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

When the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is alerted of murders, kidnappings, and domestic violence assaults in the city limits, it calls upon the detectives serving with its Investigations Division. These professionals are dedicated men and women who have taken the necessary steps to become criminal investigators in Oklahoma County.

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The Investigations Division solves difficult and important cases by gathering enough evidence through crime scene analysis, interviews, and sleuthing to make a successful prosecution. Detectives also work in close partnership with federal agencies:

  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force is comprised of detectives and personnel from partnering law enforcement agencies. This squad targets the major drug dealers operating in Oklahoma County and throughout the state.
  • US Marshals Service Metro Fugitive Squad detectives work alongside law enforcement and criminal justice agents from across a spectrum of agencies to capture the most dangerous fugitives in the area.

How to Become a Detective with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

Qualifying for detective jobs with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division generally requires candidates to first become sheriff’s deputies or correctional deputies. After demonstrating a good work ethic and receiving positive work performance reviews, candidates may be assigned to the Investigations Division based on demand within the unit. Promotions are made according to the discretion of the sheriff.

To get started as a Cadet Detention Officer or Sheriff’s Deputy, candidates will need to meet the following minimum requirements and apply online:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Be able to legally work in the US

Education can play an important role in a criminal investigator’s career. Having any college degree will demonstrate an ability to commit and a significant level of intelligence. Having a degree in one of the following fields can develop fundamental skills that are highly relevant to a career as a detective:

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

Having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in one of these fields is not part of the official detective requirements, however it will provide candidates with valuable investigative skills that will be used throughout an investigative career.

Career Advancement Through Criminal Investigator Training

The development of investigative skills starts in a detention cadet’s basic training, covering topics such as interrogating suspects and preserving evidence.

Patrol training also contributes a significant amount of training, where deputies are likely to use investigative skills during every shift.

Advanced detective training will cover topics that are particularly relevant to the duties of a criminal investigator in the Investigations Division. These trainings are available through Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office sponsorship with outside agencies or as in-service training opportunities. Advanced criminal investigator training can include:

  • Conducting homicide investigations
  • Undercover and surveillance operations
  • Suspect interrogation
  • Witness and victim interviewing
  • Criminal behavior and psychology
  • Family and domestic violence
  • Investigating crimes against vulnerable populations

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