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The major pro of being a police detective would be that the work would be interesting and intellectually stimulating. Detectives are not just out there stopping people for speeding and doing things like that that would be mindless and boring. Instead, they are having to use their brains. They constantly have new challenges facing them so it is likely that they would not get bored by their work.
On the other hand, the responsibility and pressure would be great. Imagine if you were responsible for finding a criminal who had killed someone's child. You would feel so much pressure because you would want to do something to help make up for the loss of that family's child. It would not be like being a traffic cop where there is little of that kind of pressure.
So, being a detective would be more interesting than being a regular police officer, but it would also be a job that would come with much more pressure.
I don't know anyone in law enforcement who does it for the money. So there is an intrinsic motivation to helping the community, and giving back to society in a way that makes it safer. I know some police officers who simply like order, and who know how to enforce the law in such a way that order can be maintained without taking away a lot of freedoms. They're much like our social "first responders".
But the pay does stink. Many cops make even less than public schoolteachers. The hours are long, and odd, and it's hard sometimes for police to maintain family relationships, or keep from bringing the difficulties of their jobs home with them at night.
The people who choose to be police detectives must be willing to endure very long hours with little monetary reward. In looking at it from the outside it appears the cons would far out weigh the pros. However I am sure that many of the rewards of being a police detective are intrinsic.
Being a detective is rewarding work, to a certain extent. Unlike those on the beat, detectives are responsible for solving the mysteries behind serious crimes. They need to be able to use deductive skills and interpret technological and forensic resources. Detectives do make more than beat cops, but they also have more responsibilities and more stress. Detectives see the worst that human beings are capable of on a daily basis. This is a job that can take a severe psychological toll. I agree with post 4 as well. Detectives work long hours for little respect and little pay. They also have huge caseloads, which can also have negative psychological effects. Sometimes it seems like sifting the ocean with a thimble.
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