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Police Detective: A Police Officer Career For The Taking

Aug 17, 2007
Police detective TV series are on the rise. In fact, not one, but three Crime Scene Investigators or CSI TV series are available for public viewing: CSI New York, CSI Miami and CSI Las Vegas. Before, televiewers were already content with the action and suspense scenes that were packaged with police and detective TV shows, but now, they are clamoring for more.

It seems that the adventure and mysterious air that comes along with a police or detective work sparked the curiosity of televiewers. People do not only want to know whodunit; they want to know the 'How' of catching the perpetrator. These wants of televiewers are the inspiration behind the creation of the CSI TV series and other similar TV shows.

What people don't know, however, is that police have an important and risky job that can bring a sense of excitement and adventure as well as fear and grief. Also, what is usually presented on TV is a filtered and hyped-up version of a police detective's life.

Police Detectives of the Real World

Job wise, the detective processes are more painstaking and laborious. It usually takes more time and effort from a police detective to solve a crime than what is depicted in TV shows.

For example, a particular case may require a detective to interview each and every person in a neighborhood within five blocks from the crime scene. Now, interviews and inquiries are all part of a detective's work. Imagine the effort required from a detective to get to know different types of people having different personalities and coming from different societies and races make them feel safe and comfortable, while at the same time assessing their answers and reviewing their actions or reactions if they have some knowledge on the case. At the end of the day, a police detective has to filter out the interviews and scan the possibilities to at least figure out a suspect or lead.

The work of a detective is also characterized by a chain of command present in military and police organizations. One subordinate police detective might be doing a particular work under a case while another does something different under the same case, although both are in the dark, unaware of the real objective of their work. Their superior will be the one collating the data for analysis of yet another subordinate police detective.

A police detective is also burdened with redundancy. To the eyes of a layman, redundancy may seem boring but to the police detective, it is more of a necessity that grows in you.
For example, a police detective like all police and military personnel are required to undergo the daily practice of handling their service firearms. Why, because these are guns that commands a responsibility from the owner.

There is also the issue of moral and ethical pressure on the p.d. . For one, each day in their work, a p. d. is faced with multiple temptations to act on something to their advantage. They will always be tempted to abuse their position and authority as enforcers of the law, especially since they are licensed to carry firearms.

As you can see, the real police detective is not your typical hero of the day as depicted in TV shows that people believe will always do the right thing. In the real world, these people are always faced with a choice to do the wrong or right thing.

What Does A Police Detective Do?

A police detective conducts investigations to be able to solve crimes or prevent one from happening. When a crime is committed, a police detective will examine the crime scene, obtain clues, and gather evidence to try to piece together a real-life puzzle.

Throughout the duration of the case, the police detective will have to record its progress and keep tabs on suspects by maintaining contact with them directly or indirectly. After sufficient evidence has been gathered, he can submit a report to his superior recommending for the issuance of a warrant for the suspect. Only a commanding officer or a magistrate can authorize a warrant.

Handling a case can be quite a journey for a police detective; he will have to look into every possibility while at the same time maintaining the necessary course of the case. Information can be gathered from governmental agencies, and from the result of interviews of complainants or witnesses. More so, the course of the case will be supported further by conducting polygraph tests on the suspects, and depending on the clues obtained from the crime scene, fingerprint tests and other related tests can be conducted to fortify evidence.

The work of a police detective, however, does not end here. A police detective will afterwards have to testify before the courts and stand as a witness. He will have to testify on the truthfulness and accuracy of his investigation for it to have a bearing before the court.

Characteristics Of A Police Detective

A p.d. has to have certain characteristics to be able to experience growth in his career. Basic abilities such as reading comprehension and writing, and speaking are important necessities. He needs to be able to communicate effectively in both written and oral aspects, as well as be capable of understanding formed sentences and paragraphs.

A p.d. must be capable of active learning. Active learning is simply to understand or perceive the possible implications of new information relative to the case. A clue is hard to come by without a perception of its relevance.

Critical thinking is also important to a police detective. He must use logic and reasoning to be able to identify the right solution to a problem. There are also numerous approaches to a problem which a police detective has to choose from. The work of a police detective comes to its most challenging part when he is evaluating and analyzing the clues and evidence and trying to make sense out of it.

Customarily, a police detective uses more of his brain and social skills than his body in his work. Though, in real life, a police detective can never be really sure he has the need to sprint a mile during police operations. Such work entails that the police detective be physically able to defend or attack a known assailant. He must also be adept in handling his service firearm.
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