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Thread: Detective ranks

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    Detective ranks

    Just curious. In my department detective is an assignment and rank has nothing to do with it. If you are a Detective and get promoted to Sgt. then you go back to patrol until you are senior enough to put in for detectives again. I know that in larger agencies detectives are a permanent promotion and rank promotions are within the detective division. For example I know the NYPD has detective classes (Although I am not sure how that works). What Detective ranks does your agency have if you have such ranks and how do you obtain them? What do you get for each rank, Different assignment, more pay Ect..

    For example I spoke to a Sgt. for LAPD once who said he was assigned to Detectives but was not in fact a Detective Sgt. I had no idea what he was talking about but did not have the time to ask.
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    All of our Detctives are assigned based on an interview process. They're all given the rank of Sgt. within that division, then if they come back to the road, they revert to whatever rank thy were prior to moving to the Investigations Division.

    Within the ID are promotions to Lt. Captain, and finally the Deputy Chief of Investigations. The reason that they're all 'awarded' the rank of Sgt is so that when they arrive on the scene with patrol officers, there's no doubt who is the higher ranking or superior officer.

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    For us, detective is a rank, plus there are three "ranks" in detectives: D-1, D-2, D-3; D-3 being the highest. D-2 and D-3 are considered supervisors.

    If you are a detective and you take the sergeant's test and become a sergeant, then you go back to patrol. After a certain time, you could go back to detectives and automatically be a D-2.

    If you have been both a detective and a sergeant, then you have dual status and could go back and forth if you want (if positions are available).

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    It's a demotion on our agency: twice as much work, no pay raise, 5 day work week vs 4 day week, no paid lunch (8.5 hour day vs 10 for uniform) and a .....drum roll please.......$50.00 per month clothing allowance!!!

    The joke was, to be a detective, you had to graduate from an accredited police academy. Then, when you did a good job, you could transfer to uniform!

    Did detectives for 10 years, had a blast!!

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    Detective and Sergeant is the same rank and pay grade here. If you go to CID or a couple of other investigative units than you are called a detective. Other than that you are a Sergeant. Of course not all detective jobs are created equal. In any event, I will be more than just fine if I never have a gold badge that says "Detective".
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    Once you are assigned to a plain clothes investigative unit, your title is detective. No pay increase nor badge change. Same goes for supervisors. If you transfer back to a cruiser assignment (or a non-investigative unit), then you return back to the police officer title. So, aside from the additional specialized training one would get for Robbery, Homicide, or Burglary Squad for example, nothing really changes.
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    Here, Detectives are a competitive assignment, one that doesn't come with a higher pay, or a higher rank. Our Sgt's are Sgt's, not Detective Sgt's. They are just Sgt's who happen to be Detectives and run a Det. squad. With my agency, Detective is not a rank, just a title, one you may have to compete for, but one that doesn't come with any real added benefits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYIllini View Post
    In my agency we only have three permanent ranks: Trooper, Sergeant and Lieutenant. In order to make Sergeant and Lieutenant a Member must take the promotion exam. All the NCO and officer positions from that point on are appointed ex: Zone Sergeant or Captain. In addition to the ranks within our Uniformed Division a Member can also be assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) at the appointed rank of Investigator or Senior Investigator. Those are our "Detectives." If they are an investigator and take the Sergeant's test and they reach their number they would be promoted to the permanent rank of Sergeant but they would remain an investigator if they wanted. If they remained their title would remain investigator even though they would hold the permanent rank of Sergeant. In our rank structure a Sergeant and an Investigator are at the same level so regardless if an Investigator holds the permanent rank of Sergeant or not they are both equal rank. However if they leave the BCI to return to the road they return to their permanent rank whether it be SGT or Trooper. Although our BCI does not have NCO ranks, only Investigator or Senior Investigator, it does have officer ranks such as BCI Lieutenant and on up and those positions are also appointed . I hope I explained that clearly and correctly. It is a little weird, our Investigators even have their own union.
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    For us feds it works a little different. By an large, investigations and patrol are entirely different agencies. Examples include the separations of uniformed policing of customs and immigration (CBP and Border Patrol) and investigations (ICE), as well as a plethora of agencies that investigate federal crimes without having a uniformed element at all (except for local/state LE, such as DEA, ATF, Inspector General offices, etc.).

    There's exceptions (ex: US Park Police, Secret Service, Pentagon Police, and some others have uniformed officers and investigators/special agents within the same agency), but most federal investigators work for agencies with investigations being the nature of the organization.

    With some exceptions, if you're a uniformed federal LEO and want to become an federal criminal investigator, you have to apply to a different agency and go through the whole hiring process.

