An Overview of the Criminal Investigations Division
Captain Olsen, Criminal Investigations Division Commander
The Criminal Investigations Division (CID), which is part of the Investigative Services Bureau, consists of the “Detective Division” and the Crime Scene Investigations section. The Division is comprised of 33 sworn officers, 11 civilian Crime Scene Investigators and 6 civilian support personnel positions. Homicide, Cold Case, Robbery, Child Abuse, Sex Crimes, Arrest Review, Auto Theft, Financial Crimes, Computer Crime, White Collar Crime, Sex Offender Monitoring and Apprehension, Crimes against Children and Crime Scene all fall under the Criminal Investigations Division. The CID utilizes cutting edge investigative tools and techniques, hard work and dedicated personnel to solve crime.The primary responsibility of the Criminal Investigations Division is to conduct follow-up investigations into crimes reported to the West Palm Beach Police Department. All reported incidents are reviewed by CID supervisors on a daily basis. Those crimes having sufficient evidence or investigative leads are then assigned to a detective for further investigation. Though we would like to investigate and solve every reported crime, that simply is not possible. Unfortunately there are times when criminals do not leave evidence that will assist us in identifying them.On many occasions the CID will initiate criminal investigations on its own. When information of suspected criminal activity is reported to a detective, an investigation will be initiated. Many incidents of child abuse and/or neglect come to be discovered in this fashion based upon the reporters desire to remain anonymous.
In June of 2006 the Department’s first full time Homicide Unit was created to improve solvability and reduce homicides. The unit consists of one Sergeant, four homicide investigators and one cold case homicide investigator. In the units’ first full year in place the homicide rate decreased by 21%, while the clearance rate doubled from 36% to 72%. The national average clearance rate is 61%.
In 2007 the Auto Theft Unit initiated deployment of the Department’s first ever “bait vehicle.” The vehicle is placed in targeted auto theft areas and is an integral part in the arrest and identification of auto theft offenders.
In early 2008 the division received BrassTrax 3-D, a state of the art, three dimensional shell casing entry system. This system allows us to enter firearm shell casing evidence directly into the National Integrated Ballistic Identification Network (NIBIN) and link firearm related crimes throughout Palm Beach County and the entire South Florida area. In the spirit cooperation we share this technology with eight local agencies, hopefully adding more in the future.
In 2008 the CID was instrumental in the creation and passage of two local ordinances designed to improve our ability to reduce crime and secure the safety of our citizens.
The first was the Sexual Offender/Predator Residence Restriction Ordinance. This ordinance prohibits all sexual offenders and predators moving into the City from residing within 1500 feet of any school, designated school bus stop, child care facility and many other areas where children gather.
The second was the Second Hand Dealers and Secondary Metals Recyclers Ordinance. This ordinance requires that certain metals and other items targeted by scrap metal thieves be held by recycling businesses for three days prior to being resold. This affords detectives additional time to identify stolen property and the individual(s) involved in the theft.
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