How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Nashua
Police Department

Detectives with the Nashua Police Department (NPD) investigated 204 cases of violent crime in 2012. While the overall rate of violent crime decreased by 4% between 2011 and 2012, the rate of forcible rape increased by 50% during that time frame. The city also suffered from 2,361 cases of property crime in 2012.

Eight detectives operate within the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) investigating felonies and occasionally sensitive or time-intensive misdemeanor cases. The CID is made up of the following units:

  • Criminal Investigative
  • Youth Services
  • Narcotic Intelligence Division

Several undercover detectives work a vice unit responsible for narcotics investigations, as well as investigations into prostitution and gambling.

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Joining the Nashua Police Department to Become a Detective

The first step to becoming a detective for the Nashua Police Department is to join the force as a patrol officer. From there, officers who show aptitude as criminal investigators can be promoted to become CID detectives.

Unlike many police departments, the NPD does not require its officers to be residents of the city or even the state of New Hampshire. However, applicants must be citizens of the U.S. and meet a number of other requirements.

General Qualifications – Although the basic educational requirement to join the NPD is a high school education, the department greatly values having highly educated officers. It offers an annual bonus for police officers that have bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Another reason to get a college degree before applying to the department is that it can help to provide the skills needed to succeed in performing criminal investigations. Many applicants get degrees in applicable fields such as criminal justice, forensic science or crime scene investigations. Applicants with this type of training can stand out in the competitive process involved in becoming a detective.

Other general qualifications include:

  • Being at least 21 years old when applying
  • Excellent vision:
    • Near: correctable to 20/40
    • Far: correctable to 20/30

Training – New recruits train within the NPD and at the New Hampshire Police Academy in Concord. This entails 14 weeks of paramilitary style training that combines classroom study with practical training such as using firearms. The academy also offers scenario-based training such as searching buildings.

Officers who graduate from the academy and join the force will be on probation for a year.

Criminal Investigator Success Stories In Nashua

Officers of the NPD routinely make arrests that result from the investigations performed by their detectives. In May 2014 alone, detective work was responsible for a number of important arrests and conviction:

Members of the Uniformed Operations Bureau arrested a man for second-degree assault and resisting arrest. His attacks on a 17 year old resulted in her having a concussion. Detectives from the Special Investigations Division carried out the investigation that resulted in the charges against him.

CID detectives had been investigating a convicted felon for possessing at least one handgun. He had stolen the firearm from a vehicle, although the one that he was recovered with was not the firearm that he had previously stolen. The defendant was charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. Police continued searching for the stolen firearm.

As the result of a CID investigation, two individuals were arrested for the armed robbery of a convenience store in November 2013 in which the clerk sustained injuries from being hit with a tire iron. The man was identified as the suspect by the work of these detectives, and he was subsequently arrested a few days later. The detectives also determined that the man’s 17 year old girlfriend had distracted the clerk and acted as a lookout. The Salem Police Department arrested her in May 2014 based on an NPD warrant for criminal liability to robbery.

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