Detectives are supposed to be the cream of the crop, the senior officers who’ve mastered all facets of patrol and moved on to the world of investigations. Society is so enthralled with it, that at any given time there are literally dozens of movies and TV shows out.based on what they perceive our job to be. Yet, it seems many detectives soon forget how to do basic police work or follow basic police procedures. We spent months with an FTO making sure we learned the right way to do things; and years with a sergeant helping us polish our skills. It’s how we made detective in the first place. So how’d we forget where we came from?

As a uniformed officer, we know we’re always under the microscope. The uniform makes us constantly visible and therefore under scrutiny, but many detectives don’t realize how much they’re still scrutinized. Everyone’s watching you; from officers wishing to promote watching to see how it’s done, to supervisors who call you out to a scene, expecting you to be able to take over. The misguided citizen who’s watched too much Law and Order — he’s watching too. Detectives tend to forget this and think being in plain-clothes gives them anonymity.


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