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    Detective is an assignment for us - generally three years, and no more than five. Detectives get 5% extra pay, but their rank does not change; detectives' badges say "Deputy Sheriff". Assignment to the bureau is done by submitting a memo of interest. Memos are kept on file for when an opening exists.

    Promotion to sergeant usually means that a detective leaves the bureau, but not always. Only one-third of our sergeants are in patrol.
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    Detective is a tested rank, although it is not a supervisory rank (actually the title says "P/O acting as Detective") . It's about a 6K bump in base salary (but Detectives tend to make way more O/T than most District P/O's. Making $100-130K per year is not uncommon). You can be knocked back down to Patrolman "for cause," but that hasn't happened since we got a union in 1980. You do have a different star that says "Detective" on it (In Chicago you are only issued one star). There is only 1 grade of Det. as opposed to NYC and LAPD which have several grades of Det. If you get promoted to Sgt., you go back to patrol in a District until your clout can get you back to the "D" as a Sgt.

    Even though it is a tested spot, they make 20% "meritorious," which usually was for a guy that was wounded in a shooting, made some really high profile arrest, got injured in the line of duty, but now it is basically for someone with clout that couldn't score high enough to get made on his own.

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    Where I work detective is an assignment. I was a detective and am now a sergeant. In my opinion the two aren't even remotely close as to the level of responsibility. As a detective you are responsible for your case load. A sergeant supervises several people. Most of us directly supervise 7-10 people where I work. I find it interesting that some agencies consider the positions equal. If I could go back to being a detective and make the same money I do as a sergeant with the same authority I would do it in a heartbeat, but it will never happen here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Copper View Post
    If you are a detective and you take the sergeant's test and become a sergeant, then you go back to patrol. After a certain time, you could go back to detectives and automatically be a D-2.
    By the same token, it sucks to be a tenured Sergeant and then have to be a D1 if you pass the Detective's test. Much better the other way around.

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    For us a detective is an assignment. The money is better for some (extra $1800 a year for on call and clothing allowance... nothing to write home about), but most lose money. I go to court a lot and get a lot of overtime that way, so I'd probably lose money. If you go from being a motorcycle cop who's also an FTO (hazardous duty plus an extra 2.4 hours of pay or comp time for every 12 hours you train) to being a detective, you'll probably lose money. Not to mention that you will hardly get any overtime (can't work extra shifts, you're already working when you have to go to court), and there's not much time for extra duty jobs.

    Now plain clothes detectives is a different story. You get on call and clothing allowance, and usually a whole lot of overtime.

    I believe our Sgt over detectives is a "Detective Sgt", however we don't promote from within our detectives division.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garbage Man View Post
    Just curious. In my department detective is an assignment and rank has nothing to do with it. If you are a Detective and get promoted to Sgt. then you go back to patrol until you are senior enough to put in for detectives again. I know that in larger agencies detectives are a permanent promotion and rank promotions are within the detective division. For example I know the NYPD has detective classes (Although I am not sure how that works). What Detective ranks does your agency have if you have such ranks and how do you obtain them? What do you get for each rank, Different assignment, more pay Ect..

    For example I spoke to a Sgt. for LAPD once who said he was assigned to Detectives but was not in fact a Detective Sgt. I had no idea what he was talking about but did not have the time to ask.
    NYPD has two different classifications of detectives: Detective-Specialist (guys in harbor, aviation, ESU get this) and Detective-Investigator (given to people who actually investigate crimes). Both discretionary promotions (no civil service exam), therefore you can be demoted back to PO if you screw up.

    There are three grades: Detective 3rd Grade (pay is between is a little more than a POs); Detective 2nd Grade (around the pay of a SGT); and Detective 1st Grade (pay is around that of a LTs). All of these detectives regardless of grade are not supervisors and are on the same level as Police Officers.

    Overseeing these detectives, you may find a Sergeant who is designated as a Sergeant supervising a detective squad or a Lieutenant who is designated as the commander of the detective squad. If designated as such, their pay increases to around the pay of the rank above them (ie: the Sgt will get a LTs salary and the LT will earn around the same as a Capt)

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    Detective for me was only a lateral transfer. If I pick up Sgt I have to go back out on the road. CID is a perm position if you want it to be, but there is no promotion within the actual detective billet other than MPO I, II, III. Once you get to III, the next step is Sarge, but you'd have to come out...therefore, many don't test.


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    Right now to be a detective it's by application, interview and selection process w/ a minimum of three years service time otj. There's talk of making it a three year rotation assignment whether you want it or not.

    No promotion due to civil service requirements the department has'nt mastered yet or been approved by CM and council, (hint: would require promotional test for new rank to all eligible employees and a new salary structure from the new rank up cool I would get a raise). Takes admin completely out of selection process, ie no pick & choose.

