How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Henderson
Police Department

Henderson has been rated one of the safest cities in the country. Much of the credit for this goes to the nationally accredited Henderson Police Department (HPD), which works closely with members of the community to prevent and solve crime.

The 445 crimes committed against people in 2012 represented a decrease of 22.5% in the violent crime rate as compared to 2011. Among these crimes were four murders and 61 cases of forcible rape.

Detectives with the HPD’s Investigations Division work to solve these types of cases along with the large number of property crimes that are committed in Henderson. This division includes the following units:

  • Homicide
  • K-9
  • SWAT

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Requirements to Become a Detective with the Henderson Police Department

The first step to becoming a detective with the HPD is to join the force as a patrol officer. From there, selected candidates are promoted to become criminal investigators.

The Human Resources Department of Henderson handles the initial applications for positions as police officers. Applicants must meet a number of requirements to be considered for employment.

Education – The HPD requires that its applicants have at least a high school education by the time they apply for police officer jobs. Many candidates have gone on to obtain college training in fields relevant to police work to improve their skill set and increase their chances of being chosen to become an officer. Common types of degrees include the following:

  • Criminal justice
  • Sociology
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Law enforcement

Minimum general qualifications include:

  • Be at least 21 years old by the time of the written exam
  • Be a U.S. citizen by the time of the written exam
  • Good vision: correctable to 20/40 (one eye) and 20/30 in both
  • Have a valid driver’s license from any state
  • Not have any of the following convictions:
    • A crime that requires registration by Nevada law
    • Felony
    • Domestic violence

Training – Police recruits train in the department by assisting police officers in a variety of ways to learn the department’s operations and procedures. Candidates that have been accepted onto the force must complete an Academy Basic Course within a year of being hired. Once they have completed this training, their status changes from temporary to permanent.

Detective Work in Henderson

One of the functions of new recruits includes providing clerical support to detectives. This can include making telephone calls to follow up on background investigations. In the event of a large scale incident, these officers are tasked to help the detectives with whatever clerical work they need.

Homicide detectives work out of their dedicated unit to investigate all suspicious deaths, homicides, and officer-involved shootings. All murder cases in Henderson are kept open until the detectives have identified and arrested a suspect.

Additions areas of investigations for the HPD include the following:

  • Financial crimes
  • Narcotics
  • Robbery
  • Property crimes
  • Vehicle theft

Recent cases that detectives have solved include the February 2014 arrest of four teenagers for committing a number of thefts from vehicles in Henderson. One of the teens had stabbed a resident who had intercepted him breaking into his car. The police caught a break when another resident was able to catch and detain one of the burglars. From there, detectives were able to identify and arrest all of the teens involved.

In October 2013, detectives were able to act on a tip and arrest the 16-year-old suspect in a brutal murder in Henderson. The HPD had been searching for the teenager after the bodies of his mother and nine year old brother had been discovered in September of that year.

With help from the public, Henderson detectives were able to arrest a Boulder man for attempting to kidnap a six-year-old Henderson girl in March of 2013. He was charged with kidnapping, child abuse, and burglary.

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