Homicide Detective Qualifications
The minimum qualification for any career in law enforcement is a high school diploma or equivalent. Many police departments give preference to candidates that have at least a two-year associates degree when filling a homicide detective position and generally prefer those with a bachelors degree or higher. Criminal justice, police science, criminology, and justice administration are all good choices for a college degree program. Even if with a degree, you will still need to complete training at a police academy before being qualified to work as a detective. Your police training will give you experience in fields such as firearms, self-defense, emergency response, first aid, constitutional law, and civil rights.
Homicide detectives must display exemplary moral character. You will be given great responsibility and must prove that you will always act with sound judgment, integrity, and honesty. Homicide detective qualifications also include specific physical and mental standards. You will be required to pass a medical exam, psychiatric exam, and extensive background checks.
Education is important but experience is often more important. The majority of active homicide detectives began as patrol officers and worked their way up the ranks of the police force. Future detectives must demonstrate strong investigative skills and unusual diligence in their work as a police offer before being considered for a promotion. It can take time to prove you have what it takes. Expect to work for several years as a police officer before an opportunity for advancement may arise.
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