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What Does an Associate Investigator Do?

By Kenneth W. Michael Wills
Updated Feb 10, 2024
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Associate investigators work with a variety of public organizations, including court systems and police departments. Working under the supervision of senior investigators, they conduct a variety of investigative tasks. Duties required of the position consist of supporting investigative initiatives as well as allowing for independent judgment and some independent initiative. Tasks required of the job include supervising personnel, reviewing information related to investigative cases, writing investigative reports, gathering the required intelligence to build a case, analyzing data and intelligence, and occasionally assuming their supervisors position in his or her absence. An associate investigator can expect to provide some direction on investigative cases as well.

When an associate investigator is assigned a case, he or she will review all available information regarding the case and make determinations regarding the case's direction. Gathering the required intelligence to build and solve the case are inherent functions of the job. Interviewing witnesses, speaking with victims, and interrogating suspects are all part of gathering this vital intelligence. Other intelligence gathering tasks may include conducting surveillance, reviewing data and evidence available in the case, mining data, and directing uncover activities that may yield important intelligence.

As the associate investigator uncovers intelligence, he or she will also need to analyze that intelligence to both determine its validity and reaffirm the direction of the case. Analyzing intelligence may include examining the results of forensic study, electronic intelligence and data as well as statements from witnesses, victims and suspects. The analysis will also involve synthesizing this intelligence in order to build a picture of the case and reconstruct events leading up to the investigation. Familiarity with statistical and scientific analysis techniques is usually a requirement for the job.

Supervising subordinate personnel throughout the investigative process, the associate investigator will delegate various investigative tasks. Advising those subordinates on relevant codes, direction on difficult aspects of the case, legal matters and unit procedures are also part of the supervisory process. Assuming the role and responsibilities of his or her supervisor in the event of an absence is a requirement as well.

Recording, documenting and preparing written reports regarding the details of the investigation is another routine duty of the associate investigator. Accuracy of these reports is crucial from both a legal standpoint and to assure a valid and proper investigation that yields results. Compiling statistical reports is usually a part of this process, in particular for tracking relevant intelligence trends that may assist in solving the case or serve as evidence in a court of law.

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