How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Salt Lake City
Police Department

Criminal investigators with the Salt Lake City Police Department are highly trained individuals who work diligently to investigate both new criminal cases and older ones that haven’t yet been solved. Working out of the Investigative Bureau of the Salt Lake City Police Department, they initiate investigations, carry out investigations passed on from other law enforcement agencies, summon suspects and eye witnesses, and compile proof and evidence.

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Crime rates in Salt Lake City stood at 485.3 for every 100,000 residents in 2012. The breakdown was as follows:

  • 8 cases of murder
  • 122 cases of rape
  • 316 robbery cases
  • 854 assaults
  • 316 and 10,827 cases of burglaries and thefts respectively
  • 1706 cases of auto-theft
  • 39 arson cases

Criminal investigators are instrumental in closing these types of cases. For aspiring candidates who wish to become a detective in Salt Lake City, specific guidelines and eligibility criteria must be met in order to qualify.

Becoming a Detective with the Salt Lake City Police Department

Aspiring criminal investigators must first become a member of the Salt Lake City Police Department as a police officer and gradually progress to become a criminal investigator.

Basic Requirements – To become a police officer, candidates must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America
  • Be at least 21 years old by the time the first exam is taken
  • Not have been convicted of any felonies
  • Have a driver’s license by the state of Utah or the ability to get one within 30 days of hire
  • Pass a civil service exam and the National Peace Officer Selection Test with at least a 70%

Disqualifying Factors – Prior to employment, candidates must undergo a physical fitness test and pass a thorough background check. If candidates fail to demonstrate the necessary level of physically fitness, or if they are found to have been convicted of a felony, they are instantly disqualified from the selection process.

Educational Standards – As far as educational qualifications to become a police officer – and eventually, a detective – are concerned, the minimum qualification a candidate is expected to possess is a GED or a high school diploma. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, forensic psychology or a related field are preferred, however.

Training for Criminal Investigators – Before being deemed ready to take up criminal cases, detectives are required to undergo rigorous training that will equip them to be proficient in all aspects of criminal investigations. This training is to nurture and sharpen their skills and to educate them on the techniques involved in conducting criminal investigations. Aspiring criminal investigators are trained in crime scene investigation, forensics, ballistics and other specialty areas.

Criminal Investigative Divisions within the Salt Lake City Police Department

The Investigative Bureau of the Salt Lake City Police Department includes 11 individual units that often work closely with the Salt Lake City Prosecutor and the Salt Lake City District Attorney:

  • Auto Theft
  • Crime Lab
  • Domestic Violence
  • Evidence/Property
  • Financial Crimes
  • Homicide
  • Property Crimes
  • Robbery/Aggravated Assault
  • School Resource Officers
  • Special Victims
  • Victim Advocates

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