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7 Must-Have Characteristics Of A Police Detective

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Detectives are undeniably intriguing, and many of us secretly wish that we could be on the front lines of a criminal investigation. Questioning suspects. Putting the pieces together. Catching criminals in their lies. These are all aspects of detective work that draw us in and leave us wanting more. Why do you think crime shows are so popular? Well, it’s because the process of investigation is simply fascinating and we can’t get enough. So, have you ever wanted to do a little detective work of your own? Perhaps you’d like to dig up some dirt on your friend’s creepy new boyfriend. Or maybe you have a gut feeling that someone you know is trying to cover up their criminal history.

Well, you’re in luck because the Internet allows you to do this research on your own. Yahoo! Voices just published an article (Instant Checkmate’s Guide to Being an Internet Detective) that details how to use the Internet to learn more about the people in your life. If you want to hone your skills even further, you have to make sure you have the right mindset. So, before you summon your inner Sherlock Holmes, check out the list below for seven must-have characteristics of a police detective!

1. Dedication

Dedication is one of, if not the most important characteristic of a police detective. First off, detectives must work as a police officer for several years out in the field before they can become a bonafide detective. Then, once they’ve been promoted, the job requires hard work and long hours. In fact, many detectives find themselves working straight through the night; guzzling cup after cup of coffee just to keep their eyes open.

2. Persistence

When it comes to detective work, persistence is also extremely important. A criminal investigation could take weeks, months, or even years before the case is finally solved. So, detectives have to keep pushing through, even at times when it seems like an investigation is at a stand-still.

3. Intuition

Detectives are highly intuitive, and they’re often guided by their gut feeling during investigations. This characteristic comes in handy when they have to bring in suspects or eye witnesses for questioning because they’re able to get a sense of who’s telling the truth, and who might be trying to cover up details about the case at hand. Essentially, they must act as human lie detectors, and for that task, intuition is key.

4. Objectivity

Just like a judge in court, police detectives must remain objective at all times during an investigation. Even if a case hits close to home, they must do whatever it takes to not let their feelings get involved. When emotion becomes a factor, a detective’s judgement could be skewed, which could potentially lead them to false assumptions or conclusions about an investigation. In the event that a detective does become emotionally attached to any aspect of a case, it is highly likely that they’ll be taken off the assignment in order to retain objectivity.

5. Tough Skin

Working in law enforcement requires tough skin because, well, it’s an extremely difficult job and these men and women see horrible crimes committed every single day. Police detectives cannot allow this aspect of the job affect them mentally, and they must learn how to separate their work from the rest of their lives. Without this work-life separation, the effects could be seriously damaging.

6. Creativity

Many people may think that detective work is all about logic and putting the facts together, but the job actually requires a great deal of creativity. During an investigation, detectives are presented with a vast amount of random pieces of information, and their job is to find ways to connect the dots in order to solve the crime. This requires them to get creative with the info they have in front of them, and to think outside of the box.

7. Attention To Detail

Detectives have an eye for the details; the tiny pieces of information that might otherwise be overlooked. They are experts at connecting the dots, and if one little detail is off, they’ll be the first to recognize and act on it. This acute attention to detail is what makes detective work so tedious, but all detectives know that the smallest, most seemingly insignificant detail could be the key to solving a huge case.

What do YOU think is the most important characteristic of a police detective? Let us know in the comments!

Jennifer Holmes is a blogger from Miami, FL. She specializes in writing about crime, law enforcement, and safety tips. 

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