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 a Mike Logan is the 27th Precinct squad currently commanded by Lieutenant Anita Van Buren, 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.
- Detective Carolyn Barek
- Detective Dani Beck- Special Victims Unit
- Detective Olivia Benson- Special Victims Unit (later promoted to Sergeant)
- Detective Kevin Bernard
- Detective G. Lynn Bishop
- Detective Lennie Briscoe (formerly) (deceased)
- Detective Nina Cassady
- Detective Brian Cassidy- Special Victims Unit (later demoted to Officer, then promoted back to Detective)
- Detective Reynaldo "Rey" Curtis
- Detective Alexandra Eames- Major Case Squad (later promoted to Lieutenant)
- Detective Nola Falacci
- Detective Joe Fontana
- Detective Robert Goren- Major Case Squad
- Detective Ed Green
- Detective Monique Jeffries- Special Victims Unit
- Detective Chester Lake- Special Victims Unit (formerly)
- Detective Mike Logan - Homicide (formerly), Major Case Squad (formerly)
- Detective Cyrus Lupo
- Detective Peter Lyons
- Detective John Munch- Special Victims Unit (later promoted to Sergeant) (formerly)
- Detective Elliot Stabler- Special Victims Unit (formerly)
- Detective Odafin Tutuola- Special Victims Unit
- Detective Megan Wheeler
- Detective Ashok Ramsey - Special Frauds Unit
- Detective Nick Amaro
- Detective Amanda Rollins
- Detective Dominick "Sonny" Carisi Jr.- Special Victims Unit (many bureaus)
- Detective Zack Nichols