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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    3

    First/secondhand knowledge about county/state prosecutor investigator careers

    Hello everyone ,

    I'm a college freshman currently pursuing degrees in business & criminology interested in a broad range of law enforcement careers. I've already gotten the spiel about how pursuing an 1811 career has an unlikely favorable outcome and thankfully I've been told early enough to be wary of and avoid CJ degrees (). Although I'll be keeping my motivation high and my hopes low I've been seeking internships and information about similar career paths that could assist me in landing an 1811 job, or just help my luck landing a desired leo gig.

    I've got a couple of questions for anyone in the community that may know anything about county prosecutor investigative/detective careers, preferably information relevant to the northern new jersey/tri-state area - but any old information can't hurt!

    -Would an applicant with a four year degree, plenty of volunteer [first-aid & police exploring] work, and prosecutor level internship experience likely be turned down against someone with a few years of LEO experience on their belt for a prosecutor's investigator gig? I'm aware that you'd be sent to an academy regardless and that politics are at work, but do county-level recruiters generally seek personality and background or would they rather seek street cop experience?

    -I'm sure this topic is already a thoroughly dead & beat horse in this community, but this one goes specifically to those out in this particular gig. How rewarding is your career? And as far as you know, how rewarding is it compared to an 1811 career? Were you satisfied with your career position and style of life, considering that you're doing a similar level of red-tape/judicial work as an 1811 without being labeled as one?

    -How sought after is this career compared to an 1811 or municipal/county/state level police detective career?

    -Any possibility of a major federal agency being discouraged to hire a county prosecutor's investigator due to the level of training that they've already received? I've heard that some major agencies prefer a clean slate prior to training, how relevant is that information to the county prosecutor investigator career path?

    Apologies for sounding like another young brat that thinks they have their heart set on an 1811 career

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    7,345
    This will vary a lot depending on where you are in the country, but in most places I have worked the DA/prosecutor's office investigators were almost entirely prior law enforcement. In some places they were laterals who had worked for local or state police agencies for a few years, while in others they were almost entirely retired local, state or federal investigators. That's not to say you cannot get hired into one of these positions without prior experience, and I have known people who started their LE career as a DA investigator, but it is not the norm in most places.

    As far as 1811 hiring, prior criminal investigative experience and training will not work against you. The candidate pool has gotten more and more competitive over the years, and even most "entry level" announcements now ask for experience that would be difficult to have straight out of college. That's not to say other paths would not open doors for you more effectively than being a local detective or DA investigator, but it's all a crapshoot as agency hiring needs change over time and you should focus more on what you want to do rather than what MIGHT get you into an 1811 position someday.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    535
    EXACTLY what NSEDET said - ESPECIALLY in NJ. I can state w/ absolute conviction after having lived/worked in NJ that- in order to be hired directly into a NJ County Prosecutor's Office as an Investigator straight out of college, you will HAVE to be related, by blood, to a high ranking individual within that office. Either way, you're short changing yourself if you don't work general patrol within a primary 9-1-1 response agency. I understand you and/or your family may not want you on the street in a uniform given today's climate. However, that is the ONLY way you can completely understand the capacity of any uniformed police reports you'll be charged with reviewing and preparing for prosecution as a Prosecutor's Office Investigator. If/when you go on the street in uniform on general patrol (not serving papers, not executing evictions but answering every kind of 9-1-1 call imaginable) and you subsequently get an Investigator gig; you'll look back and remember how simple & fun patrol was. After you do all that over the period of a few years, you'll have a bang up resume that any fed agency would appreciate. Just know this: the fed LE process is NOTHING like state/local regarding completion. It's very SLOW.
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the advice nsedet.

    Quote Originally Posted by FedAgent View Post
    EXACTLY what NSEDET said - ESPECIALLY in NJ. I can state w/ absolute conviction after having lived/worked in NJ that- in order to be hired directly into a NJ County Prosecutor's Office as an Investigator straight out of college, you will HAVE to be related, by blood, to a high ranking individual within that office. Either way, you're short changing yourself if you don't work general patrol within a primary 9-1-1 response agency. I understand you and/or your family may not want you on the street in a uniform given today's climate. However, that is the ONLY way you can completely understand the capacity of any uniformed police reports you'll be charged with reviewing and preparing for prosecution as a Prosecutor's Office Investigator. If/when you go on the street in uniform on general patrol (not serving papers, not executing evictions but answering every kind of 9-1-1 call imaginable) and you subsequently get an Investigator gig; you'll look back and remember how simple & fun patrol was. After you do all that over the period of a few years, you'll have a bang up resume that any fed agency would appreciate. Just know this: the fed LE process is NOTHING like state/local regarding completion. It's very SLOW.
    To go along with what you said about about being blood related, FedAgent, do you believe that it's difficult to get a prosecutor's office inv. gig without a blood/family connection even with a few years of street experience? I'm sure that each and every PO in NJ run differently, but is that true as a general consensus? And how significant do you think that general networking is at a PO prior to tossing in an application compared to a municipal pd?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    535
    Pete- No, I do not believe it would be difficult to get a Prosecutor's Office Investigator gig WITH street experience. General networking is an absolute must in NJ, whether it's a municipal PD or at the Prosecutor's Office. Let me add another bit of info about the respective County Prosecutor Offices in NJ. Unlike the District Attorneys/County Prosecutors in all other state, the 21 County Prosecutors in NJ are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate (vs. being elected in other states). They enjoy the same authority as the NJ Attorney General. Therefore, they are they most senior law enforcement official in the county. Hence, they are in charge of all specialty units that exist within their county. So, working in the PO as an Investigator may include assignment as a traffic accident/fatality reconstruction specialist, fugitive squad member, financial crimes enforcement, robbery/homicide and others. Hopefully, you can get hired as an intern and that will afford an outstanding networking opportunity. Who knows, if you impress them as an intern, anything could happen. If you do get an intern gig, you should spend every waking moment; and then some, in that office and in the courtroom. However, I still maintain that you should work the street first. Networking in the PO will help you get the uniform gig. Then, they'll remember you in a couple of years when your ready for the shirt & tie. Another tidbit: the person you'll want to impress in the PO is the Chief Investigator.
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by FedAgent View Post
    Pete- No, I do not believe it would be difficult to get a Prosecutor's Office Investigator gig WITH street experience. General networking is an absolute must in NJ, whether it's a municipal PD or at the Prosecutor's Office. Let me add another bit of info about the respective County Prosecutor Offices in NJ. Unlike the District Attorneys/County Prosecutors in all other state, the 21 County Prosecutors in NJ are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate (vs. being elected in other states). They enjoy the same authority as the NJ Attorney General. Therefore, they are they most senior law enforcement official in the county. Hence, they are in charge of all specialty units that exist within their county. So, working in the PO as an Investigator may include assignment as a traffic accident/fatality reconstruction specialist, fugitive squad member, financial crimes enforcement, robbery/homicide and others. Hopefully, you can get hired as an intern and that will afford an outstanding networking opportunity. Who knows, if you impress them as an intern, anything could happen. If you do get an intern gig, you should spend every waking moment; and then some, in that office and in the courtroom. However, I still maintain that you should work the street first. Networking in the PO will help you get the uniform gig. Then, they'll remember you in a couple of years when your ready for the shirt & tie. Another tidbit: the person you'll want to impress in the PO is the Chief Investigator.
    Thanks for all the helpful info, I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by pete; 10-13-2016 at 19:39.


 

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