How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Abuses committed against children, murder, and white-collar money laundering are just some of the felony crimes into which the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Investigative Services section delves. Serious and organized crime requires a serious and organized response- which is exactly what the detectives working with Investigative Services do. In 2012 criminal investigators were involved with:

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  • 52 murders
  • 223 cases of rape
  • 3,165 aggravated assaults
  • 1,798 robberies
  • 5,238 violent crimes in total

Prospective officers learning how to become a detective with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department can start by learning about the criminal investigator requirements needed to step up into these positions.

Becoming a Detective with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

To apply for detective jobs with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, candidates should be aware of what is required versus what is preferred.

Degree Qualifications to Join the PD – The CMPD prefers all its applicants to have at least an associate’s degree, which can be in any subject.

One of the earliest ways candidates can get their foot in the door at CMPD is through its Police Cadet program. This allows them to perform certain duties at the police station while still enrolled as a student in college. Students can be eligible for this program as well as CMPD’s tuition assistance program if they are studying for a degree in either criminal justiceor criminology.

Related degree programs such as these must be pre-approved the Police Chief for credit by:

  • Forensic Science
  • Law Enforcement
  • Police Science
  • Law

The CMPD also offers bonus pay for college degrees at the rate of:

  • 5% for an associate’s degree
  • 5% additional for a bachelor’s degree

The remaining requirements for hire are:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Able to obtain a North Carolina driver’s license
  • Be a US citizen
  • Be of good moral character with no felony convictions
  • Must be willing to reside within a 45-mile radius of Police Headquarters

Making the Transition to Detective – After completing the Basic Law Enforcement Training program, officers will start work in patrol. New officers are typically on probation for their first year of employment. Once the probation period is complete, patrol officers will have the opportunity to enroll in criminal investigator training courses to prepare for a transition to the detective field.

Criminal investigator jobs with the CMPD open up periodically throughout the year, at which time eligible officers may submit an application.

Structure of the CMPD’s Investigative Services

Detectives can work in any number of specialized areas with the Investigative Services section of the CMPD:

  • Special Investigations Bureau:
    • Vice Unit
    • DEA and ICE task forces
    • Gang Enforcement Unit
    • Joint-Terrorism Task Force
    • Safe Streets Task Force
  • Criminal Investigations Bureau:
    • Domestic Violence Unit
    • Auto Theft Unit
    • Missing Persons Unit
    • Financial Crimes Unit
    • Cyber Crimes Unit
    • Property Crimes Unit
  • Violent Crimes Division
    • Homicide/ADW Unit
  • Major Crimes
    • Robbery Unit
    • Sexual Assault Unit

The CMPD offers in-service detective training opportunities in many of these areas, and provides the resources for its officers to receive out-of-agency criminal investigator training at other professional locations.

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