Wicomico County Sheriff's Office

Criminal Investigation Division

Criminal Investigation Division

On a routine basis, Detectives work with allied agencies to include federal authorities, local and state police agencies and county, state and other governmental agencies. Detectives will also assume responsibility for criminal and other investigations from police agencies within Wicomico County as needed.

Besides normal investigative methods, to include interview and interrogation, use of arrest and search warrants, database reviews for pertinent information, evidence seizure and collection and use of informants, Detectives also utilize the MSP Forensic Sciences Division and Crime Scene Technicians for the collection, processing and analysis of evidence.

Investigators & Detectives - General Information

In most police departments, a candidate for detective must first have served as a uniformed officer for a period of one to five years. Detective is often an appointed position, rather than a position achieved by passing a written test.

Detectives must be well versed in principles, practices and procedures of investigation; interviewing and interrogation; criminal law and procedures; applicable law governing arrests, search and seizures, warrants and evidence; police department records and reports; principles, practices and objectives of courtroom testimony; and police department methods and procedure.

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. 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).

Physical forensic evidence in an investigation may provide leads to closing a case. Forensic science is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to the legal system.

Records Investigation

Detectives may use public and private records to provide background information on a subject. The FBI maintains records of people who have committed felonies and some misdemeanors, all persons who have applied for a Federal security clearance, and all persons who have served in the U.S. armed forces. As well, detectives may search through records of criminal arrests and convictions, photographs of persons arrested, and motor vehicle records.