How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Cincinnati
Police Department

The Cincinnati Police Department investigated 2,887 violent crimes in 2012, including 46 cases of murder or homicide and 1,725 robberies. When serious felonies or other highly concerning crimes are committed the police department calls upon its Investigations Bureau, which has a range of specialists who are prepared to confront the city’s worst criminals.

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Learning how to become a detective with the Investigations Bureau is important for candidates who are interested in pursuing a career as a criminal investigator. Some of the detective requirements can take at least a year to accomplish, so prospective applicants should start planning ahead to become a criminal investigator in Cincinnati.

Opportunities for Meeting the Department’s College Education Preference

The Cincinnati Police Department prefers applicants who have a college education, especially in any subjects related to:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Liberal Arts
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Communications
  • Sociology
  • Public Administration
  • Business Administration

All officers are eligible for the department’s college tuition reimbursement program. Upon completing the basic training academy new officers may be eligible for college credit at a variety of select colleges and universities.

Criminal Investigator Rank Hierarchy within the Cincinnati Police Department

Each of Cincinnati’s five police districts contains its own investigative unit. It is within these units that entry-level officers will have their first experiences with the detective field. Job duties at this level include responding to reports of crimes and conducting initial criminal investigations. When more serious or perplexing crimes occur, the department’s Investigations Section is called in. This section has a composition with a higher percentage of experienced police officers who are specialists and sergeants.

The following is the rank and requirement structure for police and detective jobs in Cincinnati:

  • Police Officer
    • At least 21 years old
    • High school diploma or GED
    • Valid driver’s license for at least one year
    • US citizen or in the process of becoming one
    • Complete the City of Cincinnati Police Academy

  • Police Specialist
    • At least three years of service as a Cincinnati Police Officer
  • Police Sergeant
    • At least three years of service as a police officer or specialist with the Cincinnati PD
  • Police Lieutenant
    • At least two years of service as a Cincinnati PD Sergeant
  • Police Captain
    • At least two years of service as a Cincinnati PD Lieutenant

Organization of the Cincinnati Police Department Investigations Bureau

The police department’s Investigations Bureau is comprised of two sections commanded by a captain, with the adjoining subsection units commanded by lieutenants:

  • Criminal Investigations Section
    • Homicide Unit
    • Major Offenders Unit
  • Special Investigations Section
    • Vice Unit
    • Narcotics Unit
    • Intelligence Unit

Additional sub-branches of the Investigations Bureau also utilize detectives who specialize in:

  • Investigative Support Squad
  • Real Time Crime Center
  • Crime Analysis and Problem Solving Squad
  • Regional Narcotics Unit
  • Financial Crimes Squad
  • Personal Crimes Squad

Cincinnati Police Department Criminal Investigator Training Components

Starting from their first day of academy until they retire, Cincinnati PD officers will receive training. As a position becomes more specialized in the Investigations Bureau, detective training will also become more targeted, covering subjects such as:

  • Homicide investigations
  • White collar crime investigations
  • Criminal investigator requirements in the courtroom
  • International drug trafficking networks
  • Human trafficking and the illegal sex industry
  • Domestic violence

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