What Do You Need To Become A Homicide Detective

Numerous problems exist in society, and it is likely that many of them will continue to exist. The functional school of sociology calls these phenomena ‘dysfunctions’ in society, and one of the most common and oldest is homicide. From a religious perspective, the Bible begins with Adam and then Cain and Abel, where we see the first murder taking place in Genesis. Though the consequences for homicide have helped rude rates, the truth is that law enforcement officers contributed more to lower homicide rates than the punishment itself.

Detectives in modern times have just about every resource at their disposal that they could possibly need. From state-of-the-art forensics labs to cyber-crime units whose attention to detail is staggering.

One wonders what makes these detectives the way they are. How do they get to the level of cognitive ability they are currently at? This article will be talking about just that. So, read on till the end to find out what it takes to become a homicide detective.

Earn an education

Before you get to Quantico, you have to have a degree that will help you go the distance. A background in subjects like psychology, sociology or criminology can aid you in your career path. A degree that gives you practical knowledge of criminals, which is necessary to help you traverse the tricky road ahead. When the going gets rough, and you seem to be stuck at a dead-end, you will be surprised how many detectives think back to the courses they studied in college.

Therefore, the first step when wondering how to become a homicide detective resides in going to college and studying a relevant major.

One of the best things about living in 2022 is that education has remote facilities that make it accessible to just about anyone. If you have trouble traveling, don’t have the time, or simply don’t want to attend classes in person, opt for an online degree instead.


Some cases run cold for decades. It took detectives nearly 30 years to catch the Unabomber. You need to be ready to wait it out and gather all the clues and facts to apprehend a suspect. Other than the fact that you need to get things together for yourself, you also need to make a reasonable case to present a picture to the judge for an arrest warrant.

If you think the majority of detective work is in the field, you’re wrong. That’s just what we see in the movies. There is a lot of research involved that takes hours out of your day and months before you generate a solid lead.

Remaining calm and patient is extremely important on the force. Things aren’t going to happen in your time. Not only do you have to gather evidence, but you also have to wait for the perpetrator to slip up.

Physical ability

We mentioned how you might be sitting at a desk for the majority of the day, but when the time to apprehend a suspect does arrive, make sure you are ready for it. Most murderers don’t go down without a fight. They run, fight back or lock themselves in their houses. You need to have the physical capabilities to run after them and forcibly take them into custody.

As a police officer, you must fit the part. It’s essential to hit the gym for weights and cardio at least once a week. Moreover, self-defense and martial arts training would be beneficial because you never know when something nasty might happen.

Experience on the force

People are rarely externally recruited to become a detective on the force. It takes time and experience as a cop to gain access to a detective’s rank. Exposure to street crime, understanding the criminal mentality and generally experiencing life as a police officer is essential before becoming a homicide detective.

It also desensitizes you to several issues. Instances that would have otherwise made your stomach churn or tugged at your heart’s strings would be all in a day’s work. It may seem detached and may indicate a lack of empathy, but these officers need to keep a sound, unbiased mind when investigating homicides around the country.

Analytical skills

Managing information, identifying gaps, and noticing patterns and trends in evidence, are all critical strategies. Even the smallest and seemingly insignificant details require a keen eye for detail. Remember, perpetrators rarely admit to their crimes; therefore, spotting lies, noticing changes in behavior, and using evidence against the criminals are just some of the average tasks.

In addition to looking at evidence and generally replaying the events of the murder in your mind, you need to think outside of the box to help nab the suspects and bring justice to the case. The details aren’t going to be obvious. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack, but you have to train your brain to notice inconsistencies.

Go through training

Police training for detectives is slightly different from the average cop. To adapt to the new job as a homicide detective, you’ll need to undergo police training again. It is also where you will learn the majority of your new skills and techniques to traverse the new job environment.

The experience is not just a learning opportunity but also a prerequisite. You simply cannot enter the force as a detective without this acting as the stamp of approval.


Becoming a detective and spending years on the force is far from easy. It is one of the hardest jobs society has to offer, and it would be best if you kept your expectations realistic about the road ahead. However, it is one of the noblest jobs and helps keep society safe.

We have gone over several factors relating to what you need to become a detective. Ranging from education to training and even talking about the physical demands of the job. Once you have all these down, you can consider working towards a job in the police in the homicide department.

It is notoriously one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, so please stay realistic about your expectations and stay safe during your service.



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