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  • Detective Assignments

    Our department has 115 sworn and has the CID broken down like so.
    4 property crime dicks
    4 adult violent crime
    2 juvenile crime
    4 in multi jurisdiction drug unit.

    Recently there has been talk of assigning everyone other than the drug guys to particular patrol districts as "district detectives" which would take all CID assigned cases and be a generalist. This is "in line with community policing" according to the brass. Have any other PDs done this and how does it work out? We have some guys that are specially trained in some things such as forensics, white collar, etc. that are kind of up in arms....but change is good....Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks

  • #2
    Actually, I agree with it. That way the district detectives get to know who they are working with on BOTH sides of the badge. Makes the job a little easier.

    And it should be easy to call in someone who has special training if they are needed on a particular case.

    I think there is a LOT to be said FOR community policing. Having worked it both ways, it is my never humble opinion that it is much easier when you usually know your "customers!"
    6P1 (retired)


    • #3
      That's the way we work, too and it works out pretty good. The only specialtiy CID units we have is sex crimes, which handle under 16 YOA cases (4 investigators), elder crimes (1 investigator), auto theft, (1 investigator), major case which handles homicides, suicides and anything bizarre or which calls for more expertise (4 plus a Sgt.).

      We have five districts, each ranging from one investigator (me) to six. Besides my district, each one also has a Sgt. and in some cases a secretary assigned.

      Now, the positives.

      1.Invariably, with several people assigned to a unit, you will have some investigators that excell in one field over another. The Sgt. will be sure to assign the types of cases they are capable of working to those investigators.

      2. Accountability. We fall under the district commander's umbrella, so since he has more contact with us, he knows who we are and what we're doing.

      3. Response time for call outs. Goes without saying. If you're assigned to the district, you can get to where you have to be.

      4. Knowledge of trouble spots and problem children. After a while, being assigned to one district, you'll soon acquire a wealth of knowledge as to your areas/persons of concern.

      5. The "feel good factor". Yeah, it also makes the public feel warm and fuzzy that there's a detective in their own back yard.


      • #4
        There are 6 of us and we all generalize here, but not under any kind of community police program. We run under the chaos rules. Whatever comes in when you are the poor sap on call is yours. Whatever the Sgt. hands you from patrols is yours. We have a polygraph operator, a drug guy and me (forensics), but other than that there are no specialties.

        It gives you a good look at just about every type of crime. The community idea would be good, but how do you handle the after hours on-call stuff?
        If there is a tourist season, why can't I shoot them???


        • #5
          I think the district detective is a good idea too, but we have "done it the same" for about 30 years now, so change is s..l..o..w. We are on call for 24 hr. periods every 10 days on rotation.If the poop hits the fan on your time, it's yours. Of course, when the major stuff hits, we all pitch in. We only have about 6 homicides a year or so.


          • #6
            I can't voice my opinion AGAINST "beat detectives" replacing specialized investigators strongly enough.

            While patrol has "ward ownership", investigators are responsible for individual cases.

            Investigations requires such a high degreee of specialization that you cannot reasonably expect to train an investigator to be truly proficient in EVERY type of crime. The knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perfrom white collar embezzlement investigations, and the KSAs needed for sexual assault investigations are very different.

            If we want investigators to truly be effective in preparing and presenting good case files, then we will acknowledge their ownership of certain types of cases, recognize this as a career track, and them let them work.

            As a DA investigator, I see the majority of case files that come in from a five county district. I see the case files that come in from "generalists" and from specialized investigators.

            Guess what? The narcotics case files from narcotics agents are much better than the ones from "generalists. Same holds true for death investigations, sex crimes, child abuse, burglary, forgery, et al. The investigators who are responsible for a particular type of crime receive more specialized training and are able to build their knowledge and experience as they work nothing but those types of cases.

            Patrol units respond to crime within a geographical area. It only makes sense to encourage ownership and responsibility for those areas.

            Investigators, OTOH, own cases. It only makes sense to train, equip, and enable them to become proficient in those cases.

            This isn't to say that plainclothes officers that are not in the call rotation cannot be a great benefit in a beat assignment. What I advocate, if staffing allows for it, are experienced patrolmen who work in plainclothes as investigators. They are assigned to various wards and handle callouts. They are trained in preparation of warrants and affidavits, victim interview, basic crime scene, etc. all the basic skills of investigators.

            They can handle callouts and wrap up minor jobs. Since they are assigned to wards, they act as points of contact with patrol and citizens and bump info up and out to the divisions where it needs to go. They also are able to brief back patrol on criminal intel and info coming from investigations. The information flows both ways. They can also assist regular investigators as needed.

