How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Rochester
Police Department

High-ranking law enforcement positions, such as detective and criminal investigators jobs, are not usually available to the general public through a basic application process in Rochester, Minnesota. Instead, these coveted positions are earned by starting out as entry-level police officers (or peace officers) in the Rochester Police Department and accumulating several years of field experience.

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After attaining a solid work history, potential detectives must pass a promotional exam before they are granted investigative titles.

According to the Rochester Police Department’s 2012 Annual Report, crime statistics for that year include:

  • Homicide — 36
  • Rape — 109
  • Assault — 1,104
  • Robbery — 816
  • Burglary — 2,971
  • Larceny — 7,480
  • Auto Theft — 624

Becoming a Detective with the Rochester Police Department

Police officers that get promoted to work in investigative capacities work in the Rochester Police Department’s Central Investigation Division (CID). Detectives in the CID are mainly charged with collaborating with other divisions within the Police Department as well as outside law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes. The CID is comprised of three units: Major Crimes Unit, Technicians Unit, and License Investigations Unit.

Degree Requirements – All law enforcement officers, including investigators, must be licensed as a peace officer to work for the Rochester Police Department. In order to become a licensed peace officer in Minnesota, job candidates must earn a post-secondary degree from a regionally accredited college or university andcomplete a “professional peace officer education program” (PPOE) program. A college or university that has been certified by the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board must provide the PPOE program.

There are over 30 universities and colleges throughout Minnesota that offer PPOE programs to law enforcement students. This way, students may complete a post-secondary degree and a PPOE program simultaneously. Many participating colleges and universities place PPOE programs specifically within criminal justice, forensic science or law enforcement degrees in an effort to specifically cater to law enforcement officers seeking licensure. Examples of courses offered in these PPOE programs include:

  • Crime Law and Practice
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
  • Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedure
  • Racial and Cultural Minorities
  • Policing in America
  • Theories of Criminal Behavior

General Requirements – According to the Rochester Police Department, only job candidates that meet the following eligibility requirements may apply for police officer positions:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license
  • Must have an active license from the State of Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board OR
  • Must have an inactive license that is eligible for reactivation OR
  • Must have completed the State of Minnesota POST Board approved professional Peace Officer education and skills requirements and passed the POST Officer Licensing Examination OR
  • Must have completed basic police training or certification requirements in another state that has a reciprocity agreement with Minnesota to be eligible to sit for the licensing examination

Central Investigations Division in Rochester

Major Crimes Unit: Detectives assigned to the Major Crimes Unit are responsible for investigating crimes that involve homicide, suspicious or unexplained deaths, undetermined or incendiary fires, missing persons, intra-familial child abuse, child neglect, and back robberies.

Technicians Unit: Detectives assigned to the Technicians Unit are responsible for collecting and analyzing crime-related evidence. These detectives are specially trained to process crime scenes and preserve subsequent evidence. This unit also includes the Special Accident Investigation Squad.

License Investigation Unit: Detectives assigned to the License Investigation Unit are responsible for handling the Rochester Police Department’s license service. More specifically, they investigate all applicants that apply for city licenses and inspect licensed facilities.

Special Investigations Section in Rochester

Detectives that are not assigned to the Central Investigations Division may be appointed to the Rochester Police Department’s Special Investigations Section. This section is primarily responsible for investigating crimes that involve illegal narcotics trafficking, vice-related activities, and organized crime. Detectives in this section also investigate any other cases referred to them by the Chief of Police. The Special Investigations Section consists of several units, including:

  • Narcotics Units
  • Intelligence Unit
  • Administrative Unit
  • Firearms Suppression Unit
  • Surveillance and Electronic Support Unit
  • Violent Crime Team Unit
  • Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team

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