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as a police detective the world sees it as shooting guns and breaking down doors but what is the realty of the career ?

student in job corps #criminal-justice #police #career #law-enforcement

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Mike’s Answer

As a detective you do alot of follow up and investigative work. No it is not kicking down doors and running and gunning as depicted in TV. The fact is if TV actually made a real show about police work it would be canceled out of sheer boredom. Look to see what program your local pd has and ask them questions. They are better prepared to answer.
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Mark’s Answer

Great question Bryant. So TV does a great job glamorizing detective work, however the reality of it is that unlike TV, detectives don't solve cases in one hour like Law and Order! Cases can take weeks. months and even YEARS! You have to be patient because the job is incredibly tedious and frustrating. There are so many dead ends. And keep in mind that local police departments are limited with manpower so you're not just working on one big case, you're usually working on multiple cases all at once! Many many interviews take place and many individuals don't want to help or are scared to help. Sometimes pressure to solve a case increases the chance of mistakes because you're in a hurry to solve the crime. Sometimes you can get personally involved which can increase frustrations (knowing a victim or victim's family or if a child is the victim). But I will say this, the personal gratification when you solve a case and then get a conviction is such a feeling of accomplishment that it makes every minute that you worked on a case so worthwhile. And to see the victim or the victim's families reaction after that conviction, is the greatest feeling in the world!
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Billy’s Answer

Hi,

the simple answer is no, that isn't the reality. There are more days where you do routing type paperwork and good old detective work. All depends on what type of agency you work for. Rural counties/cities will see different things compared to a more densely populated city like NYC. I was in the Navy and worked for NCIS and our detective work was different than that of a city, county or even state. I wish you good luck and remember, being in law enforcement is a passion and calling!
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Henry’s Answer

The majority of detectives spent many years of their careers as a patrolman before they could become a detective. As a detective you spend hours doing investigative research. This investigation is done telephonically, reading records or reports, and personal interviews. It's not as glorious as seen on TV. It's not always a 9 to 5 job, but can be rewarding when a case is solved.
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Kim’s Answer

Bryant,

The typical answer to this is "99% boredom interrupted by 1% sheer terror." And that is for patrol officers, not detectives. If a detective is working on picking up a suspect in a felony, yea, that can be exciting. But if he is investigating other things, it can get sort of routine. You could spend a lot of time going over reports, looking for that one clue that might have been overlooked. But, you need to be an officer before becoming a detective.

I worked at the San Antonio Airport, which was really slow as far as police work went. However, we of course had our moments, apprehending drug traffickers and things like that. But most of the time it was more of a customer service job, helping stranded motorists and being friendly with the tourists.

I recommend you look into whatever programs El Paso PD offers for youth (such as police explorers), and, when you reach the right age, see if they offer a Citizens Police Academy. Also look into opportunities to go on patrol.

Kim

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