How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Albuquerque
Police Department

When serious crimes are committed in the City of Albuquerque the police department assigns members of its Criminal Investigations Bureau to investigate. Joining the Albuquerque Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau is a promotional opportunity available to experienced police officers who have worked in the entry-level patrol position for at least two years. As part of this Bureau officers will be on the leading edge of investigative technology and expertise, securing evidence to ensure the most dangerous criminals are brought to justice.

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In 2012, Albuquerque’s detectives were involved with investigating 4,151 violent crimes committed in the city, including:

  • 2,740 aggravated assaults
  • 41 cases of murder and manslaughter
  • 6,677 burglaries
  • 278 cases of forcible rape

The range of criminal investigator areas of specialization includes:

  • Armed robbery
  • Auto theft
  • Burglary and property crimes
  • Crimes against children
  • Fugitive unit
  • Gang unit
  • Homicide
  • Narcotics
  • Sex crimes
  • Vice squad
  • White collar crimes

The Advantages of Earning a College Degree in a Relevant Field

The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) values education as an asset for all its officers. The department recognizes the impact that a bachelor’s or advanced degree can have on the career prospects and foundational skills of existing officers and prospective job candidates. That is why the APD offers the following yearly college incentive bonus pay:

  • $1,620 per year for those with a bachelor’s degree
  • $1,920 per year for those with a master’s degree
  • $2,220 per year for those with a PhD

Although having a degree in any subject is acceptable, there are certain fields of study that are particularly relevant to detectives:

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

Career Advancement to Become an Albuquerque Police Department Detective

Once a patrol officer has been promoted to the Officer First Class level he or she will become eligible to pursue detective jobs with the Albuquerque Police Department. To become a detective with the APD, interested officers should notify their superior of their goal of working in the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

The following is a breakdown of progressive ranks within the Albuquerque Police Department along with pay:

  • Police Cadet – rank of an officer who is attending the 25-week police academy, $18.24 per hour
  • Police Officer Second Class – rank of an officer during the year following completion of the academy, $20.04 per hour
  • Police Officer First Class – rank of an officer after completing one year of non-cadet service, $25.18 per hour
  • Police Officer lateral transfer – one year of probation, followed by the officer first class rank, $23.95 per hour

Training to Become a Criminal Investigator in Albuquerque

The training requirements to become a detective with the Albuquerque Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau depend on an officer’s area of specialization. New criminal investigators will be directed to the appropriate training resources by their superiors.

The Advanced Training Bureau with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, Training and Recruiting Division offers courses including:

  • Advanced crash investigation
  • Advanced officer survival
  • Amber Alert and child abduction investigations
  • Animal cruelty investigations
  • Crime scene investigations
  • Domestic violence
  • Hate crimes and racial profiling
  • Homicide investigation

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