14 Important Skills Required of a Homicide Detective

by angel
Homicide Detective

When it comes to the work of a homicide detective, Routine is extremely rare. Of course, certain tasks come up again and again. Yet every mission is different and every day brings new challenges. After all, people are different in more ways than one; in all their facets, with all their concerns, and in all imaginable situations. According to CDC Assault and Homicide faststat, the Number of emergency department visits for assault in 2018 numbers up to 1.2 million. Owing to this, the work of a homicide detective is also diverse. This explains the reason why the detective service has high demands. In this article, you will find out the skill sets that a homicide detective must possess and what he needs in terms of his personality.

Related Article: 5 Simple Ways To Become a Homicide Detective

Emotion Control

There are many problems, particularly frustrating ones, that can arise during an investigation. A good homicide detective is expected to remain calm and to keep his feelings in check, especially when dealing with witnesses. Lack of emotional control could lead witnesses to withhold important information from the homicide detective.

In addition, the detective has to be sensitive to the victims, as this would lead to the victims loosening up the detective.

Interview and communication skills

Any investigation depends on interviews. The detective must be able to interview clients, witnesses, and suspects. The questions need to be carefully worded to extract details. The detective should be trained to identify lies and discrepancies and to ask questions that will expose the lies.

The detective must also have good communication skills that include listening and understanding what the other person is saying, including reading non-verbal cues.

Technical Skills and Knowledge

A detective should be able to use equipment that will help him do his job effectively. Equipment varies depending on the task, while some will require binoculars, others a fingerprint analyzer.

Good Knowledge of the Law

A detective should be able to know the laws relating to a case he is working on. He should be able to separate moral ethics from the law and know which evidence is admissible in court and which is not. For example; Tapping into a suspicious phone is not evidence that will be admissible in a court of law and the detective could be brought to justice if this is found out.

Moral Ethics and Honesty

A detective must stay overboard when it comes to ethics and honesty, especially in the performance of his various duties; any detective found to be unethical loses credibility and this can lead to a suspect wandering around freely.

Critical thinking and problem solving: A detective must be able to logically and logically look critical of a case to solve it objectively. Every detective needs to have a knack for problem-solving, especially when it comes to piecing together evidence from witnesses and doing personal inquiries.

Investigation Skills

The detective must investigate background research on witnesses, victims, and suspects. There must also be skills and available resources to conduct effective research.


As a detective, a lot of paperwork is involved, including reports and investigative documents. The reports must be clear enough, especially since they can be read by anyone. Supervisor, court, other colleagues, etc.

Knowledge of Other Languages

Detectives who work in an ethnically diverse community must be able to speak and understand another language. Knowledge of other languages can help victims and witnesses calm down as people get along better with those who speak their language or can shut out suspects.


This is what detectives need to know psychology to understand human behavior patterns, this way they can recognize the body language of victims, witnesses, and suspects to know when they are lying without exposing them to a polygraph.

Mental resilience and mental strength

Not every mission goes well. The homicide detective often experiences tough situations. For example, it could be a serious accident, domestic violence, or a cruel crime of murder. On the other hand, there are operations in which the detective is exposed to dangers and threats. To be able to deal with such situations and to cope with the pictures in the long term, the homicide detective officer must be mentally stable and mentally resilient.

Sense of responsibility and the ability to make decisions

The homicide detective does a very important and indispensable job. Citizens rely on homicide detectives and trust them when it comes to security and order. The homicide detective officer must be aware of this responsibility. At the same time, he must be able to make quick decisions. Especially in dangerous situations, there is often not much time to think back and forth and look for the optimal solution.

Commitment and perseverance

With the high rate of homicide-related incidents, a detective can be called to duty at any time of the day. For the homicide detective officer, this means that he works in shifts and is also on duty on weekends and public holidays. The operational readiness must therefore be present. On the other hand, the homicide detective rewards commitment and good performance with a wide range of training, specialization, and advancement opportunities. But perseverance and determination are also important characteristics of a good homicide detective officer. The search for missing people or the search for criminals, for example, can be very tedious – and there is no guarantee of a successful outcome.

Attention, orientation, and diligence

When on duty, the homicide detective officer must always have an eye on what is happening. He has to stay alert, assess situations, recognize dangers and react quickly if necessary. He also needs a good sense of direction and a distinctive memory. After all, he has to find his way around quickly even in unknown surroundings, and recognize people or objects. But a careful and focused way of working is also very important. Because when the homicide detective carries out checks, queries data, hears witnesses, or makes protocols, no mistakes are allowed to creep in.

Freedom of judgment and discipline

On the one hand, the homicide detective officer represents law and order – and on the other hand, applies them directly. Absolute neutrality is essential. Because the homicide detective officer must neither let himself be guided by personal feelings nor form a hasty judgment. Instead, he has to grasp the situation factually to decide on this basis.

Characteristic discipline such as punctuality, honesty, reliability, or discretion is part of a complete profile.

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