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What does your day usually look like as a criminal investigator?

#law #criminal-justice

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Michelle’s Answer

If by criminal investigator you mean a detective, then you spend your day following up on case work. You look for suspects in various types of crimes, by searching the internet/social media for suspect activity, you make phone calls to victims, family members of victims, friends of victims, other law enforcement agencies, and various other people who can help lead to evidence or clues as to why a crime happened, how it happened, etc. You may be writing warrants for searching a person, vehicle, place, or writing an arrest warrant on a suspect. This would mean you go to a Magistrate or Judge and discuss why you need the warrant (any of the above types). You go to crime scenes to investigate the scene for clues, evidence, witnesses, victim information. If someone died, you might go to the autopsy to see how the person was killed, and collect evidence.

If you are a civilian investigator, like a crime scene investigator, then you work the scenes, a person, a vehicle or evidence for clues and more evidence. You are doing the dirty work, climbing under vehicles, homes, on roofs, in various places that can be very dirty and smelly. You assist with the deceased person, in documenting and collecting evidence in blood, urine, feces (either human or animal). You may have to fingerprint a deceased person, collect and process the clothing from the person, and assist in removing the person from the scene. It can be in the middle of the night, in all types of weather and situations that can be unpleasant. So you have to be in fairly good shape/health, can handle the unpleasant smells and goriness you see at times, and can deal with being out for long hours. This job is not for everyone, but it is interesting and never dull.

As a detective, you spend long hours talking to people, looking at crime scene photos, videos, sketches, drone footage and security tapes. Detectives and crime scene personnel do have to spend long hours at crime scenes, sometimes working 10 -12 hours at a scene, and then spending another 8 or more following up and doing investigative work. If you are passionate about being a criminal investigator, you work until you find your suspect or victim. Then you go to court, eventually, and testify to what you did in the case and how you came to the conclusion you did.

It is very rewarding work, but it is a lot of hard work. It is long hours, lack of sleep and seeing the worst of humanity. However, if you solve a case and bring justice to the victim or their family, then you did very well. Each day is very different, and there is no 'typical' about any of it. Every day is different. Some days is all crime scenes, other days is working in the office on evidence. Most days are typing reports and processing/turning in evidence. There are a fair share of training days, always learning more, gaining more skills and information. So no day has a usual about it. It's a revolving door of situations.

I hope this helps answer your question. Best of luck to you.

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Andy’s Answer

Your day as a criminal investigator can tremendously vary. Most of the time you are in your office on the computer following up on leads to all of your cases and writing reports on those findings. You also will go out into the field and interview people, as well as interview people in your office. Occassionally you will get called out to fresh crime scenes for you to process. Depending on the agency you work for may also determine how your day goes. For example, the agency I work for investigates all critical incidents and criminal misconduct incidents within the local police departments within our county.
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