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Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Police Detective

     Many uniformed officers want to be detectives--or so they think, until they actually get that promotion. The hours are long, the frequent calls to crime scenes are burdensome, and the responsibility is tremendous. Detectives usually have at least three years of law enforcement experience before they are even considered for the position. In large jurisdictions they may be assigned to a specialized unit: Homicide, Burglary, Auto Theft, White Collar, or Narcotics. In many smaller departments they need to be expert in whatever crime they are called to investigate.

     Upon arrival at the scene the detective gets the first explanation of the event from the responding uniformed officer. The better job the officer has done, the better understanding the detective will have of the crime scene and the events that took place.

    All detectives have their own personal style. Some are gruff, some are smooth, but all the good ones have the practical knowledge of a seasoned street officer, a grasp of the forensic sciences, the legal knowledge of a prosecutor, and an ability to place people, events, and tangible and intangible evidence in space and time in order to put together an investigative scenario of the criminal event.

Alex Axelrod and Guy Antinozzi, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Criminal Investigation, 2003

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