In the New York City Police Department, Detective is a rank bestowed upon uniformed patrolmen who have distinguished themselves in the line of duty. Unlike other ranks in the NYPD, the rank of Detective is bestowed purely upon merit and cannot be tested into or applied for. Detectives hold the same rank as Police Officers and below those with the rank of Sergeant The NYPD fields three paygrades of Detective: Third Grade (lowest and the rank at which newly promoted Detectives start), Second Grade (next highest), and First Grade (highest). Promotion to each successive paygrade, just as promotion from Officer to Detective, is based on merit.

Detectives are usually assigned to investigative squads housed within individual precinct houses, such as the 27th Precinct, and the Department's various specialized units, such as the Major Case Squad, Special Victims Unit, Internal Affairs Bureau, the Crime Scene Unit, or the Technical Assistance Response Unit. Detectives customarily wear civilian clothing in lieu of uniforms.

Promotion to the rank of Detective is colloquially referred to by NYPD personnel as "getting one's gold shield," due to the gold color of NYPD shields for ranks of Detective and higher in comparison to the silver color of the shield worn by Officers. Detectives do not have the authority to give orders to officers or uniforms as they are called. Nor do they have the authority to order sergeants around.

Known detectives

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