How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Knoxville
Police Department

The central law enforcement agency in Knoxville, Tennessee is the Knoxville Police Department. The city’s police department employees around 400 sworn personnel, some of which hold elevated positions as criminal investigators. Criminal investigators primarily matriculate into the workforce as police officers, earning their positions through years of field experience and specialized training.

Knoxville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is the heart of criminal investigations in Knoxville. Detectives working in the CID often respond to citizen complaints, assess and secure crime scenes, and handle case referrals by the patrol officers. Examples of other job activities include:

  • Conducting interviews
  • Presenting court evidence
  • Instigating lawful searches
  • Detaining offenders
  • Recouping stolen property
  • Preparing for court cases

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Qualifying to Become a Detective with the in Knoxville Police Department

The first step to becoming a criminal investigator in Knoxville, Tennessee is to meet all five basic requirements that qualify police officer recruits. 1) All recruits must be at least twenty-one years old. 2) All recruits must be United States citizens. 3) All recruits must hold a valid driver’s license. 4) All recruits must have a high school diploma or equivalent education. 5) All recruits must be free of any felony convictions.

Testing for New Recruits – According to the Knoxville Police Department, job applicants that meet all basic job requirements can advance further into the hiring process to receive interviews and preliminary job orientations. New recruits are also subjected to an intense succession of tests to determine career compatibility. Example include:

  • Civil service written examination
  • Physical performance evaluation
  • Background investigation
  • Psychological assessment
  • Medical analysis
  • Review panel appraisal

Degrees for Criminal Investigators – Criminal investigators are only required to have a high school diploma or equivalent level of education to work in Knoxville. However, this minimum requirement does not adequately reflect the current educational standards for this profession. In fact, studies conducted by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reveal that among potential candidates for criminal investigation positions in the state, 75.68% hold a bachelor’s degree while 16.22% hold a master’s degree. Examples of academic degrees for law enforcement students in Tennessee include:

  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration

Recruit Training in the Knoxville Police Department – Criminal investigators that start out as police officers for the Knoxville Police Department must prove professional capability by completing the agency’s Basic Recruit Training Program. After recruits successful complete the six-month program, they are granted Police Officer Certification. After certification, recruits are then required to complete a four-month Field Training Officer Program before being released into the field for official duty. Law enforcement aspects covered through training include:

  • Firearms
  • Police Driving
  • Accident Investigation
  • Report Writing
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Arrest Procedures

Criminal Investigations Division Units within the Knoxville Police Department

According to the Knoxville Police Department, the Criminal Investigations Division houses the second largest staff in the department. Investigators work with specialists, technicians, supervisors and other law enforcement professionals promote the functionality of the CIDs five units:

  • Violent Crimes Unit: Detectives assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit are responsible for handling reported crimes involving incidents of murder, rape, kidnapping, suspicious deaths, suicide, assault and robbery.

  • Property Crimes Unit: Detectives assigned to the Property Crimes Unit have the authority over all criminal cases where property is a prominent factor.

  • Family Crimes Unit: Detectives assigned to the Family Crimes Unit focus on offenses pertaining to child abuse, domestic violence. Mistreatment of the elderly, runaways, missing persons, and sexual abuse of minors.

  • Organized Crime Unit: Detectives assigned to the Organized Crime Unit specialize in infiltrating organized crime groups that commit offenses such as drug trafficking, prostitution and gambling.

  • Forensics Unit: Detectives assigned to the Forensics Unit are charged with the scientific elements involved in crime solving. These elements include: crime scenes, photographing, fingerprinting, polygraphing and NIBNS.

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