How to Become a Criminal Investigator in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the country, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report for 2012. Still, during that year New Hampshire experienced 2,481 violent crimes (which include aggravated assault, rape, robbery, nonnegligent manslaughter and murder).

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When it comes to criminal investigator jobs at the state level in New Hampshire, would-be detectives have a few choices:

The New Hampshire State Police Investigative Services Bureau contains detectives that provide professional investigative services to federal, state, county and city law enforcement agencies across New Hampshire. Based in Concord, four specialized units are housed within this bureau:

  • Terrorism Intelligence-analyzes data to provide comprehensive intelligence reports for all law enforcement agencies statewide
  • Polygraph- provides polygraph examinations for criminal investigations and other cases (such as pre-employment screening)
  • Narcotics and Investigations – concentrates on vice and drug related crimes
  • Major Crime-concentrates on homicide and death investigation

Steps to Joining the New Hampshire State Police Investigative Services Bureau

Meet the Requirements – To become a detective with the New Hampshire State Police Investigative Services Bureau, one must first become a state trooper. The education and experience requirements for that position can be fulfilled in one of the following ways:

  • Hold an associate degree or 60 hours of college credit in criminal justice or a related field


  • Hold a high school diploma/GED and have two years of experience gained in one of the following ways:
    • One year as a full-time certified police officer and one year of military service
    • Two years as a full-time certified police officer
    • Two years of military service

General requirements for candidates:

  • Be 21 or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen and New Hampshire resident
  • Obtain New Hampshire police officer certification
  • Have a valid New Hampshire driver’s license
  • Have accurate vision and hearing
  • Pass a thorough background investigation
  • Have no tattoos that are visible when wearing a uniform or civilian attire
  • Pass a physical agility test, written exam, polygraph test, medical examination and oral interviews

Participate in Training – Training for new state troopers with the New Hampshire State Police consists of obtaining New Hampshire police officer certification under the standards of the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council. This takes 14 weeks to complete and provides instruction in physical strength and endurance, defensive tactics, human relations, report writing, ethics and laws. Additional in-service training is provided through the Academy to state troopers and to detectives once promoted to that position.

Consider Agency Options – The New Hampshire Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General Criminal Justice Bureau is another option for aspiring detectives in New Hampshire who wish to work at the state level. These detectives provide investigative services for various major crimes across the state that are prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office. These include as drug crimes, economic crimes, crimes of public integrity, financial analysis and homicide. In order to become a detective within this bureau, one must first be a sworn law enforcement officer and meet all of the criteria listed above.

Detectives Serving at the County and City Levels in New Hampshire

A few of New Hampshire’s county sheriff’s offices have their own criminal investigation bureaus from which detectives may work. More city police departments throughout New Hampshire house detective bureaus and employ criminal investigators. Some of them include:

  • Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office – Newport
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division – Goffstown, Manchester and Nashua
  • Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division/Investigations – Brentwood
  • Manchester Police Department Investigative Division
  • Nashua Police Department Detective Bureau
  • Plainfield Police Department
  • Dover Police Department Legal/Investigation Bureau
  • Litchfield Police Department Detective Bureau
  • Portsmouth Police Department Detective Division
  • Wolfeboro Police Department

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