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How to Write a Police Detective Job Description Sample

A Police Detective, or a Detective, searches for evidence to solve criminal cases. Their duties include responding to emergency calls, making arrests, and interviewing victims, witnesses, and suspects.

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What does a Police Detective do?

Police Detectives investigate crimes that have occurred rather than preventing crimes like Police Officers. They keep detailed records of findings and reports and present them in court during trials. They also communicate with judges to get arrest warrants and legal permission for surveillance operations. Some Police Detectives take part in undercover operations or spend long periods observing suspects and assist with police raids on homes or businesses. Police Detective uniforms may vary depending on where they work, but they typically carry lethal and nonlethal defence tools. These defence tools can include firearms, batons, handcuffs, and pepper spray.

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Police Detective duties and responsibilities

Police Detectives spend some of their time at the police station updating records and interrogating suspects. They coordinate police lineups to help witnesses identify criminals. Police Detectives also visit crime scenes, gather evidence, and deliver it to police labs. They may visit victims and suspects at their homes or workplaces to record their statements if they can’t come to the station. Duties and responsibilities in a Police Detective job description may include:

  • Investigating individuals in criminal cases
  • Updating victims about their cases and helping them appear in court when needed
  • Training new Police Detectives and Police Officers
  • Building trust with members of the community
  • Taking part in public safety programs
  • Taking part in regular self-defence and firearms training
  • Referring people in need to government assistance or nonprofit aid programs

Police Detective skills and qualifications

Successful Police Detectives can work with a variety of people and personalities, de-escalating tense situations before they become violent. They can adapt to changing conditions quickly and need to be physically fit to carry out their duties. Candidates also need excellent deductive abilities. Top skills and qualifications for Police Detectives include:

  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Basic math skills
  • Understanding of how forensic testing works and how to gather evidence
  • Excellent reflexes and the ability to make quick decisions when needed
  • Understanding of how diseases spread, and the precautions needed when working with blood or other potentially biohazardous materials
  • Understanding of local and provincial courtroom procedures and law enforcement regulations

Police Detective experience requirements

Most Police Detectives have two to five years of experience as a Police Officer or Constable. Many Police Detectives work closely with Officers interested in becoming Detectives themselves.

Police Detective education and training requirements

Strong Police Detective candidates usually have a high school diploma or GED, or higher academic certification. University degrees aren’t necessary for working in this profession. However, those with a university degree in law, criminal justice, or a related subject are an asset. Candidates need to pass government-regulated psychological tests, physical exams, and background checks. Detectives may also need to train as police officers prior to gaining Detective status.

Police Detective salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a police detective is $74,393 per year. Individual salaries of Police Detectives may depend on experience, location or organization. Please note the wages reported include fewer than 100 responses.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Police Detective isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, some job description samples that could satisfy your company’s needs include:

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Police Detective job description FAQs

What is a typical day like for a Police Detective?

Some Police Detectives work during business hours, and others are on duty during nights and weekends. They often drive to crime scenes and court dates in undercover police cars. They schedule and attend meetings with lawyers, victims, witnesses, informants, and suspects. They also search the homes, businesses, and electronic records of suspects and other persons related to their investigations. Some Police Detectives spend time on call for emergencies in addition to their regular hours. They communicate often with Dispatchers who let them know about emergencies.

Who does a Police Detective report to?

A Police Detective usually reports to a Police Chief, Detective Sergeant, Captain, Lieutenant, or Shift Commander. They also work closely with Crown Attorneys on prosecution cases by providing full disclosure on their findings. Police Detectives need to attend interviews and court hearings at designated times, but they make independent decisions about how to investigate a case.

How is a Police Detective different from a Police Officer?

Instead of patrolling to prevent crimes and apprehending people while they commit offences, like Police Officers, Police Detectives investigate crimes that people have already committed. In most provinces, Police Detectives have the same rank and receive the same pay and benefits as other Police Officers.

What makes a good Police Detective job description?

A good Police Detective job description highlights how the candidate has the opportunity to help others and work closely with community members. It should discuss the police department’s history and values, and the skills and experience levels required. It should also mention the amount of training needed, and whether candidates need to pass an exam. Feature the benefits of the position and the common shift schedules the candidate can expect to work.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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