Investigator | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Policing

An investigator is a police officer with the primary duty of investigating crimes.

An investigator, also known as a detective, is a law enforcement officer with the primary duty of investigating crimes. They are responsible for gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and pursuing leads to identify and apprehend criminal suspects.

In the United States, investigators often receive specialized training in criminal investigations, which may include coursework in forensic science, evidence collection and analysis, and legal procedures. They may also specialize in specific types of crimes, such as financial crimes, homicide, or cybercrime.

The role of an investigator is critical to the criminal justice system, as they are responsible for building the case against criminal suspects. This involves collecting and analyzing evidence, conducting interviews and interrogations, and collaborating with other law enforcement agencies and forensic experts. Investigators also play a critical role in helping to prevent crime by identifying patterns and trends that may lead to the development of new crime prevention strategies.

Investigations may be initiated in response to a variety of situations, including reports of crimes, suspicious activity, or complaints from the public. Investigators may work independently or as part of a team, depending on the nature and scope of the investigation. They may also work closely with prosecutors and other legal professionals to ensure that the evidence collected is admissible in court.

Investigators must have strong analytical skills, as well as the ability to think creatively and strategically. They must be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, including witnesses, suspects, and other law enforcement officials. They must also be able to work well under pressure, as investigations often involve high stakes and time-sensitive deadlines.

In addition to investigating crimes, investigators may also be involved in other law enforcement activities, such as surveillance, undercover work, and raid planning. They may also be called upon to provide testimony in court, assist in search and rescue operations, or respond to emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

Learn More

On This Site

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 04/10/2023


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.