How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Missouri

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Uniform Crime Report for 2012, there were a total of 27,172 violent crimes reported that year, including rape, murder, aggravated assault, criminal homicide and robbery. This statistic represented an increase of 1.2 percent from 2011’s violent crime rate.

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Aggravated assault increased the most, by 3.8 percent, with rape a close second showing a 3.6 percent increase. It is estimated that in 2012, one violent crime occurred in Missouri every 19.4 minutes.

Criminal investigators and detectives serve at the state, city and county level in Missouri to investigate and solve these types of crimes.

Qualifying to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Missouri Division of Drug and Crime Control

Criminal investigators working for the Missouri State Highway Patrol are usually under the supervision of the Division of Drug and Crime Control. There are nine criminal investigative units statewide, which are located in troops across the state and in the general headquarters in Jefferson City, as noted below:

  • Division of Drug and Crime Control Headquarters – Jefferson City
  • District 1-
    • Troop A- Lee’s Summit
    • Troop B-Macon
    • Troop H- St. Joseph

  • District 2-
    • Troop D – Springfield
    • Troop G – Willow Springs
    • Troop I – Rolla

  • District 3-
    • Troop C – Weldon Spring
    • Troop E – Poplar Bluff

Meeting Requirements – Before applicants can work as criminal investigators for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, they must become Missouri State Troopers. The qualifications for this job include fulfilling the education/experience requirements in one of the following ways:

  • Complete 60 college credit hours


  • Complete two years of active duty military service


  • Complete two years of experience as a full-time POST certified peace officer

General requirements include:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • U.S. citizen and Missouri resident
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have a valid Missouri driver’s license
  • Pass a background investigation
  • Pass mental, physical, written and medical examinations
  • Have no tattoos/brands on the neck, head, hands, or below the upper six inches of the arm

Training – Training for new criminal investigative officers in Missouri consists of the Basic Law Enforcement Training (completed at the state trooper level) and courses in Criminal Investigation offered through the Training Division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

New officers will learn criminal investigative techniques, how to develop and handle evidence, how to develop witnesses, case management, and how to perform interrogations and interviews.

Criminal Investigation courses through the Training Division are often open to troopers who are interested in becoming a criminal investigator as well as to new criminal investigators.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Rural Crime Investigative Unit

Ninety-seven of Missouri’s 114 counties are classified as rural. Agriculture is the chief occupation in Missouri’s rural areas. In 2009, the Rural Crime Investigative Unit was established in Missouri after undercover work helped in solving agriculture-related crimes.

Today, the RCIU consists of ten criminal investigators and two civilian criminal analysts who assist law enforcement agencies across the state in solving rural crimes such as livestock and equipment theft.

Becoming assigned to the RCIU is another possibility for criminal investigators who work for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

County and City Criminal Investigators in Missouri

Some of Missouri’s county sheriff’s departments and city police departments house their own criminal investigation units or divisions. Detectives who investigate crimes within their own jurisdictions staff these units. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Boone County Sheriff’s Department Investigative Unit – Columbia
  • St. Louis County Police Department Division of Criminal Investigation – St. Louis
  • Platte County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division – Platte City
  • Greene County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division – Springfield
  • Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division – Lee’s Summit
  • Kansas City Missouri Police Department Investigations Bureau – Kansas City
  • Independence Police Department Criminal Investigations Division – Independence
  • Warrenton Police Department Criminal Investigations Division- Warrenton
  • Sedalia Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau – Sedalia
  • Nixa Police Department Criminal Investigations Division – Nixa

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