View Full Version : Detective

01-08-2016, 09:03 PM
I am working on a short story where the wife of my character works in a suburban police department as a detective.

1) What hours do detectives typically work, assuming that the crimes being investigated are non-violent? (white collar, low level theft, fraud, etc.)
2) Do detectives typically work on weekends?
3) Can they be called in to work in the middle of the night if say a violent crime occurs?
4) When (time of day) do detectives typically go out and do their interviewing of witnesses and suspects?

Thanks very much in advance. I understand this likely will vary somewhat from location to location.

01-08-2016, 10:33 PM
These answers are generic. Craft your tale as you wish.

1. Rotating shifts, essentially some variation of 24-hour coverage (midnight to 08:00 AM, daywork 08:00 AM to 4:00 PM, evening 4:00 PM to midnight).

2. Yes, usually scheduled, but sometimes (often) as needed.

3. Yes, frequently.

4. Anytime; witness/suspect availability and access are the key determinations.

01-08-2016, 11:39 PM
Thanks very much; exactly what I needed.

01-09-2016, 10:23 PM
It depends on the department size, but the bulk of detective assignments for persons and property crime are banker's hours 8AM-5PM, M-F. Vice is the exception; the bulk of vice detective hours are swings and mids. (I've worked det assignments of all 3 types.) The interview time depends upon the situation--is it better or worse for the neighbors or co-workers to see whatever they get to see by the det arriving? Is the wit or susp more or less likely to be cooperative in setting x? If the female det in your story is in property crimes then it's a large enough dept to specialize its detectives, so while a det can get called out in the middle of the night on a violent crime, it's a persons crime, not property, so she won't be the one called out.

01-09-2016, 11:35 PM
My father was a detective for 15 of his 25 years as a police officer. He worked the swing shift (4pm - 12am) the entire 25 years. He worked most of the detective jobs from homicide/robbery to sex crimes.

He worked weekends only when he wanted the overtime money or something important like a presidential visit or something was going to happen.

He was called in during his off duty hours more than a few times to help with major crime scenes.

Since he worked the swing shift, his interviewing of witnesses was usually at the crime scene. Follow up interviews were conducted by day shift detectives and they shared their information. Most of the time the follow interviews were conducted whenever the person being interviewed was available to be seen or to come to the precinct to be interviewed. This was pretty much decided on a case by case basis. Sometimes my father did follow up interviews in the evenings or he came in early to do them when he was allowed. Hope this helps.

Siri Kirpal
01-10-2016, 12:29 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Just adding that a regular police officer often takes statements from victims/witnesses at the crime scene or (if necessary) the hospital. These are shared with the DA and detectives.


Siri Kirpal

01-10-2016, 09:25 PM
An 8-5 M-F schedule would work perfect with the plot, so I will go with that. Thank you all for the insight -- it was very helpful to me.