How to get started?
First of all, my apologies if this is in the wrong area.
I need everyone's opinions, experiences, etc. I'm a current forensic student, and I'm wanting to find out how to get in the field as a police officer (if needed). I understand, or at least I think, that I need to have a peace officer's license in order to do this. (Do they hire civilians for police department work in forensics?)
I've been in IT for around 15 years.
I've dealt with security for the past 8.
I started my forensics background around 4 years ago when I started my forensics major in school.
How many of you are doing forensics and not an officer? I'm in Texas, and they require you to have an PI license in order to do investigations, which is why I'm going down this road of becoming a licensed officer.
No one can answer this?
As you alluded to, already, this partly depends upon the jurisdiction in which you intend to practice.
As to whether police departments hire civilians for forensics, this has been discussed, recently, and it appears that the answer is that in some cases, police departments have concluded that it is less expensive to hire a civilian contractor than to train and maintain a computer forensics officer, however, this is not universal.
Well I am not sure in Texas I know that there are states that require you to have schooling to be a police officer and there are states that don’t require having anything.
Where I live I have a Law Enforcement Degree and a computer degree and was hired at the state bureau right out of the academy where I worked in a program like the Amber Alert system and then moved into computers.
I left there 2 years ago to broaden my horizons. I can’t say if being in LE has helped me or not because what I find with police departments and people that it’s your reputation that gets you around. As I have met many police officers and detectives, investigators, special agents etc and I have asked myself how the heck did they get here and some you just have to say "back away from the keyboard" lol
When you interview for these positions it usually boils down to "do you have what the chief is looking for" Wait until you go to about 100 interviews for a police officer you will see what I am talking about wink
I would say go get into your police department as a Reserve Officer, do ride alongs open your networking abilities within the LE field there- you never know what will come your way and you'll get first hand experiences!
I work for the military as a civilian IT Security Investigator and started my career in the 80's as a PC technician and then into IT Security in the 90's, so departments such as National Defense DO hire civilians, as they deploy military personnel to operations overseas. I would suspect police units sometimes do the same.
I have to agree with SchafRJ my husband is in the military and they hire lots of civilians and they are the ones with the jobs these days because of the majority of the workforce going into retirement the job market should open wider there. The DOD (Department of Defense, DOJ Department of Justice (they are the big LE backers and a group of good people too) you can look on USAJobs.com and indeeds.com you will see all sorts of Information Security/Forensic jobs listed there. Its good to read through so you see what the qualifications are that a lot of them are looking for.