A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crime by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads them to arrest criminals and enable them to be convicted in court. A detective may work for the police or privately.
Informally, and primarily in fiction, a detective is a licensed or unlicensed person who solves crimes, including historical crimes, by examining and evaluating clues and personal records in order to uncover the identity and/or whereabouts of the criminal.
In some police departments, a detective position is achieved by passing a written test after a person completes the requirements for being a police officer. In many other police systems, detectives are college graduates who join directly from civilian life without first serving as uniformed officers. Some people argue that detectives do a completely different job and therefore require completely different training, qualifications, qualities and abilities than uniformed officers. The opposing argument is that without previous service as a uniformed patrol officer, a detective cannot have a great enough command of standard police procedures and problems and will find it difficult to work with uniformed colleagues.
The detective branch in most large police agencies is organized into several squads or departments, each of which specializes in investigation into a particular type of crime or a particular type of undercover operation, which may include: homicide, robbery, burglary, auto theft, organized crimes, missing persons, juvenile crime, fraud, narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence, aggravated assault/battery, sexual assault, computer crime, domestic violence, surveillance, and arson, among others.
In police departments of the United States, a regular detective typically holds the rank of "Detective". The rank structure of the officers who supervise them (who may or may not be detectives themselves) varies considerably by department. In Commonwealth police forces, detectives have equivalent ranks to uniformed officers but with the word "Detective" prepended to it (e.g. "Detective Constable").
In some countries, the practice of a detective is not yet recognized in courts and judicial processes. One of these countries is Portugal, where the proof presented loses all significance when collected by a private detective. Even under this circumstance, the practice of this activity is in demand and ruled by a code of conduct. Some private detectives also disguise themselves as other people so that no one could recognize them. Private detectives are also showcased in many fictions.
Before the 19th century, there were few municipal police departments, though the first had been created in Paris in 1667. As police activities moved from appointees helped by volunteers to professionals, the idea of dedicated detectives did not immediately arise. The first private detective agency was founded by Eugène François Vidocq in Paris in the early 1800s, who had also headed a police agency in addition to being a criminal himself. Police detective activities were pioneered in England by the Bow Street Runners and later the Metropolitan Police Service in Greater London. The first police detective unit in the United States was formed in 1846 in Boston.
Detectives have a wide variety of techniques available in conducting investigations. However, the majority of cases are solved by the interrogation of suspects and the interviewing of witnesses, which takes time. Besides interrogations, detectives may rely on a network of informants they have cultivated over the years. Informants often have connections with persons a detective would not be able to approach formally. Evidence collection and preservation can also help in identifying a potential suspect(s).
Criminal investigation: the investigation of criminal activity is conducted by the police. Criminal activity can relate to road use such as speeding, drunk driving, or to matters such as theft, drug distribution, assault, fraud, etc. When the police have concluded their investigation, a decision on whether to charge somebody with a criminal offence will often be made by prosecuting counsel having considered the evidence produced by the police.
In criminal investigations, once a detective has suspects in mind, the next step is to produce evidence that will stand up in a court of law. The best way is to obtain a confession from the suspect; usually, this is done by developing rapport and at times by seeking information in exchange for potential perks available through the attorney's office, such as entering for a lesser sentence in exchange for usable information. In some countries Detectives may lie, mislead and psychologically pressure a suspect into an admission or confession as long as they do this within procedural boundaries and without the threat of violence or promises outside their control. This is not permitted in England and Wales where the interview of suspects and witnesses is governed by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
Physical forensic evidence in an investigation may provide leads to closing a case. Forensic science (often shortened to forensics) is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to the legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or to a civil action. Many major police stations in a city, county, or state, maintain their own forensic laboratories while others contract out the services.
Detectives may use public and private records to provide background information on a subject. Police detectives can search through files of fingerprint records. Police maintain records of people who have committed felonies and some misdemeanors. Detectives may search through records of criminal arrests and convictions, photographs or mug shots, of persons arrested, ands, hotel registration information, credit reports, answering machine messages, phone conversations, surveillance camera footage, and technology used for communication.
Prospective British police detectives must have completed at least two years as a uniformed officer before applying to join the Criminal Investigation Department. UK Police must also pass the National Investigators' Examination in order to progress to subsequent stages of the Initial Crime Investigators Development Programme in order to qualify as a Detective.
