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