How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Erie
Police Department

Every year the Erie Police Department investigates cases related to homicide, rape, robberies, and assaults. The Erie Pennsylvania Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division is comprised of several units:

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  • Crimes Against Persons
  • Burglary and Property Crimes
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Auto Theft
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Sex Crimes

Detectives in these units are tasked with conducting thorough investigations to get to the bottom of every serious crime that takes place within the city.

To prepare for criminal investigator jobs with the Erie Police Department, applicants will need to begin by becoming employed as an entry-level police officer and work their way up the ranks.

Steps to Becoming a Detective with the Erie PD Criminal Investigation Division

As police officers gain more experience within the Erie Police Department, they can work towards assignments that involve the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Once an officer has gained enough investigative experience, he or she may become a detective and pursue a transfer to the Criminal Investigation Division. This bid will be evaluated based on the officer’s performance, the qualifications of others who are also bidding, and the demand within the Criminal Investigation Division.

The initial steps to becoming a detective with the Erie Police Department starts by submitting an application for a police recruit position. Recruiting takes place once during even-numbered years, and applicants must be US citizens who are at least 21 years of age.

Candidates must also have a high school diploma or GED. While a high school education is essential, a college education is optional.

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in subjects such as these can have several benefits for aspiring detectives. Not least among these are a solid foundation in the field of investigations. Relevant college majors include:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Criminal Justice
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Police Science.

As a demonstration of the importance the Erie Police Department places on a college education, it offers its officers an education bonus.

Criminal Investigator Training with the Erie Police Department

Prospective police officers and future detectives with the Erie Police Department have some say in the training courses they participate in. The Erie Police Department does not provide its own police academy, but rather leaves the completion of a qualifying course of training up to prospective officers.

As long as the training program meets the standards set forth under Act 20, cadets can choose training that will fulfill basic academy requirements as well as provide valuable information in the field of investigations. The same holds true for in-service training opportunities. Relevant course subjects offered in association with the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission include:

  • Conducting an initial criminal investigation
  • Crime scene reconstruction
  • Arson investigations
  • Homicide investigations
  • Conducting domestic violence and family crime investigations
  • Hate crime and investigations into extremism
  • Evidence for courtroom presentation

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