Television producers love depicting the careers of law enforcement agents through shows like Blue Bloods, Rookie Blue, Law and Order, CSI, and Criminal Minds.
Regardless of how well these shows mirror the real profession, they give viewers a taste of what it’s like to be a police officer, investigator, or criminal profiler after an offense has been committed.
Criminal Profiling: Figuring Out Whodunit
Investigating a crime scene is complicated, and many professionals come together to make sure no stone is left unturned. In cases of serious crimes such as murder or rape, where the criminal's identity is unknown, a profiler is brought in.
Falling somewhere between law enforcement and psychology, criminal profilers assist both law enforcement and government agencies to pursue these types of perpetrators.
As a profiler, you’ll use forensic and investigative psychology to develop a behavioral, personality, and psychological profile of the suspect based on evidence found at the crime scene, interviews with victims and witnesses, and an analysis of the crime as a whole.
This is very helpful to the investigation. It helps narrow the search field, pinpointing what type of person law enforcement should be looking for. In unique situations, the patterns or signatures you uncover will link crime scene investigations together, helping law enforcement catch a serial criminal.
Getting Into The Profession
Forming a career as a criminal profile is competitive. Getting a degree in criminal justice, psychology, forensics, or the like is a necessity, and a master’s degree in forensic psychology or behavioral sciences can help further your career. In addition, anyone who has prior law enforcement experience will be one step ahead and may be more desireable than someone who is fresh out of school. Other avenues to becoming a profiler include studying criminal investigation or crime scene analysis, and it’s recommended you keep up with continuing education in the field.
The Art And Science Of Criminal Profiling
Successful criminal profilers must have excellent communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills to accurately and effectively analyze scientific and statistical data. If this sounds like you, a career of helping police bring hard-to-catch criminals to justice may be right for you.