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Police Department - Support Bureau

The Support Bureau is the division of the Police Department that works "behind-the-scenes" to assist in day-to-day operations of the Police Department. The Support Bureau encompasses a wide range of units within the Police Department, including:

Internal Investigations Unit:  The police department has an Internal Investigations Unit (IIU) that is composed of staff officers responsible for investigation of all complaints lodged against department personnel. Officers assigned to this unit review reports and police actions to ensure officers are meeting the standards of the department.  All complaints are thoroughly investigated and results are reported directly to the Chief of Police. Appropriate action is taken based on the results of the investigation.

Criminal Investigations Section: The CIS takes a proactive approach to crime fighting by developing strategies based on current crime trends. Offenses are mapped by classification and geographic location in the community. Information is provided to the Patrol Bureau to best address problems as they develop. Investigators, commonly referred to as detectives, are always available to respond to crime scenes and to assist uniformed officers in any ongoing investigation. The Criminal Investigations Section is composed of two units: the Personal / Property Crimes Unit and the Youth Aid Unit.

All of the officers assigned to CIS are highly trained and dedicated individuals skilled in evidence recognition, collection, and processing as well as interviewing techniques.

Divisions of CIS include:

Case File Management: The Investigations Bureau employs civilian police technicians who manage criminal case files. These technicians may contact crime victims for any new information and to inform them of the case status. Police technicians perform various civilian police related functions within the bureau, such acting as the Court Liaison Officer, working closely with the court to provide information about cases currently before the court.

Personal/Property Crimes Unit: Investigates all non-juvenile related crimes against persons or property. This includes, but is not limited to: homicide, assault, rape, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, breaking & entering, theft and economic crimes.

Youth Aid: Investigates crimes where the victim or suspected perpetrator is a juvenile. The detectives in this unit investigate the same type of crimes as the Personal / Property Crimes Unit, as well as missing persons reports and gang activity. Detectives also conduct mediation proceedings which involve first-time juvenile offenders who have committed a minor offense.

Special Investigations: Handles vice operations, mini-tactical operations and covert investigations. The unit utilizes state-of-the-art surveillance technology and equipment. Enforcement efforts are directed at theft and burglary offenses, the use and sale of alcohol and narcotics, and any other action or investigation requiring covert operations as directed by the Unit Commander or the Chief of Police.

Criminalistics Unit: All investigators are trained in the most current evidence collection and processing techniques. This specialized training is used not only in the field, but within the Criminalistics Section, where processing of evidence may require the use of state-of-the-art equipment for processing of latent fingerprints or collection of microscopic evidence. The criminalistic capability of the West Chester Police Department meets or exceeds those of any police agency in the United States.

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit: SWAT addresses very specific law enforcement needs. Unlike the television portrayal of SWAT teams, in real world law enforcement they serve as a support unit of the department. They are police officers who train together on a regular basis to develop a true team approach to specific high-risk situations. The unit is made up of two teams of police officers and trained negotiators. The West Chester Police Department uses the SWAT Unit on preplanned high-risk incidents such as dynamic entry of buildings to execute search warrants, barricaded persons, hostage negotiations and selected assignments.