    Benefits: Own office and no uniforms to wear except one day per week. Pay grade is the same as patrol but CID has less work hours in a pay cycle making hourly rate higher with w/e and holidays off while Patrol works 12 hrs including w/e and holidays in a 4 day shift rotation. Clothing allowance.

    Drawbacks: Micromanaged. On call rotation two weeks out of every six due to training schedules. Micromanaged...oh wait that ones listed...nevermind.

    Enjoyed the experience I gained while I was in but frankly don't miss it. End of the day, pass your case on and tommorow's a new day w/ nothing to juggle, play catch up with or babysit the whiner of the week.

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    Det is also just an assignment you test for and get a 5% bonus which is called a Bonus I position. Not a rank. We do have Bonus II Detective positions. Those are usually speciality Detectives (homocide, major crimes, ESD, forgery/fraud, etc.). They make just under what a Sgt makes. If you get promoted to Sgt, you either start in patrol or a custody assignment. If you get custody first, you still have to work patrol as a Sgt before going to a specialized unit as a Sgt.

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    There's a man I know who was a police detective serving as a school resource officer. For a while the school employed its own police officers (large high school). Later, the detective/SRO was promoted to Sergeant of the "School Resource Unit" with 2 officers. He's not a detective-sergeant, though for all I know he may still help with investigations.
    The former traffic sergeant moved to criminal investigations as a sergeant. I know he had to go to school/training for the position. It wasn't just a mindless transfer.

    As per my local police department's 2008 Authorized Department Strength chart, Special and Criminal Investigations are two separate units. Both have a Major, 2-3 Lieutenants, 4-6 Sergeants, and various officers. Therefore, according to the chart, Detectives are the same rank as officers, if they are not Sgts, Lts, or Majors.

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    As a detective we wear the rank of Sgt. if we have to wear our uniforms for whatever reason. I received a pay raise and stripes when I became a detective. If I go back on the road I lose both my pay and stripes. We receive a $400 a year clothing allowance BEFORE TAXES. 8 to 5 is not bad and I am the duty detective on friday night.
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    We don't have detectives. We do, however, have background investigators and IA. Our BIs (all officers) are supposed to be a 2 year limit, but they have been in that spot for a very long time. They get no bonuses or rank. Our IA folks are all sergeants, and are supposed to have a 5 year cap on the spot. They are also lifers in that spot, regardless what the manual says. I think IA should have an expiration date, staggered, so you don't lose all of your experience in one shot. Same with the BIs. Our training unit is plain clothes or polo shirt and class B pants (supposed to be 2 officers and 1 sergeant). They (officers) get a bonus (same as FTO bonus) for that position. The sergeant gets no bonus. Their positions are supposed to rotate every 2 years also, but we have no one in there due to a serious officer shortage. The sergeant is the only one working Training, and is doing a great job of holding it together.
    Last edited by FJDave; 07-05-2009 at 02:32 PM.

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    Investigator is a position that comes along as a lateral move and only when a slot opens up for it. No testing, no pay raise, no rank. Less opportunity for O.T. because it's a small city and we don't have crime sprees that keep us out there after hours regularly. On call is one week per month and responding after hours does not mean you have control of the scene because the division Lt. is always on scene and always runs things. We're currently in a promotion holding pattern (tests taken...no announcements) and that has made for interesting-ness round the PD.

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    We're usually short on patrolmen here, so letters of intent from other divisions are preferred.

    There's no pay increase for moving to investigations. No badge that says "DETECTIVE" either. Required to work 8-5 M-F unless on-call.
    Lose money for not working after 1800.
    Get an unmarked SUV. (No private use unless on-call).
    Spend uniform allowance on dress shirts and ties, leave sport coats in the cubicle that does not have a window.

    I'm getting pretty good at closing cases without solving them... People really do need to start locking thier cars... Its frustrating.

    We have a Detective Sgt, but he's on a special assignment, so we report to the Lt.
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    Ken, we've had over 120 in six weeks because people have left their cars unlocked. I went to my last community watch meeting and when asked why the suspects weren't caught, I asked why citizens expected ME to care more about their stuff than they do. I couple of dumbfounded looks. If you [citizen] don't care enough to 1) lock your car and 2) have your serial numbers then...what do you want me to do?


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    I put articles in the contract city's newsletters. I've done night shifts knocking on doors letrting people know thier garage doors are open. I've left doorknob hangers with information.

    I simply cannot concentrate on the vehicle burgs when I have residential and business burgs waiting. I've accidentrally uncovered a check and ID fraud ring in a neighboring county while trying to find out who stole some business checks from my County... Property crimes are tough.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

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