How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Las Cruces
Police Department

Detectives with the Las Cruces Police Department face the daunting task of securing convictions for the city’s most heinous crimes. These experienced law enforcement professionals work within the department’s Criminal Investigations Section to combat serious crimes against people, property, and the rule of law.

To become a criminal investigator with the Las Cruces Police Department, candidates will need to have at least two years of experience as a Police Officer I or be currently serving as an officer above this rank.

Experience, education, and training can all have an impact on a candidate’s chances of initial hire and future promotion within the LCPD. Only the most qualified candidates are selected to become detectives. In 2012 these individuals investigated 394 violent crimes in the city, including five homicide cases.

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Meeting the Qualifications to Become a Detective with the Las Cruces Police Department

There are a few ways candidates can meet the requirements to become a detective with the LCPD’s Criminal Investigations Section:

  • Be a Police Officer I with at least two years of experience with the LCPD
  • Be any rank above a Police Officer I

Although not among of the official criminal investigator requirements, college education in a relevant field can provide several advantages for applicants:

  • Bolstered initial qualifications
  • Demonstration of commitment to the field
  • Expanded career opportunities

Particularly relevant subject areas for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree include:

  • Police Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Law
  • Forensic Science

Las Cruces Police Department Rank Qualifications

The LCPD police officer rank qualifications to reach the detective-level are as follows:

  • Police Cadet: rank of an officer during the initial 12-week police academy
  • Officer Trainee: rank of an officer upon graduation from the training academy until his or her probationary period is complete
  • Police Officer I: rank of an officer who has been certified by the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy and completed his or her probationary period
  • Police Officer II: rank of an officer who has reached the appropriate salary scale with at least a five percent increase from the previous rank
  • Police Officer III: rank of an officer who has reached the appropriate salary scale with at least a five percent increase from the previous rank
  • Detective: can be held by a Police Officer I with two years of experience, or a Police Officer II or III

To become a criminal investigator with the Las Cruces Police Department, officers should notify their superiors about their career aspirations.

Training for the Las Cruces Police Department Criminal Investigations Section

Criminal investigator training is provided to cover topics that even experienced police officers have not likely had sufficient experience in. Because detective jobs with the Las Cruces Police Department can vary according to subject expertise, training is provided in a wide variety of courses. The Training and Recruiting Division of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety provides classes in:

  • Crime scene investigations
  • Conducting homicide investigations
  • Investigating hate crimes
  • Child abduction investigations
  • Domestic violence case investigation

Detective training will prepare new hires with the CIS for their transition into criminal investigator jobs. Some of the major units within the Las Cruces Police Department Criminal Investigation Section include:

  • Crimes against children
  • Financial crimes
  • Crimes against persons
  • Property crimes
  • Domestic violence
  • Warrants
  • Crime analysis
  • Identification
  • Evidence
  • Victims’ assistance

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