How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office

Utah County is the second largest county in the state in terms of population, with a population of more than half a million people. Over the last decade, Utah County experienced the following crime rates by category:

  • 90,594 cases of thefts, out of which around 6,085 cases pertained to auto theft
  • 993 rape cases
  • 385 cases of arson
  • 18,439 cases of burglary
  • 539 cases of robbery
  • 25 murders
  • 2,100 assaults

Criminal investigators in Utah County work out of the Investigations Division of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to solve these types of cases, both old and new. Their caseloads include investigations related to narcotics, drug abuse, child abuse and sexual assaults, as well as cyber-crimes. Criminal investigators also act as liaisons with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and solve cases of varying levels of complexity.

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Becoming a Detective with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office

Basic Requirements – To become a criminal investigator, interested candidates must first meet become a deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. Basic eligibility criteria include:

  • Being a citizen of the United States of America
  • Being at least 21 years of age – or older
  • Being a resident of Utah
  • Having a valid driver’s license issued by the state

Qualified candidates should not have any visible body piercings or tattoos and must pass the National Peace Officer Selection Test with a score of at least 70% prior to applying.

Applicants must also:

  • Pass a rigorous physical assessment test to determine they are fit for duty and able to physically handle the demands of the job, which may include lifting, working long hours for weeks and months at a time, stress and travel.
  • Pass a thorough background check. Candidates who have been convicted of felonies or who have pending felony charges are automatically disqualified for eligibility.

Truthfulness during the application process is of the utmost importance since, if it’s determined that certain parts of the application were fabricated, the information is passed along to the proper authorities for reporting purposes and possible persecution.

Educational Requirements – Candidates need only to possess a GED or a high school diploma to qualify to join the force and become a detective. However, candidates with a bachelor’s degree in one of the following majors are shown preference:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Science
  • Forensic Psychology

Candidates with prior law enforcement or military experience are encouraged to apply. It’s important to note, however, that applicants with prior military experience must have been honorably discharged.

Investigative Divisions within the Utah County Sheriff’s Office

Detectives based out of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office work in the following units:

  • Investigations Unit
  • Utah Valley Special Victims Task Force
  • The Utah County Major Crimes Task Force
  • The Joint Terrorism Task Force
  • Victim Advocate Program
  • Evidence Facility

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