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GJ-6, Criminal Investigations Organization and Administration

GJ-6, Criminal Investigations Organization and Administration

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Arpaio – Sheriff
Policy Number

Related Information Supersedes

Effective Date


GJ-6 (01-23-98)
PURPOSE This policy establishes guidelines for the organization of criminal investigation components within the Office and specifies accountability for all criminal investigations. POLICY It is the Policy of the Office to ensure that criminal investigations are conducted in an organized manner to maintain the integrity of the fact gathering and evidence required to assist in the prosecution of the offenders. Solvability factors and the availability of personnel with specific expertise are key determinants in the priority assigned to each investigation. DEFINITIONS None PROCEDURES 1. Criminal Investigations: The purpose of criminal investigations is the recovery of property, the apprehension of offenders, and the initiation of prosecution against these individuals. Responsibility for criminal investigations may be vested in a patrol deputy or detention officer, or may be assigned for follow-up investigation to a detective within a specialized unit, depending on the circumstances of the case. Investigative Components: The Office shall maintain components responsible for specific types of crimes or investigations and shall staff these components with personnel who possess expertise in those specific areas. Case Assignment and Prioritization: Case analysis and prioritization is based on the solvability factors observed in the case report by the detective supervisor reviewing the Incident Report (IR), and shall serve as a general guideline for case assignment. The need for additional resources in an investigation, such as specialized equipment, vehicles, or additional manpower, will be determined by the reviewing supervisor. A. Solvability: Case assignment based on solvability considerations include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. 2. The suspect is known, has been arrested, or has been cited in lieu of detention. The suspect description is sufficient for identification.



Policy GJ-6, Criminal Investigations Organization and Administration
3. 4. 5.

Effective Date 01-05-07

Identifiable suspect vehicle description or license plate number. Investigative leads are listed or known. Any combination of factors including documented experiences or research conducted by this Office or another law enforcement agency which would assist in the solution of the case or the recovery of property. Presence or lack of physical evidence at the scene. The case appears to be part of a series of similar incidents where potential lead information exists.

6. 7. B.

Prioritization: Cases assigned for follow-up will be investigated based on the urgency assigned to each case, as determined by the detective supervisor. 1. Priority One (Suspects in Custody): Personnel responsible for the investigation shall ensure that the investigation and the resulting IR are complete and thorough, and will support the issuance of a criminal complaint. Priority Two (Violent or Repetitive Crimes): The suspect has committed a violent crime or a series of crimes whether or not he has been identified. Priority Three (Known Suspect): A suspect has been identified, but further investigation is required prior to arresting him or submitting the case for a criminal complaint. Priority Four (County Attorney Further): The County Attorney’s Office has requested further investigation of a criminal incident prior to the issuance of a complaint. Priority Five (No Known Suspects, but with Workable Lead Information): Cases where there are no known suspects, but workable leads are present. Priority Six (No Known Suspects or Lead Information): Cases which have no known suspects or investigative lead information, but were assigned for follow-up investigation by the responsible supervisor.

2. 3.


5. 6.


Low Solvability and Prioritization: There are times when cases have a very low likelihood of reaching a successful conclusion. These cases do not have a high solvability factor and normally are given a low priority rating. Cases having a very low solvability factor, but which should be assigned for follow-up investigation include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. 2. 3. Those in which personal injury or a threat of injury has occurred. Those in which the monetary loss to the victim is extremely high. Those in which the seriousness of, or public sensitivity to, the incident would warrant follow-up investigation attempts.


Policy GJ-6, Criminal Investigations Organization and Administration

Effective Date 01-05-07

Follow-Up Investigation: Follow-up investigation of a criminal case is a shared responsibility between the uniformed officer and the detective. Both should work together to satisfactorily resolve criminal investigations. A. The officer responsible for the case disposition shall be designated as the case agent. Additional personnel may be assigned to assist in the investigation, but responsibility for the case disposition will remain with the case agent. The uniformed officer may be responsible for follow-up investigations of cases in which he conducted the preliminary investigation. This provides continuity in the investigation, and the officer’s skills and abilities are enhanced. 1. 2. After submitting the initial IR, the uniformed officer should coordinate follow-up efforts with the detective assigned to the case. Circumstances which would tend to prohibit the follow-up of investigations by uniformed officers may include, but are not limited to, the following: a. b. c. C. The complexity of the investigation. The necessity of a specialist to continue the investigation, such as in child molestation, auto theft, narcotics, or homicide cases. Time constraints or geographical distances which would remove the officer from his area of responsibility for an extended period of time.


Detectives are also responsible for the follow-up investigations of criminal cases. A detective follows up on cases in which he conducted the preliminary investigation, coordinates followup investigations with uniformed officers, and continues follow-up investigations on incidents which cannot reasonably be accomplished by uniformed personnel. Detectives may be required to maintain a log of their daily activities which shall be submitted to the detective supervisor on the last day of the month. The Detective Unit Supervisor is responsible for reviewing all IRs forwarded to his Unit. He shall review all cases to determine the solvability factors, and shall assign suitable cases to a detective for follow-up investigation. 1. The detective supervisor shall establish and maintain a case control system. The information recorded should include, but is not limited to, the following: a. b. c. d. e. The date and case agent to whom the case was assigned for follow-up investigation. The name and address of the victim. The name of the suspect, if known. The due date of the final disposition. The final disposition of the case.



Policy GJ-6, Criminal Investigations Organization and Administration

Effective Date 01-05-07

The detective supervisor shall ensure that case report supplements and final dispositions are submitted in a timely manner as called for by the Records Management System (RMS). a. b. c. A final disposition date shall be established for each case, normally within 30 days of receipt, by which time the investigation should be completed. The final disposition date may be extended based on the availability of additional follow-up information or the nature of the case. All original IRs and supplemental reports shall be maintained in the Criminal Records Section of the Records and AFIS Division, in compliance with Policy GF-4, Office Reports.


Case Status: Detectives shall clear all criminal IRs by indicating the case status at the end of each supplemental report. All other officers will indicate a status of “no further action taken” at the end of their IRs. A. The investigative status of criminal cases will be indicated by one of the following: 1. 2. Cleared by Arrest: The case is cleared by arrest when the perpetrator of the offense or violation is brought before judicial process, either by arrest or by summons. Exceptionally Cleared: The case is exceptionally cleared when the perpetrator has been identified, but cannot be prosecuted because of technicalities, such as an uncooperative victim or the time lapsed since occurrence has exceeded that allowed under the statute of limitations. A death investigation report will be exceptionally cleared when there is no evidence of criminal activity. Such investigations may involve suicide or accidental death. Unfounded: The case is unfounded when the investigating officer concludes from his investigation that the crime alleged did not occur or that it occurred within the jurisdiction of another agency. If the offense occurred within another agency’s jurisdiction, the case will be forwarded for their attention. Case Suspension (Inactive): The case is suspended when all leads are exhausted without identifying the perpetrator. Case Pending: The case is pending while the incident is still actively being investigated.


4. 5. B.

An investigator must consider numerous factors when determining the suitability of a case for investigation suspension. The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. 2. 3. The presence or lack of solvability factors. The lack of additional leads. The unavailability of investigative resources.


Policy GJ-6, Criminal Investigations Organization and Administration

Effective Date 01-05-07

Status Change: When the status of a criminal case changes, a reasonable attempt shall be made by the case agent, or his supervisor, to notify the victim in accordance with Policy GJ-14, Victims’ Bill of Rights.


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