View Full Version : Questions for California DA Investigators...

02-16-2008, 12:01 AM
...what do you guys like about your job? How are your duties/responsibilities that more different when compared to police officers in your jurisdiction? What kind of special training/certifications/skills does it require? I know here in CA that most of them are sworn full-time peace officers.

I'm thinking of applying for it when I graduate in a year but heard it was quite competitive with seasoned officers/detectives applying.

Thanks in advance.

02-16-2008, 12:45 PM
I'm not a DA Investigator, but have worked with them in Southern California. I have yet to meet a single one that didn't lateral over to the DA's office from another LE agency (i.e. they were all seasoned police officers). You have two strikes against you from the standpoint of not being POST certified and having no police experience. That's not to say it can't be done, but all of the DA investigator openings I have seen in Los Angeles posted at the DA's offices required a basic POST certificate to even apply. To get even a basic POST certificate in California, you must have LE experience, not just have completed an academy. With that said, there are 57 other counties in California, who may or may not require a POST certification and/or prior LE experience...

02-16-2008, 12:53 PM
We have had a lot of our officers in the past move to the DA as DAI's..... good salary (I believe equal to what our SGT's were making at the time), take home ride, tons of equipment, specialized assignment, mostly daywatch schedule, no more uniforms, not dealing with the day to day turds we deal with......

02-18-2008, 08:16 PM
Yea, I heard they were taken care of really nice...better than a detective in most cases.

Specifically, does anyone know how many special assignments or years of experience are they looking for?

02-18-2008, 10:59 PM
I am a State Criminal Investigator, but have been working with DA Investigator's on a Task Force for the past 3 years. You are correct that the competition is very fierce if you want to get in with the DA's Office because of all the laterals that want in. However, I know a few people that were hired on in Santa Clara County as paid non-sworn Investigative Assistants (IA's), and worked their way up to Criminal Investigator. In Santa Clara County if you are promoting to DA Investigator from within then they put you through a full POST Academy. I don't know of any other County that does this so the other alternative would be to lateral from another agency as a fully sworn officer.
If you want an idea of what DA Investigators are making in Santa Clara County, the Mercury news published County salaries for fiscal year 2007 some time last year. Just do a keyword search for "investigator".


02-18-2008, 11:19 PM
I saw one DA investigator II made $140,000 and another made $63,000? is that all OT? :eek::eek:

02-19-2008, 12:07 AM
As far as the Investigator's I know, they don't work very much over time if any, so I have no idea what would cause the discrepancy within the same job classification.

02-19-2008, 12:49 AM
You'll need several years of experience as a detective with a regular law enforcement agency before being hireable as a DA Inspector.

02-19-2008, 12:01 PM
Yea, I heard they were taken care of really nice...better than a detective in most cases.

Specifically, does anyone know how many special assignments or years of experience are they looking for?

I believe in the SD area it is a minimum of 3 years in a detective position.

02-20-2008, 05:51 PM
Most of what you have already read on the board is true. I am a DAI. Been here for a year and a half. I have over thirty years experience and have worked in every assignment in the local Sheriff's Office. I was a sergeant when I decided to try and make the move. Best thing I ever did. No more shift work, holidays off, work a regular schedule 0730 to 1730 four days a week. All of my county time and seniority, vacation and sick leave transferred over.:D I don't have the pressures here I had at the SO. We don't really deal with suspects/defendants but you still deal with many of the same related folks. You see the frequent flyers and recognize the names, but there is no first responder stuff, unless it is a homicide or OIS and we are requested by the lead agency.

I suggestion is that you get some time on the street and some time in investigations and then try and move over.:D

02-20-2008, 07:00 PM
You don't start as a DAI. You come over from another department after having experience. Most have at least 5 years prior law enforcement experience.