How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Montgomery County District Attorney

The Montgomery County District Attorney is the main employer of criminal investigators at the county-level of government. The DA uses the skills of a team of highly qualified investigators in its County Detective Bureau to solve crimes that range from murder and narcotics trafficking to financial crimes.

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Criminal investigators in Montgomery County work under the supervision of the District Attorney in order to create strong criminal cases for prosecution, combining the forces of those who gather the evidence with those who argue a case in front of a judge. Under the umbrella of the District Attorney, criminal investigator jobs in the Detective Bureau can be found within the following units:

  • Forensic Services Unit
  • Homicide Unit
  • Narcotics Enforcement Team
  • Special Investigations Unit – this unit does everything from covert surveillance and undercover operations to investigating public corruption and insurance fraud
  • Special Services Unit – this unit assists with victim and witness protection as well as maintaining the Detective Bureaus firearms, ammunition, and electronic equipment
  • Bureau of Criminal Identification
  • Private Complaint Unit

Becoming a Criminal Investigator with the Montgomery County Detective Bureau

Applicants usually come from a background of distinguished service as criminal investigators with other law enforcement agencies. In some ways the Detective Bureau can be thought of as an elite squad of criminal investigators who take on the most challenging cases in all of the county, as well as assisting municipal law enforcement personnel as needed.

One of the ways candidates for detective jobs with the District Attorney can distinguish themselves is by having a college education in a highly relevant field, although this is not an official requirement.

Most senior detectives within the Bureau have at least a bachelor’s degree. Whether it is to demonstrate a foundational knowledge of essential investigative theory or to plan for long-term career success, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in any of the following subjects will prepare candidates for many of the challenges that come from a career in criminal investigations:

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

To become a criminal investigator with the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, candidates should send their résumé and an employment application to:

District Attorney County Detective Bureau
County Courthouse 4th Floor
PO Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311

Criminal Investigator Training Requirements with the Detective Bureau

Because most investigators who are assigned to the Montgomery County Detective Bureau are coming from law enforcement positions where they already have extensive investigative experience, detective training for positions with the bureau will be specific to a detective’s area of specialization. Prior work as a law enforcement officer also means those who make it into the Detective Bureau already have extensive training in the field of criminal investigations.

Detectives in the Montgomery County Detective Bureau will have a variety of options of where to obtain advanced training in their area of specialization. This could be at the FBI Training Academy or with locally-based agencies such as the Pennsylvania State Police or the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission, which offer courses in the following types of investigations:

  • Homicide
  • Financial crimes
  • Crimes against vulnerable populations
  • Undercover and surveillance operations
  • Domestic violence and family altercations
  • Robberies and burglaries
  • White collar crimes
  • Insurance fraud

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