The word “detective” brings to your mind, various fictional characters such as the famous detective Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie, The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton etc. Few people, when they were children, would have thought of the idea of becoming a detective in the future after reading these books. But the question is – why are detective and mystery stories so popular? The answer lies in humanitarian aspects of life. The best reason is humans love reading suspense novels, thrillers because they involve the mind, brain and promote the feelings of a safe adventure. In the end, even though the villain is a genius, truth will prevail over evil. The scene of crime can be a local neighborhood, cruise or exotic place. You can get information on various famous places of the world through reading suspense novels. In this article of how to become a homicide detective, information and tips have been provided to those interested in making a sizable contribution to society.
How To Become A Homicide Detective?
You, we all have the common desire to find an able solution to a problem. This explains the popularity of detective novels. In comparison to autobiographies or other books, detective novels seldom have content that arouses political views and intentions. There is no need for self-evaluation and exploration, and only need participation. Almost all readers identify with the protagonist (detective) and try to piece the clues tracking down the thief or killer. If you can track the killer or thief before the detective – Great! You are on.
“Homicide” is best defined as the action when a human being causes the death of another living being of the same genre. Generally, a homicide detective job profile will be challenging and he/she will be playing an important role in murder investigations. They work in liaison with forensic specialists, coroners and police officers. They are eligible as per the norms in Police Department to collect evidence, follow clues/leads, prepare reports and writing fines (traffic tickets), grill or cross-examine suspects and make notes on witness’s details. Other duties include background checks on suspects or victims, preparing legal points for court. Their main job is to convict killers and give them punishment as per the State Federal Law or to assist the prosecution of offenders/lawbreakers/criminals. You can be a homicide detective at the local level, while there are others who work for Federal Government or State Government. The jurisdiction might cover an entire area or a sector of the area under the enforcement agency’s limits.
How Do You Become A Detective?
Basic General Education Requirements
In many police departments, the detectives are required to have a bachelor degree. The minimum requirement will be of a High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development). The subjects related to the detective field are police science, law enforcement, criminal justice and administration of justice. As in any popular detective fiction, the most important aspect is teaching of art of questioning the suspect in various ways to admit to his/her crime. The courses prepare you for the fundamental training in the police academy and normal investigative work. The other courses/subjects you can opt for are legal procedures, court systems and investigative techniques.
The position, you have aimed for is not an entry level position. Usually, a homicide detective would have joined the department as an officer and after gaining experience, he would have got the job based on requirements. Some States require you to pass an examination while in some instances, seniority will be considered.
After joining as a Police Officer, you have to put your best efforts in the first three years if you are passionate about becoming a homicide detective. In times of promotion, your superiors should recommend your name for the coveted job profile. You have to work beyond office hours, get high grades in internal exams and evaluation exams.
You need to keep up-to-date with the recent techniques and technology. Forensic knowledge is essential to tackle crime. If you get an additional certification on battling cyber-crime, you stand a chance of making it past the line easily. You can also enroll in specific courses in Night College.
The last thing you want is rejection due to physical inability for a post you dreamt about. A healthy body with confidence will score points in the interview. Heavy workload can take a toll on you, so it is vital to stay fit.
A small vital clue can go a long way in making an accused sentenced for life imprisonment. Keep an eye for detail in your reports regarding accidents and crime scenes. Taking a detective test at any time offered by your department may put the focus on you – superiors will take note and you will be ready to take the plunge if your department has any openings for a homicide detective.
If you are working in a small department in the Police Force, there will be fewer chances getting trained regarding homicide in your own academy. But if you have got the zeal, you can enroll in a regional academy or State-affiliated Academy to receive training.
The best aspect will be your performance as a Police Officer. You also should have multi-tasking skills, empathy, communication skills and leadership qualities.
There are situations in which a case would have gone out of leads, and then when you are working on another case, you can get a lead on the first one. Similarly, you will be working on multiple cases, and a lot of paperwork has to be completed within the shortest possible time. Patience is a virtue you have to possess as some of the cases you handle can lead to dead ends only to surface a few months later with a new clue or information.
Many cases get solved by a small vital clue provided by a third person. It is advisable you keep a positive attitude and patience. Your language should be gentle but firm. The conversation should vary according to the situation and personality of the individual. The victim’s friends, family and general public will seek immediate solution and you can get flak from the media. You need to keep patience when cornered in an unfortunate situation.
You might think that a detective will only solve cases and the writing part will be done by his junior or friend as in the case of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. But in reality, writing is essential as you should know to describe a case in detail.
Become Proficient In Foreign Language
Suspects may involve humans of all nationalities, and you may have to work with individuals who do not speak English. A smart conversation with a suspect in his/her language might expedite the detective work.
You need to be computer savvy since the cases can involve scientific handling of clues and details. Information on similar aspects of crime can be found online or data about criminals can be found in databases. You should have thorough knowledge of navigating websites. There are umpteen cases a criminal has got caught by means of searching for clues on the internet.
How To Become A Homicide Detective?
You have to complete your training at either a police academy or other kind of a similar institution for becoming a homicide detective. Other primary duties such as the use of fire arms, regulation of traffic, self-defense and practical response in emergency situations will be taught during this juncture. The other subjects to be given importance are civil rights and constitutional laws.
The other requirements are – you have to pass a criminal background check, a State Driver’s License along with drug test. Your age should be above 21 and in best physical health. You need to make the grade to prove you have got strength, vision, hearing and agility. If you had been convicted of felony, you will face disqualification. Other challenges in the offing will be to take lie detector tests and go through numerous interviews to ensure you have conveyed right information about the past.
As in other departments, once you have gained a job profile as a homicide detective, you can advance in rank. There are different ranks and if you have gained enough experience, you can be responsible for training low ranked detectives and officers of other departments.
Check Your Passion
The job profile of a homicide detective is not for light minded individuals as you can be working with hardened criminals or gory crime scenes. Always keep in mind, to gain success in career, you need passion and a supportive family. If you lack either of these two aspects, seldom will you find success. You need to have fine qualities of character such as honesty, responsibility, integrity and good judgment skills.
The qualities are useful when you conduct an investigation at the scene of crime, analyze in detail the forensic evidence, conduct interviews of suspects and witnesses. Interrogation is also an important feature of homicide detective job profile. You are licensed to carry fire arms as you can encounter violent criminals and risk personal injury or in worse cases – death.
Ensure that you are fit for the job in all aspects – physically, mentally and emotionally to make the evil administered justice. The job will not be a regular 9 am to 5 pm office job. There can be times where you have to stretch out for days searching for the vital clues and wait for developments. It calls for hard work with perseverance. You have to be 24/7 and should try to reach the scene of crime within the least possible time.
Agreed, every case you encounter may be a different one or you can easily gain a vital clue since you have solved similar cases. Kindly enroll for additional certification courses as per your specialization from professional associations, third party vendors or law enforcement agencies.