General Criminal Investigations
This would incorporate follow-up investigation of all assigned criminal cases that are committed within the jurisdiction of the West Orange Police Department. These criminal investigations entail obvious or alleged violations of Title 2C of the New Jersey criminal code. All personnel assigned to the bureau, detectives, sergeants, and the lieutenant participate on varying levels in criminal investigations.
High Priority Arrest Warrants
Arrest warrants issued by Municipal Court of West Orange or other jurisdictions involving situations that draw a high risk are priority of the Detective Bureau. At times these warrant arrests are made with assistance from outside agencies.
Narcotics & Vice Investigations
Detective personnel are currently responsible for conducting reported and self initiated narcotics and vice investigations. These investigations would involve allegations of distribution of narcotics, prostitution, and gambling.
Identification of Unknown Prisoners / Persons
Contemporaneous fingerprint analysis of known records is done by bureau personnel in order to verify or dispel identifications of prisoners and other persons involved in investigations.
Processing Crime Scenes
Many times during a criminal investigation, it becomes necessary for a crime scene to be processed for forensic evidence and photographed for future reference and use in court proceedings. The Detective Bureau processes all crime scenes where the suspect is either unknown or known to be or described to be an adult suspect. The processing and photographing of crime scenes is an intense, lengthy process and must be done with diligence and expertise as many times evidence is either contaminated or corrupted because of time, the elements, or unintentional destruction by victims or other emergency personnel.
Obtaining Sworn Statements
During working hours, bureau personnel assist complainants in the preparation of formal and / or type-written statements as a basis for criminal complaints. This is generally done in cases where a nonserious crime is the subject of the investigation and where it may be impractical or impossible to conduct an investigation that results is enough probable cause for police to file criminal complaints. Many times, in cases of simple assaults or threats, the reported victims are referred to this procedure for the filing of formal complaints and adjudication in municipal court.
Assisting Outside Agencies with Investigations
Generally, the first point of contact for an outside agency to request assistance in investigations they are conducting is the Detective Bureau. This assistance may come in the form of background research regarding suspects and victims or the actual physical arrests of suspects from other jurisdictions located within West Orange.
From the daily review of generated incident reports, detective supervisors can recognize a spike in crime activity with similar methods of operation and crimes committed. In all but a very few of these situations, a Detective Bureau Supervisor conducts record collection, performs a crime analysis, and sets up through the formal chain of command an operational plan to implement a tactical team to combat or ameliorate the specific crime problem.
The Detective Bureau is responsible for preparing 80% to 90% of all search warrants that are issued inside the jurisdiction of West Orange Police Department. These search warrants may be prepared as a result of an investigation or for the assistance of the patrol or other divisions of the police department.
Assisting Internal Affairs
It becomes necessary from time to time to assist the Internal Affairs Division in investigations. Whenever possible, the commanding officer of the Detective Bureau will assist in such investigations.