How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Springfield
Police Department

Springfield’s 2012 overall crime rate of 654.3 is roughly twice that of the national average of 301.1. Springfield had four murders per 100,000 people in 2000 as compared to 16 in 2012. These increases are consistent among several different types of crime.

The Springfield Police Department is divided into two bureaus – the Uniform Operations Bureau and the Investigations and Support Services Bureau. The non-uniformed detectives of the Investigations Bureau are responsible for investigating all major crimes.

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Becoming a Detective with the Springfield, Missouri Police Department

The Springfield Police Department is responsible for controlling crime throughout the city’s 82.5 square miles. Detectives within the Investigations Bureau start their careers as patrol officers during which time they have the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and integrity necessary to become a detective.

Education and Experience Requirements – The combinations of a high school diploma or its equivalent and any of the following will satisfy the education/experience requirement for a job as an officer with the Springfield Police Department:

  • 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university
  • 30 semester hours credit plus three years law enforcement experience
  • POST certification as a peace officer
  • Two years military duty with an honorable discharge
  • Class B peace officer certification plus two years full-time law enforcement experience

Candidates with the best combination of higher education and law enforcement-relayed experience have the best chance of becoming a detective early in their career.

Application Process – The City of Springfield has recently established a new online recruitment system. Police department candidates should go to the Human Resources department website and follow the job application instructions. The first step is to create an online profile to be placed on file. When there is an opening for police officers complete and submit an online application form which is evaluated and either rejected or placed on an eligibility list. Successful applicants are given a battery of written and physical tests and those with the top three scoress are turned over to the police department for the final round of tests, including:

  • Background investigation
  • Drug testing
  • Credit check
  • Polygraph
  • Medical examination
  • Psychological evaluation

Call “recruiting” at 417-864-1607 with additional questions and concerns.

Training – The state-of-the arts Regional Springfield Police and Fire Training Center, which opened in August 2012, provides training to law enforcement and fire groups from all over southwestern Missouri.

Recruits with the Springfield Police Department who successfully complete the application process spend several weeks at the center where they have both classroom and field courses, including:

  • Legal Procedures
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Psychology
  • Family Issues
  • Report Writing
  • First Air/CPR
  • Vehicle Pursuits
  • Firearms Training
  • Self-Defense
  • Physical Fitness

Following completion of the training, new officers are on probation for six months and work in the Uniform Operations Bureau for at least one or two years before they can become detectives with the investigative bureau. Criminal investigatorseceive additional training in such things as crime scene investigation, forensics, interview techniques, etc.

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