How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Cass County Sheriff's Office

When Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies encounter serious cases of violence, abuse, or neglect they turn to sheriff detectives. These highly experienced criminal investigators ensure justice is carried out.

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Each year detectives with the CCSO resolve hundreds of the county’s most serious criminal cases.

Detectives with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office work in two primary areas of investigation within the Office’s Field Services Division:

  • Narcotics
  • Investigations

Becoming a Detective with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office

Starting out as a Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy – Becoming a detective in Cass County requires candidates to have years of experience as well as a basic education. To be eligible for any position with the sheriff’s office, candidates will need to have a high school diploma or GED.

A college education can be helpful for several reasons. A relevant associate’s or bachelor’s degree will provide prospective detectives with a firm grounding in investigative law enforcement. It can also increase a candidate’s initial employable attributes and allow for advancement into a wider range of careers. Subjects relevant to criminal investigations include:

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

Advancing to Detective with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office – The requirements to become a detective generally proceeds through the following sequence:

  • Start as a sheriff’s deputy in the corrections division
  • After demonstrating a good work ethic and skillfully carrying out correctional duties, candidates can apply to be transferred to the patrol division
  • After gaining experience and related training as a patrol deputy, candidates can apply for detective jobs as they become available

As deputies work in the patrol division and eventually move into detective positions they will have the opportunity to gain valuable criminal investigator training specific to the specialized field to which they are assigned.

Working as a Detective with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office

In 2012 Cass County Sheriff’s Office detectives were assigned to more than 227 investigative cases. Last year they handled a total of 219 new cases, with 51 of those involving narcotics. Investigators working the narcotics side frequently participate in joint operations with the Cass County Drug Task Force, which also includes members from:

  • West Fargo Police Department
  • North Dakota Parole and Probation
  • North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

One of the more notable cases investigated by detectives resulted in Operation Rover Rescue, which started with an animal welfare call in rural Wheatland. The end result was the seizure of more than 170 mistreated small-breed dogs, including breeds like Shih Tzu, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier and additional mixes.

Investigators were concerned about the living conditions of the dogs, as several were confined to one kennel, resulting in associated health problems. After 14 days of medical quarantine the dogs were cleared for adoption.

Beyond animal welfare cases, sheriff’s investigators also work on cases involving murder, assault, and robbery.

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