How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Newark
Police Department

As the 11th largest city in the nation, Newark is unfortunately no stranger to violent criminals and organized crime. Just last week the Newark Police Department investigated:

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  • 1 case of rape
  • 1 case of murder
  • 33 robberies
  • 28 aggravated assaults
  • 50 auto thefts

Detectives with the Newark Police Department Detective Division are skilled criminal investigators that lend essential expertise to the city’s most serious criminal cases.

Qualifications to Become a Detective with the Newark Police Department

When researching how to become a detective with the New Jersey Police Department, prospective candidates can start by learning about the minimum qualifications for employment.

Entry-level police officers with the Newark PD can participate in criminal investigation operations, however officers must hold the rank of Police Lieutenant to be able to lead and direct criminal investigations. The ranks and their requirements leading up to this position are:

  • Police Officer:

    • High school diploma
    • At least 18 years of age and not more than 35, with some variation for veterans
    • US citizen

  • Sergeant – at least three years of police officer experience
  • Lieutenant – at least two years of police supervisory experience, such as that obtained as a Sergeant

Candidates who are considering detective jobs in Newark may also consider obtaining a relevant college education. Although this is not a minimum requirement, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in an appropriate major will provide candidates with valuable skills and a solid foundation in the field of criminal investigations.

A degree can serve as a competitive qualification for an initial application as well as for future promotional opportunities. Majors that are relevant to criminal investigations include:

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

To begin the application process as an entry-level police officer in New Jersey, candidates will need to take the general Law Enforcement Examination. The next testing date for this exam is posted on the New Jersey Civil Service Commission website.

Candidates who meet the requirements to become a Sergeant or Lieutenant will also find information about the next necessary promotional exam on the promotional section of the Civil Service Commission website.

By the time an officer working within the Detective Division reaches the rank of Lieutenant, he or she will already have at least five years of experience. Any gaps in the criminal investigator training requirements will be filled in with instruction in one of four major areas in which the Detective Division specializes:

  • Major Crimes Bureau
  • General Investigations
  • Property and Evidence Bureau
  • Narcotics

Working with the Newark Police Department’s Detective Division

Although it is not easy to become a detective in Newark, those who work their way up to this position can expect to participate in important criminal investigations. One recent success the Detective Division enjoyed came in the form of a breakthrough in an unsolved murder.

After two years of investigation, Newark PD detectives were able to arrest three suspects for the unsolved stabbing murder of a high school student as he walked home after class. After conducting numerous searches and interviews, detectives obtained confessions from two of the suspects. One week after interviewing the three suspects in custody, detectives made a fourth arrest and brought charges related to the stabbing against the additional suspect.

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