Before becoming a police detective, one must attend a law enforcement academy, providing the officer with a foundation of education with 16 to 24 college units in criminal justice or administration of criminal justice. After graduation from the law enforcement academy, the officer undergoes job training with a field training officer for a period specified by the law enforcement agency and continues to work while on a probationary period, ranging from one to two years.
During the probationary period the officer is assigned to look for evidence. During this time the officer is supervised and mentored by a sergeant with years of experience. Some officers further their college education by attending a two- or four-year college or university, attaining a degree in criminal justice or administration of criminal justice. Colleges have options for a concentration or certificate in a specialized field of criminal investigation.
Through years of on-the-job training or college education, officers may participate in a competitive examination, testing their knowledge, skills and abilities regarding criminal investigation, criminal procedure, interview and interrogation, search and seizure, collection and preservation of evidence, investigative report writing, criminal law, court procedure and providing testimony in court. Competitive examinations are conducted by selected senior law enforcement officials. Following testing, a list of results is provided by the department. At the department's discretion some, or all, of the officers on the list are promoted to the rank of detective. Some departments have classes of detectives which increase the detective's rank after successful experience.
Private investigators are licensed by the state in which they work (some states do not require licensing, but most do). In addition to the state examination, applicants testing for a private investigation license must also meet stringent requirements, which include college education, a range of two to four years of full-time investigation experience and the successful adjudication of a criminal and civil background check conducted by state investigators. Private investigators are licensed to conduct civil and criminal investigations in the state in which they are licensed, and are protected by statutes of that state. In states requiring licensure, statutes make it unlawful for any person to conduct a criminal investigation without a license, unless exempted by the statute (i.e., law enforcement officers or agents, attorneys, paralegals, claims adjusters).
Detective work is highly specialized, usually encompassing the examination and evaluation of evidence to apprehend suspects and to build solid cases against them.
Batman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27, in 1939. Originally named the "Bat-Man", the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World's Greatest Detective.Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime.Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any superpowers; rather, he relies on his genius intellect, physical prowess, martial arts abilities, detective skills, science and technology, vast wealth, intimidation, and indomitable will. A large assortment of villains make up Batman's rogues gallery, including his archenemy, the Joker.
The character became popular soon after his introduction in 1939 and gained his own comic book title, Batman, the following year. As the decades went on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic, which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in 1986 with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. The success of Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action Batman feature films have helped maintain the character's prominence in mainstream culture.An American cultural icon, Batman has garnered enormous popularity and is among the most identifiable comic book characters. Batman has been licensed and featured in various adaptations, from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, and video games. The character has also intrigued psychiatrists, with many offering interpretations of his psyche. In 2015, FanSided ranked Batman as number one on their list of "50 Greatest Super Heroes In Comic Book History". Kevin Conroy, Rino Romano, Anthony Ruivivar, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Jason O'Mara, and Will Arnett, among others, have provided the character's voice for animated adaptations. Batman has been depicted in both film and television by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck.Case Closed
Case Closed, also known as Detective Conan (名探偵コナン, Meitantei Konan), is an ongoing Japanese detective manga series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday on January 19, 1994, and has been collected into 95 tankōbon volumes as of October 18, 2018. Due to legal considerations with the name Detective Conan, the English language releases from Funimation and Viz were renamed to Case Closed. The story follows an amateur detective who was transformed into a child while investigating a mysterious organization, and solves a multitude of cases while impersonating his friend's father and other characters.
The series received an anime adaptation by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and TMS Entertainment. The anime resulted in animated feature films, original video animations, video games, audio disc releases and live action episodes.
Funimation licensed the anime series for North American broadcast in 2003 under the name Case Closed with the characters given Americanized names. The anime premiered on Adult Swim but was discontinued due to low ratings. In March 2013, Funimation began streaming their licensed episodes of Case Closed; Crunchyroll simulcast them in 2014. Funimation also localized the first six Case Closed films, while Discotek Media localized the Lupin III crossover special and its film sequel. Meanwhile, the manga was localized by Viz Media, which used Funimation's changed title and character names. Shogakukan Asia made its own English language localized version of the manga which used the original title and Japanese names.
