How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Allentown
Police Department

The Allentown Police Department receives hundreds of calls regarding serious crimes annually, including around a dozen cases of murder every year. Investigating these significant criminal activities is the responsibility of detectives working within the Allentown Police Department, which primarily employs specialized criminal investigators in three important sections:

  • The Criminal Investigations Division, which is responsible for conducting detailed investigations into serious crimes and working within the criminal justice system to secure convictions based on evidence.
  • The Vice and Intelligence Unit is responsible for conducting investigations into narcotics operations, prostitution, gambling, and other organized crimes. It also specializes in asset seizure and forfeiture.
  • The Special Victims Unit is responsible for investigating sexual crimes and crimes against vulnerable populations.

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Becoming a Detective with the Allentown Police Department

To become a criminal investigator with the Allentown Police Department, candidates will need to first prove themselves with service as a regular police officer. An officer may be promoted depending on an officer’s record of performance and the current need within one of the investigative units.

The pathway to detective jobs starts with becoming an entry-level police officer. The Chief of the Allentown Police Department states that candidates are evaluated for hire based on four criteria:

  • Education
  • Prior experience
  • Employment history
  • Personal character

Having a college degree is not one of the specific requirements; however, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in any of the following subjects can be considered an attribute when applying for initial hire and will also provide a useful foundation in the field of criminal investigations:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Law
  • Forensic Science
  • Law Enforcement
  • Police Science

Candidates for entry-level police officer positions are officially selected through a civil service exam, physical agility test, and by the strengths of their application.

Criminal Investigator Training Requirements

Essential training for criminal investigator jobs with the Allentown Police Department begins at the police academy, where over the course of 20 weeks new cadets will be instructed on the fundamentals of conducting criminal investigations. This is followed by 16 additional weeks of field training which will also focus on conducting investigations. Candidates will also have the opportunity for training courses covering subjects such as the following, depending on which unit Allentown Police Department detectives they are assigned:

  • Criminal Investigations Division
    • Homicide investigations
    • Assault and robbery investigations
  • Vice and Intelligence Unit
    • Undercover sting operations
    • Working with multi-agency law enforcement task forces
    • Narcotics trafficking operations
  • Special Victims Unit
    • Investigating internet crimes against children
    • Family issues and domestic violence investigations
    • Fraudulent crimes against the elderly

Recent Investigative Operations Conducted by Allentown PD Detectives

Detectives have recently had several successful operations that also made headlines:

An undercover Allentown Police Department detective recently arrested a man after he attempted to sell the officer 50 packs of heroin. The suspect had been under investigation for illegal drug violations on Chew Street.

Detectives recently staked out the residence of a man suspected of killing a gas station attendant during a robbery. They arrested the suspect when he came outside and upon searching the residence found a shotgun, the suspected murder weapon.

As the result of an undercover prostitution sting operation, Allentown Police Department detectives recently arrested two suspects on related charges. Detectives first began investigating the case after seeing a provocative ad placed on the internet.

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