How to Become a Criminal Investigator in Utah

With a population of 2,855,287 the state of Utah was ranked 22 in the nation for the most crimes committed during 2012. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, all crimes are divided into two categories:

Sponsored Content

Featured Programs:
Sponsored School(s)
  • Part I Crimes, which include homicide and non‐negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson
  • Part II Crimes, which include all other non‐traffic offenses

The following represent the number of recorded incidents in Utah in 2012 within the most recurring categories:

  • 50 murders
  • 943 rapes
  • 1,100 robberies
  • 3,783 assaults
  • 12,943 burglaries
  • 66,482 thefts
  • 5,999 vehicle thefts
  • 102 hate crimes

This data represents a statewide composite of information supplied by 67 agencies in Utah, which represents less than 50% of the major state agencies. The majority of the state’s population resides in and around the six counties that surround Salt Lake City.

Most notable to those looking to become criminal investigators in Utah is the fact that the crime rate in 2012 showed a nearly 2% increase from 2011. The two types of crime that occurred most frequently in Utah were aggravated assault and larceny, both of which increased from 2011.

Becoming a Detective with the Utah Criminal Investigation Division

The Utah Highway Patrol Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is the state’s multi-jurisdictional investigative arm of the Utah Department of Public Safety. The Utah CID is responsible for assisting local law enforcement agencies with serious criminal investigations, and serves as the lead agency regarding crimes that cross city and county lines.

In 2012, the Utah Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division (CID) employed 4,934 law enforcement officers in Utah. Of this number, 349 were female and 4,585 were male.

The Utah CID has four primary divisions in which detectives may work and investigate crimes:

  • Property
  • Persons
  • Narcotics
  • Youth

In order to become a detective at the state level in Utah, interested parties must first become a trooper with the highway patrol. After becoming an active trooper, candidates must meet both time and training requirements in order to be considered for detective jobs.

Starting a Career in Law Enforcement – Utah has roughly 136 law enforcement agencies with 175 officers per 100,000 citizens. The average annual salary for a patrol officer is about $45,430 a year.

To become a law enforcement officer in Utah, candidates must:

  • Be a US Citizen
  • Be 21 years of age of older
  • Have high school diploma or GED
  • Be free of visible body tattoos
  • Have a background demonstrating good moral character
  • Successfully complete the Peace Officer Academy (P.O.S.T.) Exam

(Note: arrangements may be made for out of state students; test results may take up to two weeks to process.)

If an applicant has been discharged from the military, it must be with an honorable status. Applicants with any felony charges will not be considered for employment. Prior to employment, applicants are expected to pass a criminal background check and must be able to meet certain physical standards.

All information provided must be verifiable. If any of the information provided in the application has been falsified, the applicant will not be considered for employment as a Utah Highway Patrol Officer and the information will be shared with all necessary parties.

Once hired, a trooper is required to successfully complete a series of training before officially being sworn in for service. New troopers are paid for 15 weeks of Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T), at which time they complete 100 hours of instruction in firearms, Emergency Vehicle Operation (EVO), and self-defense. In addition, troopers must complete the performance-based introduction to the Field Training Officer (FTO) program, which takes 8-12 weeks to complete.

Troopers receive ongoing training to become familiar with the use of, intoxilyzers, firearms, EVOs, and radars.

Career Advancement to Detective – Troopers who wish to become a detective with the Utah Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division generally must have at least two years of experience with a police department in Utah and complete the necessary paperwork. It’s important to note that detectives are usually pulled from within the ranks. If selected, officers are appointed as a detective for five years. Detectives are then cross-trained to investigate multiple types of crimes, regardless of their area of specialization.

All detectives are trained to investigate Class A Misdemeanor and Felony crimes.

Utah’s City and County Criminal Investigation Divisions

Some of the major criminal investigations divisions at the city and county level in Utah include:

  • Utah Police Criminal Investigation Divisions
  • Murray City Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division
  • Sandy Police Department, Investigations Division
  • Unified Police of the Greater Salt Lake City Area, Investigations Division
  • Salt Lake City Police Department, Investigative Bureau
  • St. George Police Department, Investigations Division
  • Provo Police Department, Special Operations: Criminal Investigation
  • Winnemucca Police Department, Investigations Division
  • Bountiful City Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division
  • Orem Department of Public Safety, Investigations Division

Back to Top