How to Become a Criminal Investigator with the Norfolk
Police Department

Detectives with the Norfolk Police Department are senior police officers that have been authorized to perform investigative duties. The main objective of criminal investigators working in the Norfolk PD Detective Division is to examine all felony crimes and serious misdemeanors that require follow-up investigations.

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Approximately 115 sworn officers currently staff the Norfolk PD Detective Division where they serve as criminal investigators. Each of these detectives is assigned to one of the division’s four units:

  • Violent Crimes
  • Property Crimes
  • Personal Crimes
  • Investigative Support

In 2012, the Detective Division investigated a total of 12,429 reported offenses throughout Norfolk.

Qualifying to Become a Detective with the Norfolk Police Department

Those interested in becoming detectives in Norfolk must begin their career as a police recruit. A police recruit is a pre-entry level position designated for police officers that are undergoing police academy training.

After successfully completing 24 weeks of training, police recruits graduate to become police officers, and eventually, detectives working criminal investigations.

Joining the Norfolk PD – Aspiring detectives that enter the field as police recruits with the Norfolk police Department must meet the several requirements. If all requirements are met and a candidate’s application is approved, the applicant will be offered a conditional job offer and enter into the police academy training program. Police recruit requirements include:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be at least 20 years and 6 months of age at time of application submission
  • Must be a United State citizen
  • Must have been honorable discharged, if a military veteran with the Armed Forces
  • Must be eligible to obtain a state-issued driver’s license
  • Must have not been convicted, plead guilty or no contest to a felony offense
  • Must pass written examination
  • Must pass physical ability testing
  • Must pass polygraph examination
  • Must pass background investigation
  • Must pass oral review board
  • Must pass drug screening

College Degrees for Detectives – According to the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management, detectives and criminal investigators with a college degree consisting of major coursework in criminal justice, police science or another field-related major will increase their opportunity for career advancement.

Fortunately, there are several colleges and universities throughout the state that offer career-related degree options, including:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Administration of Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Crime Scene Investigation
  • Master of Arts in Homeland Security

Norfolk Police Department Detective Division Units

Violent Crimes Unit – Detectives in the Violent Crimes Unit handle cases that involve offenses that are especially violent in nature. These detectives are also responsible for the apprehension of fugitives residing in the area. The unit consists of several sub-sections: Homicide Section, Cold Case Homicide Section, Robbery Section, Fugitive Section, and the Gang Suppression Unit.

Property Unit – Detectives in the Property Unit handle cases that involve crimes against property. These detectives are also responsible for pawn shop enforcement, hit-and-runs, and investigative training for newly assigned staff. The unit consists of several sub-sections: Auto Section, Burglary Section, and General Assignment Section.

Special Crimes Unit – Detectives in the Special Crimes Unit handle cases that involve sexual assault and family violence. Examples of crimes that fall under this category include: indecent exposure, stalking, child pornography, domestic assault, and child abuse. This unit only consists of the Sexual Assault/Family Violence Section.

Investigative Support Unit – Detectives in the Investigative Support Unit handle cases that involve white-collar crimes, bigamy, and lottery offenses. These detectives also help support other units and divisions in the Department by providing forensic and crime analysis support. This unit consists of several sub-sections: Economic Crimes Section, Crime Analysis Section, Forensic Section, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Section.

Vice and Narcotics Investigative Division in Norfolk

Not all investigators employed by the Norfolk Police Department work in the Detective Division. In fact, approximately 60 sworn officers are assigned to the Vice and Narcotics Division. Detectives that work in this division handle all cases that involve vice-related activities. Crimes involving drugs, gambling, and prostitution typically fall under this category. The Vice and Narcotics Sections of this division consist of several sub-sections:

  • Technical Operations Section
  • Interdiction Section
  • Special Investigations Section
  • Long Term Section
  • Narcotics Section

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