The tankōbon volumes of the manga have sold over 230 million copies worldwide, making it the fourth-best-selling manga series. In 2001, the manga was awarded the 46th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. The anime adaptation has been well received and ranked in the top twenty in Animage's polls between 1996 and 2001. In the Japanese anime television ranking, Case Closed episodes ranked in the top six on a weekly basis. Both the manga and the anime have had positive response from critics for their plot and cases. The manga has been sold in 25 countries, while the anime has been broadcast in 40 countries.Detective Comics
Detective Comics is an American comic book series published by DC Comics. The first volume, published from 1937 to 2011 (and later continued in 2016), is best known for introducing the superhero Batman in Detective Comics #27 (cover dated May 1939).
A second series of the same title was launched in the fall of 2011 but in 2016 reverted to the original volume numbering. The series is the source of its publishing company's name, and—along with Action Comics, the series that launched with the debut of Superman—one of the medium's signature series. The series published 881 issues between 1937 and 2011 and is the longest continuously published comic book in the United States.Detective fiction
Detective fiction is a subgenre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator or a detective—either professional, amateur or retired—investigates a crime, often murder. The detective genre began around the same time as speculative fiction and other genre fiction in the mid-nineteenth century and has remained extremely popular, particularly in novels. Some of the most famous heroes of detective fiction include C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, and Hercule Poirot. Juvenile stories featuring The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and The Boxcar Children have also remained in print for several decades.Inspector
Inspector is both a police rank and an administrative position, both used in a number of contexts. However, it is not an equivalent rank in each police force.Law
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
A general distinction can be made between (a) civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and (b) common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law. Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, and is still used in some religious communities. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most widely used religious law, and is used as the primary legal system in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organizations.Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice.Midsomer Murders
Midsomer Murders is a British television detective drama that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, as originally adapted for television by Anthony Horowitz. A major success in viewership since its first episode, the series has been marketed worldwide in more than 200 countries.
Set within small English country villages, the show has an unusual identity as a crime drama peppered with both lighthearted whimsy and dark humour. The first 13 series starred John Nettles as Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Tom Barnaby. The character's younger cousin, DCI John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon), took over his position when Nettles retired from the show in 2011. Despite the change of lead character (and numerous changes among secondary players), the show has retained its popularity and as of 2018 has completed its 20th series.New York City Police Department
The City of New York Police Department, more commonly known as the New York Police Department and its initials NYPD, is the primary law enforcement and investigation agency within the City of New York, New York in the United States. Established on May 23, 1845, the NYPD is one of the oldest police departments in the United States, and is the largest police force in the United States. The NYPD headquarters is at 1 Police Plaza, located on Park Row in Lower Manhattan across the street from City Hall. The department's mission is to "enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment." The NYPD's regulations are compiled in title 38 of the New York City Rules. The New York City Transit Police and New York City Housing Authority Police Department were fully integrated into the NYPD in 1995 by New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.In June 2004, there were about 45,000 sworn officers plus several thousand civilian employees; in June 2005, the number of officers dropped to 35,000. As of December 2011, that figure increased slightly to over 36,600, helped by the graduation of a class of 1,500 from the New York City Police Academy. As of Fiscal Year 2018, the NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 38,422 There are also approximately 4,500 Auxiliary Police Officers, 5,000 School Safety Agents, 2,300 Traffic Enforcement Agents, and 370 Traffic Enforcement Supervisors currently employed by the department. The Police Benevolent Assocication of the City of New York (NYC PBA), the largest municipal police union in the United States, represents over 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.
The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including the Emergency Service Unit, K9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb squad, counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-gang, anti-organized crime, narcotics, public transportation, and public housing. The NYPD Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau has officers stationed in 11 cities internationally. In the 1990s the department developed a CompStat system of management which has also since been established in other cities.
The NYPD has extensive crime scene investigation and laboratory resources, as well as units which assist with computer crime investigations. The NYPD runs a "Real Time Crime Center", essentially a large search engine and data warehouse operated by detectives to assist officers in the field with their investigations. A Domain Awareness System, a joint project of Microsoft and the NYPD, links 6,000 closed-circuit television cameras, license plate readers, and other surveillance devices into an integrated system.Due to its high-profile location in the largest city and media center in the United States, fictionalized versions of the NYPD and its officers have frequently been portrayed in novels, radio, television, motion pictures, and video games.Pinkerton (detective agency)
Pinkerton, founded as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, is a private security guard and detective agency established in the United States by Scotsman Allan Pinkerton in 1850 and currently a subsidiary of Securitas AB. Pinkerton became famous when he claimed to have foiled a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who later hired Pinkerton agents for his personal security during the Civil War. Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. Pinkerton was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world at the height of its power.During the labor strikes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate unions, supply guards, keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. One such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to reinforce the strikebreaking measures of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie. The ensuing battle between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to the deaths of seven Pinkerton agents and nine steelworkers. The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921.
