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Specialized Investigations

Specialized InvestigationsThe division is comprised of the Homicide Detail, Crimes Against Children, and hi-tech crimes.  They investigate a variety of major crimes including homicides, suspicious deaths, in-custody deaths, officer-involved shootings, crimes against children and cyber crimes. Personnel assigned to the division are highly-skilled and experienced investigators they use the latest technology to investigate cases.  Local law enforcement agencies can request investigators and department resources to investigate officer-involved shootings or major crimes.

The Homicide Detail is responsible for investigating all homicides, unexplained deaths, deaths of a suspicious nature and in-custody deaths that occur in the department’s primary jurisdiction. Similar investigations are done in those contract city areas served by the department, as well as other police agency jurisdictions within the county when approved by the Office of the Sheriff. The Homicide Detail also investigates all officer-involved shootings where a deputy or other person has been injured as the result of gunfire in those areas mentioned above. Other shooting investigations, where no injury is incurred, will also be investigated by the unit if requested by the officer’s commander, deputy chief, or Office of the Sheriff.  Every year, many investigations are brought to a successful conclusion with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Division Crime Impact Teams and members of the newly formed Sheriff’s Gang Suppression Teams. These teams are critical in helping locate and arrest violent criminal suspects. The detail is made up of 5 sergeants, 22 detectives, with 2 of those detectives assigned specifically to working cold cases. The Cold Case Team currently has two Deputy District Attorney’s assigned for the sole purpose of prosecuting difficult cold cases. The Cold Case Team is partially funded through a federal grant specifically aimed at solving cold homicide cases through DNA. Since its inception in 2008, the Cold Case Team has solved nearly 30 cold case murder investigations, dating back as far as 1981, using DNA and a variety of other investigative means.

The Crimes Against Children Detail specializes in the investigation of child sexual and physical abuse cases, child sex rings, child pornography, child exploitation, Internet crimes against children and other cases involving child victims where special investigative skills and training is needed. During the course of investigating these crimes, detectives routinely rely upon the services of other agencies i.e., Children and Family Services, the Children’s Fund Assessment Center, the Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and the district attorney’s victim/witness program.  The detail is made up of one sergeant, six detectives and a special program coordinator. The special program coordinator is responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing community and department goals and strategies to effectively mobilize efforts aimed at registered sex offenders and to ensure sex offender compliance. In addition to conducting major child abuse investigations, members of the Crimes Against Children Detail spend nearly 300 hours each year conducting training for other law enforcement personnel on the proper investigative techniques to successfully prosecute crimes against children. In addition to the Megan’s Law database, in 2010 the Sheriff’s Department began using the offender watch database to monitor, track, and access information regarding convicted sex offenders in San Bernardino County. The offender watch database is linked to police departments nationwide. The offender watch is similar to the Megan’s Law database; however, offender watch provides information not available in the Megan’s Law database. The database has a section designed for use exclusively by law enforcement and a section for the public. The public can search for sex offenders by name, address, and city or compliance status. They can also register for notification if an offender moves within two miles of their home. offender watch is not meant to replace the Megan’s Law database but is intended to augment the availability of information, ensure public safety, and to create a link between law enforcement and the community.Polygraph Detail

The Polygraph Detail has been part of the Specialized Investigations Division since 1996. As with the other details within the division, the Polygraph Detail provides support for criminal, administrative and background investigators within the department. In this role, members of the detail provide an integral and vital element to the successful investigative team concept.

Other law enforcement agencies may/and do avail themselves of the services provided by this detail. The Sheriff’s Department presently contracts with 17 different outside police and fire agencies. Other contracts are currently pending. The acquisition of state-of-the-art computerized polygraph instruments, bilingual examiners, and other personnel additions have been recently implemented in a measure to provide better service and product to law enforcement agencies throughout the region.

The function of the polygrapher is to assist an investigator in establishing the truth-telling profile of a job applicant, crime suspect, or the credibility of a witness. The polygraph can assist an investigator by giving direction on the investigation and assist in corroborating evidence and statements that may otherwise be difficult to measure. It is not intended to, nor can it replace, basic investigative techniques or evidence interpretation.

San Bernardino County
Sheriff’s Department

655 East Third Street
San Bernardino, California 92415-0061

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