.8 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters for every 100,000 residents, meaning it had the highest murder rate of any state in 2012.

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The state also contains two of the most dangerous cities in the United States, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Some analysts have put the blame on the fact that Louisiana protects its citizens’ right to bear arms, allowing eligible residents to apply for concealed carry handgun permits that last their entire lifetimes. Other say the great level of poverty throughout the state of Louisiana contributes to a higher crime rate.

Whatever the reasons, all of these factors indicate that there is currently a great need for criminal investigators in the state of Louisiana, and that this need is expected to continue into the near future.

Joining the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Detectives Section

The Louisiana State Police employs detectives within its Bureau of Investigations Detectives Section. The Detectives Section represents the criminal investigative side of the Bureau of Investigations, which also conducts civil and other non-criminal investigations.

The Detectives Section is the main avenue of employment for aspiring criminal investigators at the state level in Louisiana.

In order to become a detective with the Louisiana State Police, applicants must first become a Louisiana State Trooper then work their way up the career ladder as detective positions become available.

The requirements that must be met in order to become a Louisiana State Trooper include meeting experience or education qualifications in one of the following ways:

  • Have two years of work experience as a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified peace officer full-time, with armed duty and arrest powers;


  • Complete 60 semester hours of college coursework;


  • Have a combination of education and experience, with 30 semester hours of college credit equal to one year of experience;


  • Complete three years of continuous active duty military service

General qualifications require that applicants:

  • Possess U.S. citizenship
  • Possess a Louisiana driver’s license
  • Pass a background check (includes criminal and moral history and polygraph test)
  • Pass a written exam
  • Pass a physical agility exam
  • Pass a medical exam and drug screening test
  • Pass an oral interview
  • Meet the:

Newly hired state troopers in Louisiana must complete the State Police Training Program, held at the Louisiana State Police Training Academy in Baton Rouge. Physical and academic courses in this 17-week training program include:

  • Ropes
  • Defensive tactics
  • Basic firearms
  • Legal aspects
  • First aid/CPR/AED
  • Motor vehicle law
  • Patrol activities
  • Traffic services
  • Investigations
  • Physical training
  • Emergency vehicle operations
  • Crash investigations
  • Field sobriety testing
  • Officer survival
  • Radar operations
  • Civil disturbance

About the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Detectives Section

Crimes that the detectives within theLouisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Detectives Section investigate include, but are not limited to:

  • Fugitive apprehension
  • Cyber crimes
  • Internet child predators and pornographic crimes
  • Financial crimes
  • Identity theft
  • White collar and/or economic crimes
  • Property crimes
  • Violent crimes

Detectives of the Louisiana State Police participate in a variety of task forces, including the United States Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Violent Crime Task Force. They may also assist local, other state, and other federal law enforcement agencies when asked.

The Criminal Investigations Division has field offices throughout the state in various regions in which detectives may be stationed. These field offices are located in:

  • New Orleans
  • Houma
  • Hammond
  • Baton Rouge
  • Shreveport
  • Monroe
  • Lake Charles
  • Lafayette
  • Alexandria

Louisiana’s City and Parish Criminal Investigation Divisions

Investigator jobs in Louisiana may also be available within Parish Sheriff’s Offices and City Police Departments. Examples that include criminal investigation division with the state’s biggest municipal law enforcement agencies are:

  • Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations – Shreveport
  • Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations
  • Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division – Monroe
  • Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations – New Roads
  • De Soto Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations – Mansfield
  • New Orleans Police Department Criminal Investigative Division
  • Baton Rouge Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau
  • City of Shreveport Police Department
  • Bossier City Police Department Criminal Investigations Division
  • City of Westwego Police Department Criminal Investigations Division

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