Detectives are plainclothes police officers who work to solve various crimes on a municipal level. Contrary to patrol officers, who may intervene in a case only long enough to bring it to the department’s attention, detectives are usually assigned to a specific case, working on it until it is closed or dropped. Thus, detectives often specialize in crimes such as homicide or burglary.

While working on a case, detectives may use a variety of methods. These can include:

  • Reviewing previous cases
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Surveying crime scenes
  • Uncovering and handling evidence
  • Making arrests
  • Tracking or monitoring suspects