How long does it take to become a homicide detective on average?
I am a freshman in high school and I am interested in becoming a homicide detective. Could you please advise me on the amount of time it typically takes to become one, as well as what studies would be most beneficial for me to pursue?
I know at my Sheriff's Office, the initial academy requires you to be a Detention Officer for several years, then you can take an exam for going to the Patrol Officer academy - to become a Deputy. If you make it through that application process and academy, then you are a Deputy Sheriff. After several years of that, then you can take an exam for Detective. If you make it through this exam, there is typically a list of 5 or 6 persons who have passed the exam, then if there is an opening, you are given a Detective position. You may not be a Homicide Detective right away. You may have to work property crimes or narcotics crimes before you can transfer to Homicide.
I don't know the process in the police department for becoming a Detective, but I do know that after several years as a patrol officer, you have the opportunity to take the exam for Detective. Again, I am sure you have to do other areas of crime fighting as a Detective before getting to the Homicide Section.
Usually, being a Detective in the Homicide Section is after years of working other areas. Having a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice or Forensics will help you get into the Homicide Section faster. If you go the police department route, you may have to be a Crime Scene Technician (as an Officer) or a Crime Scene Investigator, depending on how they title the crime scene people. With the Sheriff's Office where I work at, working in the Crime Scene Section does not help, as we are civilian employees (not law enforcement officers).
So, the short version of my answer is, it may take you 4 - 5 years (or longer) of police work to get to the point where you can test for Detective. And then several more years as a Detective in another area before you can transfer into Homicide. But that is not a guarantee that you will be a Homicide Detective.
I hope I was able to help you out. Best of luck to you in your endeavors.
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