What Is a Sergeant Detective?

Sergeant detectives serve both in uniform and in plainclothes.
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In a traditionally male-dominated profession -- American Police Beat says that a woman is more likely to be a CEO than a police officer -- women that serve as sergeant detectives truly stand out. This intense job focuses on investigation, taking the detective everywhere from the lab to the crime scene. It's not easy to become a sergeant detective, and it's even more demanding to serve as one, but every day of work makes a genuine difference in the community.

Basic Responsibilities

    Sergeant detectives perform all the duties of patrolling deputies, but they take on additional responsibilities as well. A day in the life of a sergeant detective typically includes criminal and crime scene investigation, reviewing arrest reports, consulting other officers and conducting background investigations. Interviews with everyone from suspects to complainants take up a lot of the detective's time. Sergeant detectives are also tasked with supervising and training deputies, detectives and other law enforcement personnel as needed.

Other Duties

    Back at the station, sergeant detectives make sure the crime lab stays in smooth working order and are faced with a whole lot of paperwork. These great communicators also serve as the interdepartmental and public liaisons. Depending on the department, sergeant detectives may evaluate personnel under their supervision and make recommendations for staff training, as well. On occasion, the job calls for these detectives to carry out internal investigations.


    You can sometimes get by with having only a high school diploma to serve as a sergeant detective, but you typically need at least an associate's degree and about four years of police experience to move up to this position. Areas of study such as law enforcement, criminal justice and corrections are preferred. In addition to education and experience, sergeant detectives usually hold standard law enforcement certification and firearm certification, at minimum.

Skill Set

    In addition to detailed knowledge of police practices, rules, principles and regulations, this job calls for women with extremely strong reasoning powers and the ability to thoroughly evaluate situations to make both meditated and on-the-spot decisions. Any sort of detective, including sergeant detectives, must have a strong sense of organization, as this gig requires thorough documentation. As far as personality goes, you'll need confidence and plenty of composure, as sergeant detectives are often expected to take command of the situation at hand. Sergeant detectives also have to be physically fit, durable and able to pull plenty of taxing overtime.

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