How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Pawtucket
Police Department

When serious crimes are committed in Pawtucket, the police department calls upon the expertise of its Detective Division. In 2012 detectives in Pawtucket were involved with investigating 288 violent crimes, including four homicides and 168 aggravated assaults.

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The Pawtucket Police Department’s Detective Division enlists criminal investigators to serve in one of several investigative bureaus within the division:

  • Youth Bureau
  • Identification Bureau
    • Major crime scene processing
    • Sex offender registration
    • Background checks
  • Special Squad
    • Criminal vice
    • Gambling
    • Prostitution
    • Narcotics and weapons trafficking
  • Detective Bureau
    • Major violent crimes
    • Financial Crimes Unit
    • Property Crimes Unit

How to Be Promoted to a Detective Position in the Detective Division

To become a detective with the Pawtucket Police Department, candidates will first need to serve at least three years as an entry-level patrol officer and then pass a civil service exam for promotion.

Information on how to register and prepare for the detective promotional exam are posted on the third Monday in August of odd-numbered years.

Opportunities to become a criminal investigator with the Pawtucket Police Department’s Youth Bureau are available on a competitive basis to detectives who have already been assigned to the Detective Bureau.

Candidates can increase their chances for promotion to criminal investigator jobs within the Detective Division by having a college degree in particular area of focus. Qualifying degrees must be in the subject areas of law enforcement or behavioral sciences, such as:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Police Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

After a police officer has taken the civil service examination in order to be promoted to available detective jobs, the exam results will be weighted on the following scale with consideration given to the officer’s college education:

  • 1% – at least 30 college credits
  • 2% – an Associate’s Degree
  • 4% – a Bachelor’s Degree
  • 5% – a Master’s Degree and higher

To become an entry-level police officer, candidates will need to have already completed 30 college credits in any subject or one year of active military service.

Detective Training Requirements

Criminal investigator training requirements start with completing the 15-week Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy for new entry-level police officers who have made it through the hiring process. This is followed by a 12-week field training program with on-the-job investigative instructions. During an officer’s first year of employment, he or she is considered to be on probation and eligible for any necessary corrective training, including in the field of investigations.

While serving their minimum three years as patrol officers, prospective detectives can also pursue relevant in-service training opportunities. The Municipal Police Training Academy offers in-service courses such as:

  • Heavy equipment theft and fraud investigations
  • Women in law enforcement leadership
  • Outlaw motorcycle gangs
  • Domestic extremism terrorism
  • IED explosive investigations

Undercover investigators with the Pawtucket Police Department’s Detective Division recently put these skills to good use in a sting operation targeted against human sex traffickers. When detectives received information that a missing 14-year-old Pawtucket girl had been pictured as a prostitute for sale in Cranston they decided to go undercover, discovering her and a group of other young women in the basement of a home that was apparently functioning as a brothel.

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