How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Norman
Police Department

The Norman Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division assumes command when a patrol officer is unable to complete an initial investigation to resolve a serious crime. This may be due to a situation in which a suspect can’t be identified, or may be the case in a situation where further in-depth investigations are required.

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Once patrol passes a case to the Criminal Investigations Division, it will be reviewed by a supervisor, and then assigned to a detective if the crime was committed against a vulnerable person or involved violence.

In 2012 detectives from the Norman PD Criminal Investigations Division were involved with investigating 173 violent crimes committed in the city, including:

  • 1 murder
  • 52 cases of forcible rape
  • 54 robberies
  • 66 aggravated assaults

Candidates who want to learn how to become a detective with the Norman Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division can start by reviewing the qualifications and training requirements for these jobs

Qualifications to Become a Criminal Investigator in Norman

Candidates can apply for detective jobs with the Criminal Investigations Division once they have served their probationary period as a patrol officer, approximately one year from the beginning of the police academy.

Applications for detective jobs are made internally. Candidates will be evaluated based on their experience and demonstrated skills as evidenced on their service record.

Education is an important part of being hired as a patrol officer. The Norman Police Department requires entry-level applicants to have at least 60 college credits in any area of study. The department will substitute up to 30 credits of this requirement for either of the following:

  • Three years of active military service with an honorable discharge
  • Two years of previous law enforcement experience

The Norman Police Department emphasizes the importance it places on a college education by offering a tuition assistance program plus salary bonuses as college incentive pay.

Candidates who are considering a long-term career as a criminal investigator can make their applications more competitive and improve their relevant qualifications with an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in any of the following subjects:

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

A degree in any of these areas will help candidates to develop essential skills they will use every day while working as detectives.

Training with the Norman Police Department Criminal Investigations Division

Basic criminal investigator training is covered during police academy, and is then given further attention during the following 15 weeks of field training. In-service training programs will also cover important topics in the detective field.

Once an officer has successfully moved to the Criminal Investigations Division, his or her detective training will become more specific to their particular area of specialization. The Norman Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division has a team of detectives who specialize in the following areas:

  • Crimes against children
  • Domestic violence
  • Homicides
  • Robberies
  • Narcotics trafficking and distribution
  • White collar financial crimes
  • Fraud
  • Computer crimes
  • Cold cases

This training has been put to good use, as Norman detectives recently announced the arrest of a seventh suspect on charges related to the murder of a Norman man for what they believe to be a retaliatory attack. Detectives came to this conclusion after conducting numerous interviews and interrogations, as well as examining evidence from the crime scene.

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