How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Saint Paul
Police Department

The Saint Paul Police Department is the premier place of employment for state detectives and criminal investigators in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Saint Paul Police Department currently employs a staff consisting of approximately 600 sworn officers. Some of these sworn officers work in investigative capacities.

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In 2013, the Department responded to roughly 270,000 service calls and handled nearly 13,000 investigations pertaining to Part 1 crimes. There are eight different Part 1 crimes: murder and non-negligent homicide, forcible rape, arson, burglary, aggravated assault, robbery, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft.

Starting a Detective Career with the Saint Paul Police Department

Learning how to become a detective requires years of field experience working as a police officer for the Saint Paul Police Department.

According to the Saint Paul Department of Human Resources, future detectives need to meet several qualifications to become eligible for police officer jobs in Saint Paul. These eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have a college degree in law enforcement; applicants that have a college degree in another discipline must also earn a Law Enforcement Certificate from an approved state college or university
  • Must be licensed, or able to gain licensure, as a Peace Officer in Minnesota
  • Must have a valid Class D state driver’s license, or an out-of-state equivalent
  • Must have no record of driving license suspensions or revocations that involve driving-related offenses within two years
  • Must have no felony convictions,
  • Must have no gross misdemeanor criminal convictions
  • Must have no convictions that involve physical assault, domestic assault or eluding the police
  • Must pass background investigation
  • Must pass psychological evaluation
  • Must pass medical examination
  • Must be willing and able to work any shit requested

Detectives and Law Enforcement Degrees

The Saint Paul Police Department requires their entry-level job candidates to have a college degree. In general, candidates are advised to choose a law enforcement degree program because they provide curriculum that is strongly field-related. For example, one of the Associate of Applied Science degree programs offered in Minnesota instructs in courses like highway safety, use of force, firearms, and defensive driving. Students that choose a degree in another area of study must supplement their education with a Law Enforcement Certificate. Fortunately there are several law enforcement-related degree programs available in Minnesota, including:

  • Associate of Science in Law Enforcement
  • Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement: Policing
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Law Enforcement Administration
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Investigations in the Major Crimes Division

When police officers get promoted to detective and investigator positions, they often work in the Saint Paul Police Department’s Major Crimes Division. The Division is composed of 13 specialty units. Each unit functions to target a specific type of crime, or group of crimes that is unique in nature. Since each unit is distinctive, they each require a team of detectives that have experience and training in handling crimes specific to that unit.

For example, detectives assigned to the Homicide and Robbery Unit are specially trained to investigate crimes involving murder, suspicious deaths, in-custody deaths, police-involved shootings, stranger abductions, aggravated assaults, and robberies. Other units in the Major Crimes Division include:

  • Arson/Automated Pawn Shop Unit
  • Auto Theft Unit
  • Special Investigations Unit
  • Juvenile Unit
  • Gang Unit
  • Narcotics/Vice Response Team Unit
  • FBI Safe Streets Task Force Unit
  • Narcotics Unit
  • Vice Unit

2013 Crimes Statistics in Saint Paul

The 2013 City of Saint Paul Crime Report is an official account of criminal activity in the city of that year. According to the report, there were 1,484 crimes against persons and 11,801 crimes against property committed in that year. The report also breaks down crime statistics according to the type of offense. For example:

  • Homicide — 14
  • Rape — 218
  • Robbery — 716
  • Aggravated Assault — 1,252
  • Burglary — 2,769
  • Theft — 6,443
  • Motor Vehicle Theft — 1,761
  • Arson — 112

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