How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Manchester
Police Department

The Manchester Police Department (MPD) restructured its Detective Squad in 2011, so that criminal investigators could specialize more closely in investigating particular types of crime. This has proven to be highly effective in fighting crime in Manchester.

Detectives investigated 624 violent crimes in 2012, including one murder and 72 cases of forcible rape. In high profile cases like the March 2012 shooting of Officer Doherty, detectives from all divisions participate in the investigation.

The role of detectives in this case ranged from rendering aid to the officer on the scene to assisting patrol officers with capturing the shooter. Subsequently, detectives from the Detective Squad, Juvenile Unit, and the Domestic Violence Unit thoroughly investigated the case over a period of several months. Their work led to a 60-year-to-life sentence for the defendant.

Joining the Manchester Police Department to Become a Detective

To join the ranks of these detectives, citizens must first join the MPD as a patrol officer. After gaining experience on the streets, selected officers are promoted to become detectives.

The MPD recruits new officers twice a year. Prospective police officers must meet a number of requirements to be able to join the force and must become Manchester residents within a year of being appointed.

Educational Requirement – Although the minimum level of education required to become a police officer in Manchester is a high school education, the MPD seeks high quality candidates and actively recruits college students to join the force.

Being selected for police officer jobs in Manchester is a competitive process. Seventeen officers were hired in 2012 out of 271 applicants who participated in the initial testing process. Many applicants choose to enhance their desirability and learn the skills necessary to be effective investigators by obtaining degrees in such fields as criminal justice and law enforcement.

Training – Once candidates have been selected to become police officers in Manchester, they train at the MPD’s New-Recruit Training Academy. The next step is the Field Officer Training program.

All new appointees must sign an agreement that they will remain on the force for three years. If they do not, they are required to pay back their training costs.

The Investigative Division of the Manchester Police Department

The primary division that employs detectives in the MPD is the Investigative Division. It includes the following units:

  • Detective Squad
  • Domestic Violence Unit
  • Juvenile Division
  • Evidence Unit
  • Transcription Services Unit

Detective Squad – The 19 detectives in this squad typically handle between 15 to 20 cases at a time. This squad is broken down into the following units:

  • Violent crimes
  • Property crimes
  • Fraud
  • Burglary
  • General investigations

Although these detectives do specialize in particular areas of crime, they are frequently called on to investigate all manner of crimes in Manchester. Part of their work includes processing crime scenes.

Additional detectives are assigned to investigate more specific areas such as the following:

  • Arson
  • Missing persons (adult)
  • Pistol permit background investigations
  • Polygraph examination

The department recently implemented the Leads Online program to help recover stolen property. This requires pawn activity to be submitted online. In addition, secondhand dealers must hold their property for 30 days. This program is proving effective at arresting the perpetrators of property crimes.

Domestic Violence Unit – Three investigators work during the day, while three officers in the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) work the evening shift. The members of the DART unit conduct random home visits to ensure that defendants are complying with court orders. They also investigate reports of domestic violence in which no arrest was made at the time of the report. In addition, the department has assigned one investigator specifically for sexual assault investigations.

Juvenile Unit – Fourteen investigators handle all crimes that have been committed against or by juveniles. These investigators also specialize in particular areas. School Resource Officers (SROs) investigate all crimes related to their assigned schools. Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation (CHASE) investigators handle crimes committed against or by juveniles that involve sexual and physical abuse. Delinquency investigators examine all other such crimes. One of the detectives is part of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) group.

Special Enforcement Division of the Manchester Police Department

Other detectives in Manchester work for the Special Enforcement Division.

Special Investigations Unit – Investigators with the SIU were very successful at intercepting drug trafficking in Manchester in 2012. They had the following notable successes:

  • The arrest of three large scale heroin dealers
  • The disruption of a ring that was distributing large quantities of Percocet. Officers seized over $14,000 in cash, 1,200 Percocet tablets, and a handgun.
  • The interception of suspicious packages being delivered by the US Postal Service

Street Crime Unit – The two detectives in this unit work primarily in plain clothes and unmarked cars. They arrested over 150 people in 2012 and assisted with the following areas:

  • Complaints of prostitution
  • Drug problems
  • Complaints of nuisance property
  • Surveillance
  • Serving warrants

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