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How dangerous is being a detective

I am in 8th grade. I am taking a class called career and tech. My teacher said that I get to choose 3 jobs I am interested in and I decided to choose a Detective. I thought that it would be interesting to learn about what you do. I hope you respond. #detective #career #school

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Andrew’s Answer

Hello Savannah,

A detective, is the same as an investigator, such as a private investigator (PI), but most of the time it is associated with police officers who have transferred to this position within their department. Granted PI's also investigate crimes, they just cannot arrest or detain people legally in most cases.

You do not necessarily have to become a police officer in order to become a detective, but if you desire to have full state or federal authority to arrest and detain persons of interest (called a peace officer commission in many states) you need to attend a police academy or other state certification process in order to join a police department. Once you become a police officer, you can work your way into becoming a detective within your department. This usually takes years, because most detective positions require a minimum amount of time working patrol duties (or, working the road), and learning about how to legally investigate crimes before you can apply internally for that position.

Private investigators, or investigators who work for large companies, are also detectives they just do not have full arrest power granted by the state where they are working. Investigators work for various different companies, and some are investigate physical incidents while other look into computer and or online incidents. Large tech companies have online fraud investigators, while large insurance companies have their own investigators pursuing fraud incidents.

I would refine your career thoughts, and do a little reading on what kind of investigations you might enjoy doing. If criminal law, then check into local police departments and read up on their investigations division and or see about what it takes to become a PI in your state. If you would rather investigate incidents without having to deal with arresting and booking individuals suspected of crimes, check into fraud investigator positions with the state, federal and or large companies across the US.

Take care and never give up.

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Hassan’s Answer

https://work.chron.com/duties-patrol-officer-versus-detective-13013.html has a good overview of the difference between Uniformed Officers vs. Detectives.

I couldn't find any data on which job is more dangerous, but I'd expect that detective jobs a less risky since you'll likely have fewer conflict interaction with the public compared to uniformed patrol officers.