How to Become a Criminal Investigator With the Providence
Police Department

A Providence Police Detective will be assigned to a case when it involves an unresolved or serious crime. Serious crimes are generally defined to involve violence, felonies, and crimes against vulnerable persons.

Criminal investigators are assigned to the Providence Police Department’s Investigative Division, which organizes its detectives according to the following units:

  • Detective Bureau
  • Youth Services Bureau
  • Gang Intervention Unit
  • Narcotics and Organized Crime Bureau
  • Bureau of Criminal Identification
  • Special Victims Unit

Candidates who are interested in learning how to become a detective with the Providence Police Department can begin by reviewing the career development path for these positions.

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Qualifications for Criminal Investigator Jobs with the Providence Police Department

Candidates embarking on a career as a detective should proceed with their long-term goals in mind. A college degree can be an important part of becoming a detective, as well as preparing for long-term career development. Importantly, this will provide prospective detectives with a foundation in the investigative field.

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the following subjects, while not one of the explicit detective requirements, can also add strength to a candidate’s application:

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

The minim requirements to becoming a police officer so as to pursue criminal investigator jobs with the Providence Police Department are as follows:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Valid driver’s license
  • No significant criminal history

Career Path to Become a Criminal Investigator in Providence

After completing at least four years of service as a police officer with the Providence Police Department, candidates will be eligible to take a written exam for promotion to the rank of Detective within the Investigative Division. After just three years as a patrol officer, candidates will be eligible for transfer to a unit that is more heavily involved with investigative work, such as the narcotics or organized crime units.

The rank structure and pay scale leading up to detective jobs is organized as follows:

  • Recruit (during police academy training) – Minimum wage
  • Police Officer 3rd Grade – $47,272
  • Police Officer 2nd Grade – $48,356
  • Police Officer 1st Grade – $51,406
  • Detective – $57,575

Detective Training Requirements

Initial criminal investigator training starts when police recruits enter the Providence Police Training Academy to complete over 800 hours of skill development. An important focus of this academy is in the area of conducting criminal investigations competently. Courses of instruction include:

  • Criminal procedures, searches, and seizures
  • Crimes against the elderly
  • Detectives, Youth Services Bureau, and the Bureau of Criminal Identification
  • Narcotics, firearms, and organized crimes
  • Writing investigative reports

As officers progress in their careers they will have additional opportunities to gain advanced detective training, both with the Providence Police Department and outside agencies.

Once officers are promoted to a detective position within the Investigative Division they may receive additional specialized training in their particular unit or area of expertise.

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