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How to Become an Internal Affairs Officer

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Internal affairs is an important, if not unpopular, division of any police department. Internal affairs officers investigate allegations of misconduct and impropriety on the part of police officers. To become an internal affairs officer, an individual must be experienced in police work, and dedicated. He must have a spotless record and strong resolve. The nature of this work can often lead to an internal affairs officer being ostracized and even outright chastised by fellow officers.

Become a police officer by completing police academy training. Pass the requisite physical, written and psychological exams.

Maintain a clean record during your time as a police officer. Observe the rules and regulations of your department while performing your job. To become an internal affairs investigator, you'll need your record to be free of blemishes.

Request a transfer to internal affairs. You will likely need to move up several ranks before you do so, at least to detective, as you will be required to participate in and even lead investigations. The chain of command you will follow is dependent on the size and procedures of the individual department.

Submit to and pass any requirements to make the transfer. Depending on the department, you may have to wait until the approving body reviews your record and qualifications to transfer to internal affairs.


Carl Carabelli has been writing in various capacities for more than 15 years. He has utilized his creative writing skills to enhance his other ventures such as financial analysis, copywriting and contributing various articles and opinion pieces. Carabelli earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Seton Hall and has worked in banking, notably commercial lending, since 2001.

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