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

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the safety and security of residents throughout its jurisdiction. Serious crimes that require special attention are assigned to detectives, who assure that justice is served. Detective jobs with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office are primarily found in two sections:

  • Detective Bureau
  • Narcotics Unit

The Detective Bureau has criminal investigators who specialize in everything from missing persons to homicide, while the Narcotics Unit specializes in disrupting major distribution networks for illegal drugs. No matter what unit an investigator is assigned to, becoming a detective with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office takes dedication and perseverance.

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Becoming a Detective with in Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office

After a few years of exemplary service as a deputy, and with the commanding officer’s approval, deputies may be transferred to a more specialized detective unit. Until this point, candidates will develop important investigative skills as sheriff’s deputies.

As such, detective requirements start with being able to initially qualify for deputy positions. To do this, candidates will need to:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Have no serious misdemeanor or felony convictions
  • Be a US citizen

Candidates who are considering long-term criminal investigator careers with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Detective Bureaus may also consider obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a pertinent field of study. Besides giving applicants additional qualifications and a firm footing in the detective field, college degrees can also qualify candidates for advanced criminal investigator jobs.

For example, to become a Captain with the sheriff’s office, candidates will need to have a bachelor’s degree in any of the following majors or in a closely related field:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Business Administration
  • Liberal Arts
  • Social Services

Training for Specialized Investigative Units in the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies will get their first experience in criminal investigator training as they undergo initial training to become certified Ohio peace officers. This academy will cover conducting initial investigations and the preservation and collection of evidence at a crime scene. As deputies gain additional experience they will have the option to complete training that is more geared towards a particular detective field.

Advanced training in these subjects is offered by the sheriff’s office as well as the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. This training will accompany increasing specialization. Investigative fields at the Detectives Bureau and Narcotics Unit including:

  • Homicide investigations
  • Domestic violence investigations
  • Undercover operations
  • Regional specialized task forces
  • Narcotics trafficking and distribution patterns
  • Technological advances in investigations
  • Investigating financial crimes and scams

Narcotics detectives recently participated in the arrest of two men who were wanted in connection to heroin sales in Cuyahoga County. Investigators felt an urgency to act as quickly as possible in this case because one county resident had been killed shortly after consuming the illicit product, which the coroner suspected to have been mixed with a deadly ingredient. Although detectives were able to help in getting the suspects off the streets, they warned there was still a danger posed to those who had already purchased the drug.

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