How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department

With a population of roughly 158,504 in 2012, Chittenden County is the most populated county in Vermont. According to a 2012 statistical report based on the data collected and presented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the number of total crimes committed in Chittenden County was 6,021 that year. Classifying the crime rates further, the statistics revealed the following:

  • 1 case of murder
  • 26 cases of rape
  • 37 robberies
  • 870 burglaries
  • 190 acts of aggravated assault
  • 272 motor vehicle thefts
  • 4,591 cases of thefts
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Criminal investigators at the county level work out of the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department and as liaisons with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and solve all types of criminal cases.

Candidates interested in pursuing criminal investigator careers must meet the eligibility criteria described below in order to be considered for employment.

Becoming a Detective in Chittenden County, Vermont

In order to become a detective with the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department, candidates must first become police officers. One of the basic educational qualifications required to become a police officer is a GED or a high school diploma. Most criminal investigators meet higher educational qualification standards, however, and often possess a bachelor’s degree. Examples of preferred degrees include:

  • A Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
  • A Bachelor of Science Degree in Forensic Science
  • A Bachelor of Science Degree in Forensic Psychology

Apart from these educational requirements, there are other basic criteria that determine the eligibility of a candidate. An eligible candidate must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America
  • Be a resident of Chittenden County
  • Be physically fit since candidates will be required to go through the Police Academy
  • Be at least 18 years old

Similarly, there are some criteria that will automatically disqualify candidates:

  • Being convicted or accused of felony or misdemeanor
  • Vision problems that cannot be corrected to 20/20
  • In poor physical or mental health

Candidates with prior military or law enforcement experience are encouraged to apply, although candidates who were previously in the military and dishonorably discharged are automatically disqualified from consideration.

The Chittenden County Unit for Special Investigations

The Chittenden County Unit for Special Investigations, based in Burlington Vermont, is a dedicated task force that is comprised of detectives and investigators from various law enforcement realms statewide. The task-force is primarily responsible for investigating cases pertaining to sexual assault and child abuse. Criminal investigators on this special team are highly skilled officials who are trained to deal with the sensitive nature of sex related crimes, and generally initiate investigations, summon witnesses and suspects, and compile evidence to submit to the State Attorney’s office.

The Chittenden County Unit for Special Investigations is comprised of a Unit Director, seven police officers or detectives, advocates of victims, an investigator with the Department of Children and Families, and a prosecutor from the State Attorney’s Office, Chittenden.

It is staffed by investigators and police detectives from:

  • Colchester Police Department
  • The Essex Police Department
  • Burlington and South Burlington Police Departments
  • The Vermont State Police
  • The University of Vermont Police State Services

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