The company now operates as "Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, Inc. d.b.a. Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management", a division of the Swedish security company Securitas AB. The former Government Services division, PGS, now operates as Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services, Inc.Private investigator
A private investigator (often abbreviated to PI and informally called a private eye), a private detective, or inquiry agent, is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private investigators often work for attorneys in civil and criminal cases.Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes ( or ) is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Referring to himself as a "consulting detective" in the stories, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard.
First appearing in print in 1887's A Study in Scarlet, the character's popularity became widespread with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with "A Scandal in Bohemia" in 1891; additional tales appeared from then until 1927, eventually totalling four novels and 56 short stories. All but one are set in the Victorian or Edwardian eras, between about 1880 and 1914. Most are narrated by the character of Holmes's friend and biographer Dr. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, London, where many of the stories begin.
Though not the first fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes is arguably the best known, with Guinness World Records listing him as the "most portrayed movie character" in history. Holmes's popularity and fame are such that many have believed him to be not a fictional character but a real individual; numerous literary and fan societies have been founded that pretend to operate on this principle. Widely considered a British cultural icon, the character and stories have had a profound and lasting effect on mystery writing and popular culture as a whole, with the original tales as well as thousands written by authors other than Conan Doyle being adapted into stage and radio plays, television, films, video games, and other media for over one hundred years.True Detective
True Detective is an American anthology crime drama television series created and written by Nic Pizzolatto. The series, broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States, premiered on January 12, 2014. Each season of the series is structured as a disparate, self-contained narrative, employing new cast ensembles and following various sets of characters and settings.
The first season, starring Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, and Tory Kittles, takes place in Louisiana and follows a pair of Louisiana State Police homicide detectives, and their pursuit of a serial killer over a 17-year period. The second season, starring Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Kelly Reilly, and Vince Vaughn, is set in California, and focuses on three detectives from three cooperating police departments and a criminal-turned-businessman as they investigate a series of crimes they believe are linked to the murder of a corrupt politician. The third season, starring Mahershala Ali, Carmen Ejogo, Stephen Dorff, Scoot McNairy and Ray Fisher, takes place in the Ozarks over three separate time periods as two state police detectives investigate a macabre crime involving two missing children.
The first season received generally excellent reviews from critics and earned high ratings for HBO. It was nominated for and won numerous awards and other accolades, chiefly for its acting, cinematography, writing, and direction. Reception to the second season was more divided, though the show maintained high viewership for HBO.
The third season was greenlit in August 2017, with Ali cast in the lead role. Pizzolatto, Jeremy Saulnier and Daniel Sackheim serve as directors. Pizzolatto is the primary writer alongside David Milch and Graham Gordy. It premiered on January 13, 2019. As of January 2019, Pizzolatto is developing a storyline for a potential fourth season.True Detective (season 1)
The first season of True Detective, an American anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto, premiered on January 12, 2014, on the premium cable network HBO. The principal cast consisted of Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, and Tory Kittles. The season comprised eight episodes, and its initial airing concluded on March 9, 2014. As an anthology, each True Detective season has its own self-contained story, following a disparate set of characters in various settings.
Constructed as a nonlinear narrative, season one focuses on Louisiana State Police homicide detectives Rustin "Rust" Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin "Marty" Hart (Harrelson), who investigated the murder of prostitute Dora Lange in 1995. Seventeen years later, they must revisit the investigation, along with several other unsolved crimes. During this time, Hart's infidelity threatens his marriage to Maggie (Monaghan), and Cohle struggles to cope with his troubled past. True Detective's first season explores themes of philosophical pessimism, masculinity, and Christianity; critics have analyzed the show's portrayal of women, its auteurist sensibility, and the influence of comics and weird horror fiction on its narrative.
Pizzolatto initially conceived True Detective as a novel, but felt it was more suitable for television. The episodes, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, were filmed in Louisiana over a three-month period. The series received positive reviews from critics and was cited as one of the strongest dramas of the 2014 television season. It was a candidate for numerous television awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film, and won several other honors for writing, cinematography, direction, and acting.