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Do I need to be a police officer before I can be a detective?
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Do I need to be a police officer before I can be a detective?

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Kaleb: Me too. I don't want to be an ordinary officer at all :( But I would love to be a detective.

I live in Texas, if that makes a difference.


2009-05-28 19:56:17 +0000
Hi Kate
Yes, a detective is a police officer with specialized training and experience. Before a person is appointed or promoted to the position of detective, they have to go through the patrol ranks, starting with the academy. There they learn the basics of police work and law. For most departments, they require at least 3-5 years experience before being eligible for detective. Some departments rotate detectives back to patrol divisions and others allow promotions within the detective division, depending on that department's policy.

2009-05-28 23:16:07 +0000
Yes you have to do patrol. What's so bad about patrol?!? It's where you get all your experience! I wanted to be a detective until I got hired. I think I just want to do patrol for my career now. I want to get into the K-9 Unit and do that.

If you don't want to be a cop, look into your local medical examiner's office. The one in my county has forensic investigators that go to the scene. That would be investigative work, however, you wouldn't be a police detective.

But yes, sorry to tell you, you have to be a street cop first and learn how to be a detective.

2009-05-28 20:49:29 +0000
hmmm...yes, thats like saying I cant be bothered to be a politician...but it'd sure be fun to be president!!!

2009-05-28 19:47:11 +0000
I just asked that question not too long ago on here, and from some very good answers from a police officer and a retired detective, yes you do have to be. It's what's turning me away from being a detective unfortunately.

2009-05-28 20:17:36 +0000
Yes. Everyone starts out as equals-street cops. Then within 5-10 years,depending on what you want to get into, and depending on your college education level, you can move up the ranks.

2009-05-29 00:51:02 +0000
i live in texas also and it to me 5 years to make detective

2009-05-28 20:13:35 +0000
In a police department, yes.

But in our prosecutor's office, we hire investigators right out of college and put them to work doing essentially the same things a detective does. The investigators do have to go through training at the police academy and they carry firearms. However, they don't do regular street patrol.

You might check with the DA's office and see whether they hire investigators without police experience. If not, check with other prosecutor's offices.

2009-05-28 20:59:29 +0000
Everyone starts out as an officer, after a cirten number of years you can try to become a dective.

2009-05-28 19:46:24 +0000
yes you do, over time you move up the ranks

2009-05-28 19:46:30 +0000
Yes You Need To Work For The Police For 3 Years Before You Have The Change to Become Anything Special, In England anyway.

2009-05-28 19:55:45 +0000
Yes you have to be an officer before you are ranked to anything..In NY you work 3 years before you can take the tests to be promoted. There are the ones though that get promoted because of an excellent job on a scenario though.

2009-05-28 21:00:38 +0000
Um, how do you think you develop the skills and contacts to become a Detective if you don't start out as an ordinary officer?

I suspect you have no real idea what a Detective is or the skills required. And anything that you truly want to do is worth working towards. Rarely in life or in any career are you going to start out at where you want to be.

To answer your question, yes, you do.

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