How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the New Orleans
Police Department

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina the community of New Orleans has struggled to feel safe amid the loaming presence of violent crime in the area. In an effort to connect with the city’s youth, officers and investigators from the New Orleans Police Department are touring urban middle schools to deliver messages about the importance of good decision-making and the consequences of criminal lifestyles.

In 2013, detectives with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Criminal Investigative Division (CID) were responsible for investigating 2,965 personal crime offenses and 14,525 property crime offenses.

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Becoming a Detective with the New Orleans Police Department

Law enforcement professionals earn the honor of becoming a detective in New Orleans only after years of experience working as a police officer with the NOPD.

Education or Military Experience – In order to join the New Orleans Police Department and eventually serve as a detective for the Criminal Investigative Division, candidates must have:

  • An associate’s or bachelor’s degree

OR

  • At least 60 credits from an accredited institution of higher learning

OR

  • ADD-214 proving two years of full time active duty in the military

Employment Disqualifiers – There are several ways that job candidates can become disqualified during the New Orleans Police Department’s hiring process. Terms of disqualification include:

  • Cannot have plead guilty, nolo contendere, or been convicted of a felony
  • Cannot have plead guilty, nolo contendere, or been convicted of a misdemeanor crime against a person or involving sexual offense
  • Cannot have plead guilty, nolo contendere, or been convicted of a crime involving civil rights violations
  • No illegal drug possession or use
  • No marijuana use within two years
  • No prescription drug use that lead to dependency within two years
  • No dishonorable discharges from the Armed Forces
  • No employment terminations or forced resignations from another law enforcement agency as a result of disciplinary transgressions
  • No major driving offenses within five years
  • Unwillingness to submit to polygraph or voice stress examination

Educational Standards for Criminal Investigators in New Orleans

All jobseekers without military experience must hold either a college degree or have completed 60 credit hours from an accredited post-secondary school.

Right now, more than 25% of all job candidates looking for police detective positions hold a bachelor’s degree.

Examples of field-related degree programs in Louisiana include:

  • Associate of Science in Law Enforcement
  • Associate Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Unified Public Safety
  • Master of Science in Administration of Justice and Security

Although the New Oreland Police Department does not require a bachelor’s degree, the rising popularity of degrees at this level among police detectives is quickly making it a standard among job candidates. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, degrees held by police detective job candidates in the state were distributed as follows:

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent—36.36%
  • Bachelor’s Degree—27.27%
  • 1-3 years in Post-Secondary School—18.18%
  • Vocational School Certificate—9.09%
  • Associate’s Degree—9.09%

The New Orleans Police Department Criminal Investigative Division

All centralized detectives that work for the New Orleans Police Department are assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division (CID). There are five different sections within the CID, with each section specializing in a distinct type of crime: Homicide Section, Special Victims Section, Property Crimes Section, Juvenile Section, and District Attorney Section. In 2013, the CID helped to manage the Police Department’s tremendous workload, which included:

  • 9,179 Theft Offenses
  • 3,203 Burglary Offenses
  • 2,143 Auto Theft Offenses
  • 1,495 Assault Offenses
  • 1,138 Robbery Offenses
  • 176 Rape Offenses
  • 156 Murder Offenses

Homicide Section – Detectives in the Homicide Section help to investigate all homicides, suicides, unclassified deaths, and officer-involved shootings in New Orleans. This section also includes the Homicide Cold Case Unit and the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit.

Special Victims Section –Detectives in the Special Victims Section help to investigate crimes that involve sexual misconduct, child abuse, and domestic violence in New Orleans. This section includes the Sex Crimes Unit, the Child Abuse Unit and the Domestic Violence Unit.

Property Crimes Section – Detectives in the Property Crimes Section help to investigate crimes that involve the loss of property in New Orleans. This section consists of the Auto Theft Unit, the Towing and Recovery Unit, the Bicycle Registration Unit, the White Collar/Forgery Unit, the Pawnshop Unit and the Digital Forensics Unit.

Juvenile Section – Detectives in the Juvenile Section help to investigate all crimes that involve juveniles in New Orleans. This section includes the Intake Unit, the Missing and Parental Unit and the Curfew Unit.

District Attorney Section –Detectives in the District Attorney Section help to investigate crimes that involve outstanding homicides, contractor fraud and victim/witness intimidation in New Orleans. This section also provides security for the District Attorney’s Office.

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