Investigations and Securities

A Comparison between two Criminal Justice Careers: Private investigator and Police Detective

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private investigator

Whenever you see a case like that of crime, you generally see two people working to achieve the same objective. A private investigator and a police officer both seem to have similar job responsibilities. Both struggle to collect evidence and find out the cause of misadventure. Then why these two job careers have different name and eminence? Is there a real difference between the two? Read this article till the end to find it out.


Private investigator

For undertaking investigatory decree services, private investigators are hired. These private investigators can be hired by an entity or an assembly, or they may perhaps work for attorneys in civil and crime cases. In other words, these researchers work straight for their clienteles. The issue which they determine can be monetary, lawful or private. A Toronto Private investigator can-

  • Help a client find a missing family member
  • Examine a doubtful spouse
  • Get involved in criminal cases
  • Work irregular hours.


Most often, former police officers or detectives turn into private investigators. But this is not always the case. Anyone can become a Toronto Private investigator without having any experience in law enforcement. There is no such standard constraint in this career.

private investigators Toronto

Police Detective

Unlike private investigators, it is only criminal action when you can see a police detective working. And the biggest divergence between the two careers is, a police detective is a member of a police department while the other is not. This implies that the working sectors of police— local, state and federal are the working sectors of a police detective. A police detective can do work like-

  • Investigating crimes
  • Determining who was the doer
  • Finding why the crime happened
  • Investigating and interviewing witnesses
  • Writing official reports accumulating gathered information.


One has to serve as a law enforcement officer prior to getting considered for becoming a police detective. In other words, an associate’s degree is necessary to get promoted to become a police detective. The aspirant should pass several fitness tests along with attending various sorts of law enforcement classes. Before being promoted to detective, it takes several years of experience as a police officer.

Notable differences

  • Police detective can make arrests which a private investigator cannot.
  • A police detective is a member of the police department while the other is not.
  • To become a police detective, one should be an existing police officer whereas there is no official requirement for becoming a private investigator.
  • The paychecks of private investigators can be irregular as they are their boss themselves, and it depends on them whether they want to work with a party or not, on the contrary, police detectives have sound paychecks in company with strong benefits although they have to answer superior. This is the reason for the salary of Toronto private investigator being about half the salary of a police detective.

To sum up, both detective career jobs have some pros and cons. Both require hard work, dedication, and observant eye, but still, they are different.


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