Criminal Justice Careers can be very exciting but also a risky job. Detective is one that interests me more. Detective went through intensive trainings. The profession requires Diplomas from high school institution they came from. It is also required that they take courses in English, Science, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Physical Education. Skills in foreign languages, journalism, and typing are also essential. Many of the police departments require one or two years of college coursework particularly in law, criminology and police science.
Most police detectives were trained for six weeks up to several months, depending on the program they are attending. Those who successfully completed the training program will probably be assigned to detective’s duty permanently. They may be asked to take refresher courses consecutively to update their abilities and techniques. Since many private detectives were former police detectives, almost their education, skill and training requirements are similar to police detectives. Private detectives also acquired skills on the job from experienced private detectives.
In some states, private detectives are required to have valid license and participate in specially systematized intensive training programs. Each state asks for a firearm permit. Detective is in charge for crime investigations and prevention. He is also trained to solve crimes against people and their properties. He can work for police departments or choose to be employed by a business firm and institution.
Detectives can perform well through their highly specialized techniques and communication apparatuses that are technology’s products. Detectives in any Police Departments are tasks to observe criminals’ actions, produce sources of information, and be in assistance in arresting criminals. They often work in civilian clothes, black robes, sunglasses, wearing huts to undercover themselves and also for protection of their lives. When on duty, they go to locations or places where the criminal often stay for the purpose of getting enough information of the suspect’s activities, people who mingle with him and his moves.
For example, detective that is assigned in a gambling case spend his time at the suspect’s favorite clubs and bars, he acts as if he is also gambler and tries to learn as much as possible about the case. A detective may also find informers also witnesses from the neighborhood who might have information about the suspect. After gathering substantial evidences against the suspect, the detectives can now arrest the criminal with the help of police force. Other detectives who work for private agencies or individual client are often former police officers. Some of them were trained by the private agencies themselves. Private investigators collect information from police sources.
They observe suspects and interview witnesses but they cannot arrest. Detective’s work may be very rewarding, routine, safe or dangerous, depend on their assignments. For example, a police detective who investigates in drugs scandals may be exposed to the threat of physical violence or even death.
Detectives often work in unstable hours and they even work during night, weekends and holidays. Their salaries differ from another; depend on locations, experiences, and the assigned responsibilities or tasks. In 2004, the median wage of a private detective is $32,110 per year while a police detective is $53,990 per year. Experienced detectives have special benefits such as pensions, life and health insurance, and payments during their leave or vacation.
Lawyers and other private companies hire detectives to search information for court trials and to investigations including the passing of bad checks, and other illegal matters. Many insurance institutions also hire private detective to investigate insurance claims and dilemmas. Parents may hire them to search for their lost children. On the other hand, Private detective work as bodyguard for people who are in personal danger particularly special witnesses and politicians as well. Store detectives are in charge to investigate against customer shoplifting and dishonest employees. A bouncer ensures that order is served in restaurants, night bars, and other places of entertainment. House detectives, also known as hotel detectives are task to protect patrons from unexpected troubles and troublemakers.
Detectives have their own Code of Ethics to follow. This Code is highly based in our Moral Rights and Conducts. Honesty and Integrity is its center. They have to give their full fidelity and sincerity to their client. All investigations should be legal, moral and professionally ethical. Preserving their client’s confidence in all circumstances is also their duty as long as it is not contrary to criminal law.
They must counsel their clients against any unethical and illegal course of action. A detective should also cooperate with the government and make sure that all their employees adhere to their code of ethics. He must retain his good reputation as well as his fellow investigators and professional associates. Some Ethical dilemmas are the officer’s misuse of his official position for expected or even actual incentive or gain, including opportunities and engaging in different forms of occupational deviance.
Two of the most unique ethical standards of a detective are his honesty and good reputation. Cheating is one potential ethnical dilemma specific to this line of work that the code of ethics is meant to discourage. Since nobody is assigned to watch detectives’ operations they tend to move slow in order to take gain from their clients. As a result, some of the criminal cases are hanged.
Another dilemma is distortion of truth when ask to testify in a court. Some hold special evidences to prove the suspect guilty. For, example, if the detective investigates someone who is politically powerful, this influential person can pay the detective to hide the truth. They also sometimes use brutality in acquisition of goods, money and even power. As an economic man, people tend to do their job better when given money as their reward. Detectives should firmly stand as saviors and source of truths of the people and the government.
The unethical activities of one detective might cause the public to condemn other investigative agencies and other detectives. This would be a false generalization. Huge majority of private investigators or private detective agencies operate with utmost respect for the law and strict in abiding the code of ethics.
In a study entitled Perceptions of Ethical Dilemmas made by a group of people including Dr. McGrath, stated through a survey the twenty unethical behaviors of a professional found in the field of Criminal Justice. The study showed that many detectives sleep during their working hours. Instead of searching information and watching for the every move of the criminal, they spend their time in entertainments.
The conclusion of this study stated clearly that police officers’ views on unethical behaviors are related to their rank and length of time in the service. Those that are considered pioneers are more into disobeying the code. This data is somewhat intertwined into corruption. It is also possible that this can highly affect serious judgments of greater emphasis on ethical issues that now occurs in police training.
Nevertheless, these study also emphasized that there is a need for strict implementation of the Code of Ethics from this high level positions. Any career from criminal justice requires true and reliable professional. This will largely determine how clean one’s government is. They are also a great help in maintaining the order and peace in the society. Any disobedience in the Code of Ethics can immediately affect the society’s stability of good morale. Those who are in highest ranks must be loyal to the code and stand as models to their associates.
Woody, Todd. (May 29, 2000), DNA Detectives, retrieved on February 7, 2008,
Bufill, Jose A. (November 28, 2003), Ethical Dilemmas at the Beginning of Death,
retrieved on February 7, 2008), from http://www.illinoisrighttolife.org/EthicalDilemmasDefiningDeath.htm
Huon, Gail F., Hesketh, Beryl L., Frank, Mark G.,Frank,
McConkey, Kevin M., and Dr McGrath, G. M. (1995), PERCEPTIONS OF ETHICAL DILEMMAS, retrieved on February 7, 2008, from http://www.acpr.gov.au/pdf/ACPR125_1.pdf