If you're ready to get out of the police action but you still love digging through evidence and hunting for clues, look into a second career as a crime scene investigator. If you already worked crime scenes while on the force, you'll probably already have most of the skills you need to get started in crime scene investigation, although you may need to take a photography course or two and get your professional certification, which you'll be able to get after a set number of hours of instruction. Former police officers have more earning potential -- a six-figure salary is possible -- and upward mobility than civilians entering this profession.
Crime scene investigators show up after a murder or other crime has been committed. It's their job to document every detail of the crime scene -- from gathering fingerprints and tire tracks, to collecting the few stray fibers, hairs, or bodily fluids left at the scene or on the victim's body. They not only gather evidence, but they make sure that evidence is processed properly so it doesn't become contaminated. Crime scene investigators also take pictures and/or videos of the crime scene.
Meticulous attention to detail is a must in this profession. Missing a key piece of evidence could make the difference between catching the criminal -- or letting him or her go free.