Police Investigator

Police investigators sometimes called “criminal investigators” “crime scene investigators” or “detectives” perform investigations of crime scenes ranging from burglaries to homicides. Upon arriving at a crime scene they secure it and then follow strict scientific procedures for collecting and packaging evidence so it can be sent to the crime lab in an uncontaminated state. They take photographs of the scene and they attend and take photographs of autopsies so there will be a permanent record. In addition they interview witnesses and follow up leads and interview suspects. They write detailed reports of each investigation in which they attempt to reconstruct events of the crime based on the evidence collected. Police investigators are often called upon to give expert testimony in court when an alleged perpetrator is on trial. Although police investigators usually have a 40-hour work week they must be available at any time (day night weekends or holidays) when they are needed to process crime scenes. The website www.jobmonkey.com says that police investigators usually start out as patrol officers who work in the field for two to five years after which they are eligible to take a written test that qualifies them for any opening as an investigator. Police investigators usually have some college education preferably a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or psychology. Once selected they must complete between 700 to 800 hours of training in various aspects of crime scene processing. They are expected to become certified as crime scene investigators after taking the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that salaries for police investigators depend on employer (federal state or local government) location and experience. Overall the median annual wages are approximately $61000.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $61000
High Salary: $71000
Low Salary: $51000
Tasks: Oversees crime scene investigations.
Testifies in court regarding crime scene evidence.
Responds to calls for service as quickly as possible.
Packages evidence properly.
Also Called: Detective
Crime Scene Investigator
Forensic Investigator
Crime Investigator
Additional Resources: http://www.feinc.net/csi-desc.htm
http://www.jobmonkey.com/lawenforcement/criminal-investigator.html
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos160.htm