Staffed by 20 sworn officers and 2 civilians, the Investigative Division is the 2nd of our 4 divisions and is commanded by Captain Kurt Wolf.
How Detective Work Began
Historically, detectives were employed by governments to blend in with the populace and seek information as if they were ordinary citizens, not functionaries of the state. In 1829, with the creation of the London Metropolitan Police, uniformed police forces began to be established throughout England and Wales and the investigations of crimes fell to the constables. But their uniforms and policies kept them from blending in with the criminal underworld so, from the beginning, police administrators in most forces assigned a few constables to plainclothes detective work. For the next 100 years detectives worked hard at "blending in" with the criminal underworld. Informants and an intimate knowledge of the underworld gave early detectives the information they sought but presented other problems for police supervisors.
Case Oriented Work
In the early decades of the 20th century police detective work began to evolve from offender oriented toward case oriented. In a case oriented approach to investigations a detective is assigned specific crimes or cases to investigate. With the adoption of case oriented operations a police department could measure detective performance statistically through clearance rates.
Investigating crime is an important function of modern, full-service police departments. In most medium-to-large departments in the United States, roughly 10-20% of sworn personnel are assigned to the Criminal Investigations section. The Lafayette Police Department falls within that range. The Investigative Division consists of 18 Detectives assigned to the Criminal, Juvenile or Narcotics sections.
Due to the fluid nature of on-going investigations the division operates with flexible hours covering daytime and early evening hours Monday through Friday. Each detective is assigned an "on call" status for overnight and weekend hours on a rotating basis, unless they are assigned to special investigations or major cases that require different hours of work.
The primary responsibility of the Investigative Division is to conduct in-depth investigations of major case reports including, but not limited to:
- Auto theft
- Crimes against children
- Death investigations
- Identity thefts
- Serious batteries
- Potential threats of terrorism