By: Captain Kyle Cressione
Thibodaux Police Department (LA)
It’s no secret that the patrol division of a police department is the nucleus of its operation. Patrol officers investigate crimes until they are redirected to other responsibilities, or no longer have the means or time to continue the investigation. This is where the investigative divisions come in; it was why they were created.
Who is the Investigator?
The investigator is best described as a patrol officer with very specific training, along with time and assets to complete an investigation in greater detail. With experience, an investigator will adapt to a more tedious process of investigation, becoming more methodical.
The investigator will identify the smallest details of a crime, and use those details to increase the probability of solvability. The best investigators are those who dedicate themselves to their task. There is a sense of ownership and responsibility to tell the story.
For example, on the scene of a homicide, often times no one is present or even able to disclose what events transpired. The family of the deceased deserves to know what has happened to their loved one.
What is the Goal?
It is the goal of the investigator to uncover the events that led up to their loss. Primarily, the responsibility may be to identify a suspect or to present facts to the judicial system, but those are not the only reasons an investigator is dedicated to an investigation.They tell the story to the family, often times providing closure to the hurting.
Many patrol Officers request to transfer to the investigation division, but quickly opt out when they realize the overwhelming amount of responsibility, additional documentation, and the necessity to continuously remain tenacious.
Some may see an emotionless investigator scrambling around the most horrific crime scenes. Actually, the investigator carries what they see for the rest of their life; trying to compartmentalize the images because there is no time to waste during an investigation.
An investigator understands that his emotions, whether sorrow, anger, fear or disbelief is secondary to the importance of his duties. They take a back seat to the task at hand.
There are investigations that are less of a priority, but equally important to the investigator. The victim of any crime believes that their case is the most important. On some occasions the victim has never experienced crime, and the slightest disruption in their perception of a perfect world causes them to feel that they have been terribly violated.
As an investigator, it must be understood that to some people a minor crime may feel like a big ordeal. The victim doesn’t care that you are investigating several cases at once, and that you are repeatedly being interrupted to satisfy the curiosities of every person involved.
A favorable outcome is expected and it is the responsibility of the investigator to quickly and efficiently serve the public.
A Personal Life
The personal life of an investigator is also demanding. A companion might ask why their significant other is always working. Countless hours of separation, and the confidential nature of the job demands that certain aspects of an investigation are better left on the job.
No one will argue that the duties and responsibilities of an investigator are demanding, but the work must go on. There are rewards for your efforts. Sometimes you get a heartfelt thank you.
Editor’s Note: first posted at http://thibodauxpd.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/the-investigator/
Do you have what it takes to be called; The Investigator