How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Durham
Police Department

About every six hours a violent crime is committed in Durham. The Durham Police Department investigates each and every one of these, with more baffling or violent cases falling to the Department’s Investigative Services Bureau. Comprised of three divisions, this Bureau is the front line against serious and organized crime that occurs within the city limits. Officers who would like to become a criminal investigator with the Durham Police Department will need to prove their skills and gain experience in the force before being entrusted to conduct independent detective work.

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The first important step any candidate can take is to research the basic hiring requirements for police positions with the Durham PD and how these can later translate into detective jobs.

Preferred and Required Qualifications to Become a Detective with the Durham PD

Applicants for police officer positions are preferred to have at least some college-level education. The Durham PD offers incentive pay for college degrees in any subject according to the following ceiling caps for maximum potential annual earnings:

  • Entry-level
    • with no degree: $37,000
    • with an associate’s degree: $37,925
    • with a bachelor’s degree: $38,850
  • Lateral recruit
    • with no degree: $38,480
    • with an associate’s degree: $39,442
    • with a bachelor’s degree: $40,404

Although any degree or amount of college education is preferable over none, areas with a particular relevance to the detective field include:

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

The minimum requirements for recruitment with the Durham PD are:

  • High school diploma
  • US citizenship
  • Driver’s license
  • At least 21 years of age by the time of academy graduation

New officers may be assigned immediately to assist in conducting criminal investigations. Career development in this direction is made according to an officer’s preferences, abilities, and performance.

Training and Recruitment with the Durham Police Department

To become a detective with the Durham Police Department, candidates will first need to start off as basic officers. Information about applying for these positions is posted on the Durham PD’s recruitment webpage, while the continuous announcement for a police officer job is posted on the city’s employment webpage.

Once new officers have navigated the hiring process and completed the rigorous 26-week basic law enforcement academy followed by an extensive field training program with a police training officer, they will be ready for their first assignment. New police officers can begin their careers with assignments that involve criminal investigations, however they will need to demonstrate skill and gain experience before they begin independent detective work.

Making the transition to the Durham PD’s Investigative Services Bureau can happen after a few years of working as a police officer. Additional detective training will relate to a criminal investigator’s area of specialization within one of the Bureau’s three divisions.

The Durham Police Department’s Investigative Services Bureau

Those who elect to pursue criminal investigator jobs with the Durham PD will find themselves as part of one of the largest investigative agencies in the state. The Durham PD’s Investigative Services Bureau is sectioned into three main divisions, each with their own accompanying areas of expertise:

  • Special Operations Division
    • Major Crimes Unit
    • Organized Crime Unit
    • Violent Incident Response Team
  • Criminal Investigations Division
    • Homicide Unit
    • Fraud Unit
    • Domestic Violence Unit
    • Special Victims Unit
  • Forensic Services Division
    • Crime Scene Unit
    • Crime Lab Unit
    • Property and Evidence Control Unit

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