How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Jersey City
Police Department

In 2012, detectives with the Jersey City Police Department assisted with investigations into 1,847 violent crimes that took place in the city, including 11 murders and 762 motor vehicle thefts.

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Working as a criminal investigator with the Jersey City Police Department is a challenging job that often brings detectives face to face with the aftermath of violent crime. However, many will say the sense of satisfaction that comes with bringing closure to victims and serving justice to assailants makes it all worthwhile.

Prospective criminal investigators who would like to become detectives with the Jersey City Police Department can start by reviewing the preferred and mandatory hiring requirements described here.

Steps to Becoming a Detective with the Jersey City Police Department

Conducting investigations is within the purview of an entry-level police officer’s job description. However, it is not until officers reach the rank of Lieutenant that they are able to direct criminal investigations.

Minimum Requirements – Becoming a detective with the Jersey City Police Department typically takes at least five years and can be accomplished through the following career pathway:

  • Entry-level police officer:
    • US citizen between 18-35 years old
    • High school diploma or GED
    • Valid New Jersey driver’s license
  • Police Sergeant:
    • Three years of experience as a police officer
  • Police Lieutenant:
    • Two years of experience in a supervisory position such as Police Sergeant

Education Options – While it is not a stated requirement, having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in any of the following subjects can be advantageous:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Forensic Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Police Science

A college education in any of these subject areas will provide candidates with a strong theoretical foundation on which to develop their investigative skills. A degree also has the potential to open additional career opportunities as officers look to advance to lieutenant so as to lead criminal investigations.

The Jersey City PD values a college education and demonstrates this by offering a tuition reimbursement plan to its officers.

Training – Preparing to become a detective with the Jersey City Police Department starts at an officer’s initial basic training where foundational skills in criminal investigations are taught. With at least five years of police experience under their belts before qualifying to become criminal investigators, Jersey City detectives receive much of their detective training on the job. However, additional criminal investigator training also takes place in key areas to ensure new detectives are as prepared as possible for assignments in such specialty areas as:

  • Domestic violence investigations
  • White collar crime
  • Homicide and murders
  • Crimes against children
  • Special investigations
  • Cyber and internet crimes
  • Drug trafficking investigations

Working as a Criminal Investigator with the Jersey City Police Department

Criminal investigator jobs in Jersey City can involve leading investigations into everything from illegal drug cartels to kidnappings. Some recent operations carried out by JCPD detectives have included:

JCPD detectives recently participated in an operation against one of their own. The suspect was a police officer who unwittingly committed a string of crimes under the watchful eye of an FBI informant against other undercover officers. The crimes included stealing hundreds of thousands of cigarettes and robbing an undercover agent who was posing as a drug courier carrying $20,000 cash.

An undercover JCPD detective’s motives were not dubious as he went into a massage parlor that was suspected to be acting as a front for prostitution activities. After being offered several illegal services the detective left to ostensibly get more money, but when he returned he was accompanied by additional officers who arrested the three women present.

JCPD Detectives were recently part of a multi-agency operation that netted three suspects who would later be convicted on drug-related charges. Two of the suspects received lengthy prison sentences for their part in a heroin and PCP trafficking operation.

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