The Criminal Investigations Division is principally charged with the follow up investigations of homicides/deaths, serious assaults, gun violence, domestic violence, sex crimes, robbery, theft/fraud, burglary, and crimes against children. To this end, the Division is divided into three Units; the Homicide Unit, the Special Victims Unit, and the General Assignment Unit. The Division provides 24 hour coverage through a combination of on duty personnel and a structured call back system. The Division is commanded by a Lieutenant, and Sergeants supervise each Unit. The Division is staffed by approximately three dozen Detectives and two civilian administrative assistants.
The Homicide Unit is primarily tasked with all investigations dealing with death: murder, suicide, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental, suspicious/unknown cause deaths; as well as serious assaults and gun violence offenses. Homicide Detectives are also assigned to the regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Task Force. Additionally, a Cold Case squad examines unsolved homicide cases for new investigative leads.
The Special Victims Unit is tasked with the follow up investigation of rapes and other sex crimes, as well as missing persons, runaways, domestic violence, and crimes against children. Special Victims also works closely with Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, Juvenile Justice, and other city agencies to investigate offenses or abuse against children or the elderly.
The General Assignment Unit detectives are assigned to a geographic area of the City, and are responsible for the follow up investigation of burglaries, theft and larceny, economic crimes, and robbery. General Assignment detectives also review all pawn transactions in the City, looking for patterns that match stolen articles. The School Resource Officers are also assigned to the General Assignment Unit and are assigned to the City’s Middle and High Schools. SRO’s are tasked with working with the students and school staff to ensure the City’s schools are safe, and they also conduct any investigations necessary for crimes occurring in the schools.
The Forensic Services Unit provides support to the investigative process by providing expert evidence collection and crime scene processing, as well as crime scene reconstruction, forensic laboratory analysis, fingerprint analysis, and expert testimony in Court. The Unit has access to a mobile crime scene processing vehicle and a laboratory. The members of the Unit are graduates of the Virginia Division of Forensic Services Academy and are certified by the Division. The members of the Unit are aided in the processing of crime scenes by Uniform Patrol officers who are cross trained by the Forensic Services Unit as Field Evidence Technicians. The Unit is supervised by a civilian supervisor and staffed by six civilians.