How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Fargo
Police Department

The Fargo Police Department employs some of the finest detectives in the state. These professionals are tasked with investigating a multitude of serious crimes with a level of expertise that ensures the most serious criminals are brought to justice. Detectives work as part of the department’s Investigation Division, gathering evidence for prosecution in cases including:

  • Homicides
  • Domestic violence
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Weapons and drug smuggling

Last year detectives investigated three homicides, 105 cases of vehicle theft, and 242 aggravated assaults. During this period detectives worked on an average of 149 cases and saw a 44 percent rate of clearance. To become a detective with the Fargo Police Department’s Investigation Division, candidates will need to make sure they can meet the minimum requirements for employment.

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Qualifications to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Fargo Police Department

Detective Qualifications – Entry-level patrol officers may apply for criminal investigator jobs within the Fargo Police Department once they have completed their probationary period after being hired. Becoming a patrol officer requires applicants to possess two years of college education in any field, with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree accepted to fulfill this requirement. Although any field suffices for this education, the following subjects will develop foundational investigative skills:

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

The Fargo PD will give applicants with a four-year bachelor’s degree in any subject preference. As a recognition of the value the Fargo Police Department places on college education, it also offers a yearly bonus payment of up to $300 towards approved college courses.

The remaining minimum requirements for entry-level patrol officers are:

  • US citizenship or a lawful alien residence status
  • Valid driver’s license
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Upstanding moral character with no felony or class A misdemeanor convictions
  • Honorable military discharge, if applicable

Detective TrainingOnce new officers have made it past their initial probationary period they will be qualified to apply for detective jobs with the Fargo PD. At this point officers will have completed training for basic skills at an accredited academy, as well as a 17-week police training-officer program. Every year police officers must also attend at least 48 hours of continuing training.

If adequate detective training has not been achieved by the time an officer is appointed to the position of a criminal investigator, Fargo PD’s training instructors provide courses in:

  • North Dakota legislative training
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Conducting interviews and interrogation
  • Computer crime investigations
  • Domestic violence training
  • Narcotics identification
  • Gang training

Inside the Fargo Police Department’s Investigation Division

The Fargo PD’s Investigation Division is divided into three primary units with the accompanying sectors of specialization:

  • Criminal Investigations Unit
    • Property and Financial Crimes Team
    • Personal Crimes Team
      • Adult violent crimes
      • Violent crimes against children
      • Elder abuse
  • Narcotics Unit
    • Task forces
    • Drug crimes
    • Gangs
    • Prostitution
  • Intelligence Unit
    • Sex Offender Registration Compliance Oversight Program (SORCOP)
    • Crime scene analysis

Over the past two years the Criminal Investigations Unit has seen a nearly 60 percent increase in its workload.

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