Within the Department of Justice, Special Agents are employed within the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and assigned to one of the following field offices: Appleton, Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Superior, or Wausau. These positions are non-uniformed, certified law enforcement officers with full police authority and jurisdiction in Wisconsin. Positions within DCI provide assistance in the investigation of crimes that may require extensive or highly specialized investigative resources not otherwise available to local law enforcement agencies. The positions are assigned to specialized investigative program areas that include: Arson; Major Crimes; Gaming; Financial Crimes; Public Integrity; Investigative Services; Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center; Internet Crimes Against Children and Narcotics.
Specific duties include: plan and conduct sensitive investigations within one of these program areas; develop and utilize various sources of investigative information including confidential informants; interview witnesses and interrogate suspects regarding possible illegal activity; execute search warrants; make arrests; write detailed reports on complex activities; secure and maintain evidence; and testify in court. As a certified law enforcement officer these employees may be subject to strenuous physical activity or adverse environmental conditions. Employees may wear a concealed ballistic vest and are armed with a handgun and handcuffs.
Special Agent Qualifications
The Division of Criminal Investigation is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer, seeking a diverse work force and actively recruiting women and racial/ethnic minority applicants. Although each time we recruit we review our requirements, the current minimum qualifications include the following:
- Completed 4 years of higher education (at least 120 college credits); or at least 2 years of full-time experience as a certified law enforcement officer along with 60 college credits)
- Eligible for Wisconsin Driver's License
- Willingness to travel
- Ability to pass physical requirements
- Age 21 at time of appointment
- Pass comprehensive background investigation
- Pass Drug Screening Urinalysis
- Special Agents must not have been convicted of a felony (unless pardoned by the Governor) which would prohibit them from carrying a firearm. In addition, a change to Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(9) took effect on September 30, 1996, making it unlawful for any person convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" to possess any firearm or ammunition.
- Hours of work vary and may include night and weekend assignments.
- Work assignments may require overnight stays.
- Employees may have to respond for assignments on short notice.
A large number of people are interested and apply for Special Agent positions. However, only a few individuals are offered positions, as the Department of Justice is very selective in the hiring process. We are looking for individuals who possess the qualities that are necessary to be a good Special Agent. Previous successful candidates have had life experiences (e.g., education, employment) that showed responsibility, maturity and effective interpersonal communications.
The Special Agent is an entry-level agent position with annual pay progression based on satisfactory performance and career advancement to the Special Agent-Senior level. Starting salary is between $46,730 and $77,000 per year dependent on the candidate's background, training and experience.
All Special Agents are provided with a state-owned vehicle for business use. No uniform is required. Other necessary equipment is provided by the state.