How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Lewiston
Police Department

The headquarters for detectives working in Lewiston, Maine is the Lewiston Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID). Detectives that serve in the CID are divided into two units: Major Criminal Offenses, and Youth and Family Services.

Detectives are appointed to one of these two units depending upon their cumulative previous training, certifications, formal education and fieldwork experience.

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Major Criminal Offenses Unit – Detectives that work in the Major Criminal Offenses Unit specialize in conducting follow-up investigations for crimes such as arson, fraud, white- collar theft, burglary, larceny, computer crimes and violent crimes.

Youth and Family Services Unit – Detectives that work in the Youth and Family Services Unit specialize in conducting follow-up investigations for crimes such as school related incidents and juvenile crimes. This unit also handles cases that involve intervention and other concerns within a family context.

Lewiston’s crime statistics for 2012 included:

  • Thefts—1,018
  • Burglaries—328
  • Robberies—43
  • Auto Thefts—41
  • Assaults—22
  • Rapes—15
  • Arson—10
  • Murders—0

Becoming a Detective with the Lewiston PD Criminal Investigations Division

Detectives that work in Lewiston, Maine are employed by the Lewiston Police Department. However, in order to become a detective or a criminal investigator, law enforcement professionals must begin their careers as police officers.

Only by rising through the ranks via work experience and continuous training do police officers earn the honor that comes with becoming a detective.

Minimum job requirements for police officers are:

  • Must be at least 20 years old
  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have a high school-level education

The Lewiston Police Department is always accepting applications for police officer jobs. The hiring process will take approximately 120 days from the date an application is submitted. However, candidates whose applications are rejected will be notified within 30 days of submission.

Candidates whose applications are accepted enter into a conditional employment phase. Along with the application form, candidates must disclose the following documents:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Certified Copy of High School Diploma/GED/College Diploma
  • Maine A.L.E.R.T. and Physical Fitness Test Results from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy
  • Military Discharge Documents

Part of the hiring process includes an oral interview, background checks, psychological assessments, physical examinations, and polygraph testing. During polygraph testing, job candidates will be asked a series of personal questions on topics such as:

  • Military Service
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Sexual Activity
  • Use of Force
  • Previous Employment
  • Arson
  • Work Record
  • Credit/Finances
  • Medical History
  • Thefts
  • Fish & Game
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Criminal Activity
  • Driving Record

Academic Degrees for Police Detectives in Criminal Investigations

The minimum job requirements set forth by the Lewiston Police Department stipulate that all job candidates have a high school-level education prior to entering the police force. However, since law enforcement jobs are competitive in Lewiston, applicants should strive to earn an education that is at least equivalent to their competition.

According to the Maine Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the majority of detectives and criminal investigators between the ages of 25 and 44 have a bachelor’s degree. Academic degree statistics among detectives include:

  • Associate’s Degree—13.3%
  • Bachelor’s Degree—40.9%
  • Master’s Degree—10.8%
  • Doctorate/Professional Degree—2.2%

For detectives and criminal investigators, field-related degrees focus on criminal justice, crime scene investigations, forensic psychology, law enforcement and justice studies. Examples of career-oriented degrees offered in Maine include:

  • Associate of Science in Justice Studies
  • Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration

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