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Ten Things the New Detective Should Know

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 53 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2005 Pages: 110-115
Tom Joyce
Date Published
September 2005
6 pages
This article presents the 10 things that new law enforcement detectives should know about and display when conducting investigations.
Within most law enforcement agencies, new detectives are given an orientation training course, as well as offered manuals and guides to read and familiarize themselves with investigative work. This article presents 10 things new detectives need to learn in the early stages of their investigative careers. Excellent detectives will display some of these things everyday and will display all these things when necessary. First a new detective should understand what it is he does or his mission. A detective must display patience, enthusiasm, and persistence or PEP. These characteristics are the foundation of an equipped investigator. Thirdly, detectives need to identify the motive for cooperation by complainants and witnesses through effective communication. A new detective needs to have a working knowledge of technology and what it can do for him. Fifth, a new detective should have “field intelligence.” He should know who is doing what, where, and when. New detectives must develop positive relationships with the media. The seventh thing is to never use the term “negative results” on written reports which if used, could cost the detective his/her case. Detectives must pay attention to details which could lead to change in direction of a case, lead to the identification of a suspect, or lead to the apprehensions of the suspect. Detectives need to be thorough and meticulous in their execution of the investigation. Lastly, each case a detective is assigned to should be considered practice for the next case. A detective should learn all he/she can on each investigation and let each case be a lesson.