Criminal Investigators & Special Agents
Also called: Criminal Investigator, Detective, Investigator, Special Agent
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Whether on foot, wheels, or horseback, detectives and police officers are alert for any threat to public safety, ready to respond at a moment’s notice when a need occurs. Police and sheriff’s officers protect lives and property. They respond to emergency and patrol their assigned area for signs of criminal activity. They wear recognizable uniforms, and may conduct searches and arrest suspected criminals. Some officers specialize in one type of crime, such as narcotics. Detectives and criminal investigators, or agents, gather facts and evidence of possible crimes. They conduct interviews, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids and arrests. Detectives often wear plain clothes, and usually specialize in investigating one type of crime, such as homicide or fraud. Transit and railroad police patrol railroad yards and transit stations to prevent thefts and protect property. Police and detective work requires patience, and paperwork; officers document every incident in detail, and must be ready to testify in court. Most officers carry law enforcement tools, such as radios, handcuffs, and firearms. Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous; injuries are common. Despite working shifts around the clock and dealing with life-threatening situations, officers must stay calm, think clearly, and use good judgment at all times. Most positions require graduation from a law enforcement agency’s training academy and extensive on-the-job training. Police officers and detectives need a license to carry firearms and enforce the law. Typically, candidates must be U.S. citizens, at least 21 years old, and in excellent physical and mental health, with no felony convictions.
What they do:Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
On the job, you would:
- Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.
- Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records.
- Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.
Safety and Government
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
Ideas and Logic
Hearing and Speech
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Electronic mail software
Graphics or photo imaging software
See more details at O*NET OnLine about criminal investigators and special agents.