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How do I Choose the Best Detective Academy?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

The best detective academy provides relevant training, offers the opportunity to practice techniques and can be completed on either a part-time or full-time basis. There are two types of detective academies: job-specific and open to the public. Job-specific training is organized, funded and managed by a specific law enforcement agency. A detective academy that is open to the public provide a more generic training program that typically focuses on students who have already completed a law enforcement program or military training program.

A person who wants to attend a detective academy typically has already worked in a law enforcement or security environment. He or she usually has three to five years of experience as a first responder and is looking for training to support a promotion to detective. As a detective, he or she is responsible for investigating specific crimes and working with a team of other professionals. A higher salary and more responsibility are commonly associated with the change.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Relevant training includes basic psychology, diffusing conflict, identifying evidence and interviewing techniques. These skills are built on the basic law enforcement training that all students must have completed. In addition to the standard course offering, a detective academy might also include courses that focus on specific areas of interest, such as forensics, organized crime, financial fraud or other subjects.

Mock interviews, practical exercises and drills are the best way to learn new techniques. Adults learn best with multiple opportunities to practice and apply new skills. As a result, the best detective academy will provide the opportunity for students to receive individual coaching as they apply their knowledge in a secure environment.

The vast majority of people who register for a detective academy are working full-time. Courses that are available part-time, supplemented with weekend crash courses and online materials are the best way to obtain the training required. Look for a school that can support a range of learning methods and has the expertise necessary to properly support these initiatives.

Reputation is very important when selecting a detective academy. Talk with local law enforcement agencies and potential employers about the overall reputation of the academy. Ask the admissions staff for the statistics on graduate employment to determine how successful graduates are at securing a position as a detective. Call past graduates to get their thoughts on the quality of training that they received, and learn about the level of assistance provided after graduation.

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