4 answers

Whats the hardest part about being a police detective?

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4 answers

Kyle W.’s Answer

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This question is very subjective and depends on the individual. Firstly, it depends on what area you are investigating. Some investigate property crimes and others investigate "major crimes" or violent crimes, some investigate crimes against children while others might investigate drug crimes. All of this depends on the size of the agency and how many detectives are there to divide up these different crimes. To answer the question more specifically, one detective might say the hardest part is being overworked, one might say the hardest part is seeing abused children, one might say the hardest part is being on-call and being called away from family more often than regular patrol.

Kyle W. recommends the following next steps:

  • Decide which area of crime you would like to investigate (property crimes, major crimes, narcotics, etc.)
  • Work police patrol and develop excellent communication skills dealing will all parts of society
  • Don't believe what you see on police-drama shows on TV
  • Prepare yourself for long nights, weekends, holidays, on-call, and a lot of personal sacrifice
Thank you! That was very helpful. I didn’t consider the things you’ve mentioned before makes much more sense. Briana T.
Hi Briana, Kyle has shared great information and a wonderful answer. You may also want to look into opportunities to volunteer or for a Chicago Police "Explorers" type of program that gives you a further look into the field and what the detectives and officers do. I participated in our town's Citizen's Police Academy (outside the Chicago area) and it gave me a glimpse into their work and dedication. Check out this article on how youth helped with National Night Out planning. https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/08/07/lawndale-chicago-national-night-out/ Best wishes for success with your goals. Melisa Cameron
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Brian’s Answer

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Please review the response from Officer Kyle above. He has said some very interesting things. Being a detective can be very rewarding but it can also be very disappointing, challenging and hard on your own family due to the cases/crime a detective may work.
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Donald’s Answer

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I think Kyle hit the nail on the head. When you work persons/violent crimes (Robberies, homicides, sexual assault), the case stays with you. It's not a job where you clock in, clock out, and go home. You desperately use everything you have to try to get the victim justice. On top of that, you are frequently on call which takes time away from your family. For example, you worked a normal 8a-5p shift. You get home, and a homicide goes out at 12am. You now have to get ready, go in, work through the scene, canvas, and interview witnesses. By the time you are done there, it could be 7am or later. You then start your normal shift, get a big coffee, and grind through a normal day of work. This could go on throughout your on call period. You will spend most of your time in the office collecting information, working on case files, or in court. TV rarely portrays that aspect. Everyone has their own struggles with the job, but with all that being said it could be one of the best and most rewarding careers out there.
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Harold’s Answer

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I was never a police detective. I believe the most difficult part would be the pressure to solve cases as well as seeing very awful and gruesome sights.
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