How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Mount Pleasant Police Department

Detectives that serve the Mount Pleasant community are at the forefront in the struggle against violent crime. In 2012, the violent crime rate in Mount Pleasant was 118.9. By comparison, the nation’ s violent crime rate was 214.0 in that same year. Mount Pleasant’s crime rate was also lower than its neighboring cities: Charleston (194.8) and North Charleston (502.7).

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2012 Crime statistics for Mount Pleasant showed the following:

  • 1,000 Thefts
  • 172 Burglaries
  • 142 Assaults
  • 58 Auto Thefts
  • 6 Robberies
  • 5 Rapes
  • 3 Arson
  • 0 Murders

The largest network of criminal investigators work within the Criminal Investigations Bureau (CIB) of the Mount Pleasant Police Department. These investigators primarily offer additional support and resources to the Uniform Police Bureau. They also handle criminal cases that require long-term consideration and investigation. According to the CIB, detective often work with several different types of crimes, including:

  • Child Custody
  • Welfare
  • Shoplifting
  • Homicide
  • Internet Crimes
  • Elderly Exploitation

Job Eligibility for Detectives in Mount Pleasant

Criminal investigators jobs in Mount Pleasant, SC usually open as a result of inter-department promotions through the ranks. Therefore aspiring sleuths must first qualify to become sworn officers. According to the Mount Pleasant Police Department, job candidates for sworn officer positions must meet these minimum requirements:

  • Must be at least twenty-one years old
  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have at least an associate’s degree
  • Must have a valid South Carolina driver’s license
  • Must have no felony convictions
  • Must have no record of crimes of moral turpitude

After meeting the job requirements to become sworn officers, applicants must endure approximately six-weeks of personal scrutiny by the Mount Pleasant Police Department. Only candidates that yield positive results upon this inspection are considered for employment. This process includes:

  • Formal interview by the chief-of-police
  • Criminal history inquiry
  • Education verification
  • Driving record review
  • Credit history report
  • Polygraph testing
  • Psychological examination
  • Reference checks
  • Drug screening
  • Medical assessment

Certification and Training Requirements

Detectives that enter the Mount Pleasant Police Department as officers must complete certification and training programs to maintain employment. First, all detectives successfully pass the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Basic Law Enforcement Certification Course. This course spans twelve weeks. Upon completion, officers are granted certification as Class I Law Enforcement Officers. Recertification is mandatory every three years. Course topics include:

  • Traffic safety and enforcement
  • Criminal domestic violence
  • Forensics
  • Defensive tactics
  • Firearms
  • Emergency vehicle operations

Field Training and Evaluation: After recruits graduate from the Criminal Justice Academy they must return to the Mount Pleasant Police Department and participate in a 600-hour Field Training and Evaluation Program. At the program’s conclusion, the Command Staff Board evaluates officers before releasing them into the field for duty.

Career Development Training: The Mount Pleasant Police Department has a career development program to help officers become criminal investigators. Generally, officers can begin training as a criminal investigator after completing one year of active service. Career preparation occurs over a three period, with officers completing forty hours of advanced training each year.

Education Options for Detectives

Jobseekers that want access to criminal investigation jobs with the Mount Pleasant Police Department must complete an associate’s degree program before applying. According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, only 12.07% of all job candidates searching for criminal investigation positions in the state hold an associate’s degree education.

On the other hand, 43.10% of candidates hold a bachelor’s degree, which raises educational standards among job competitors. Luckily, South Carolina houses several accredited colleges, universities and online schools that offer great associate and bachelor degree programs for law enforcement students:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Security and Investigation
  • Associate in Public Service—Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology—Criminal Justice Administration

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