            I've seen departments do this and it works well. Many patrolmen do not care for investigations and that's fine. But it is still invaluable experience for future Sgt's and Lt's. Also makes better patrol personnel when they understand the "back end" of things. Even if working cases doesn't trip their switch, it helps you as a Patrolman/Sgt/Lt/etc. to have some knowledge and familiarity with the job.

            This also provides a ready proving ground for those that show the motivation and apptitude to be Detectives. The regular investigators work closely with them and are able to make recommendations for permanent assignement or promotion.

            I don't think that ward detectives are a bad idea in and of themselves, but NOT as a replacement for specialized investigators. I think they are a very GOOD idea when combined WITH specialized investigators.

            Think about it! If it was YOUR SISTER that just got RAPED, would you want a "generalist" or a "specialist" working the case?

            If your mother were just murdered, would you want some guy who also has to work stolen weedeaters and bad checks, or someone who has been able to study and craft their skills as a murder cop? And who could work the case without being distracted by a rash of video rental tape thefts?

            This specialzation does not require a large criminal investigation division. There are certian types of crime which share a majority of skills and abilities. At one small department, they break it down like this:

            1. Narcotics/Property Crimes.

            2. Fraud/Embezzlement/Bad Checks/Robbery.

            3. Death Investigations/Sexual Assault/Felony Child Abuse.

            If a juvenile is a suspect, the investigators work it just like any other case only it goes through a different court system. Investigative techniques are largely the same, with only some exceptions. SROs also handle alot of the juvy crime at the various schools.

            Why combine narc and prop crimes? Because they figured out that most of their narcotics defendants were also burglars and shoplifters; and most of the burglars and shoplifters were drug users. Anyone that has worked narcotics knows how much stolen stuff you recover on drug raids!

            This may not work in ALL areas, but this is a small department, and like most smaller areas, their drug problem is "user based". Even in larger narc cases, they wouldn't have the manpower needed to work a full-scale intellignece driven investigtion.

            Instead, they have one guy who is the point of contact for drug info, is trained in narcotics investigations, search and seizure, etc as well as property crimes, and works closely with state narcotics investigators for larger investigations and intel sharing.

            From what I have seen, by working property crimes and narcotics, he sees all the same defendants all the time. Like I said, for smaller agencies, it seems to work well.

            At this agency, each shift has a patrolman who has expressed interest in investigations. They need them answering calls in uniform more than in plainclothes snooping outside the call rotation. What they do is that the investigators train them in things and they help with preparing felony affidavits and warrants, minor crime scenes, etc. Every now and then, they are sent to special schools. When the full time Detectives need help or more manpower, they pull these guys from patrol and temporarily assign them to CID.

            Of course, the property crimes guy catches more cases than the violent crimes guy, they spread the workload out. If you need help, then you farm out the case, but you call the shots as the "primary". Example: the narc/prop investigator needs some help so the homicide guy pitches in and works cases for him if he can. He reports to the narc/prop investigator. See? Anyone can work and assist with cases, but there's ONE GUY who has OWNERSHIP and is responsible for it.

            Anyway.. sorry so long again! But you folks know I am never short of an opinion on investigations!

            [ 03-27-2002: Message edited by: Sparky ]


            • #7
              In this Division, most of our Detachment members are all General Duty investigators, and will handle files from initial call to escorting the convicted person to jail after the trial. However, bigger Detachments will have members assigned to plain-clothes General Investigation sub-units, to handle more complicated investigations.

              Our Division also has several full-time specialized units - Integrated Proceeds of Crime (RCMP, City Police, Forensic Accountants, Prosecutors), Integrated Drugs (RCMP and City Police), Integrated Intelligence (RCMP and City Police), Federal Enforcement (investigating immigration, passport, copyright and endangered animal trafficking offences), Major Crimes (homicide, kidnapping, police-involved shootings).

              A uniformed General Duty investigator has the opportunity to take training in interviewing techniques (child victim, sex-abuse victim and suspects), drug and smuggling interdiction, search warrant preparation and application, and can turn to the specialized sections for guidance in how to pursue an investigation, or assistance in the execution of searches and seizures.

              The RCMP prefers to start members out in uniform General Duty work to learn how to apply basic police skills knowledge gained in training, hone their abilities with the barking dog files, the impaired driving investigations, the spousal dispute resolutions and digging for the obscured or hidden offences. If a person shows innovation, skill and interest in complicated investigations, and they apply for specialized Units, they will be considered for transfers when there are openings.
              #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
              Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
              RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
              Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
              "Smile" - no!


              • #8
                Local SO has almost 450 sworn. They have approx 35 detectives. Of these about 10 are assigned to the 3 precincts. These guys work either days or seconds and take all more investigative related calls in the precinct. There are also specialist detectives (DV unit, guys assigned to drug TF, etc.) who work out of the main office on varying shifts. I think this set up works great.
                Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.


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