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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Citizens Police Academy Week Four -- Criminal Investigations Division (Part I)

Some undercover cops spoke to us last Thursday at our Citizens Police Academy class.

For obvious reasons I didn't take any photos of them, but suffice it to say they put themselves potentially in harm's way regularly as they pose as people interested in purchasing illegal goods and services and investigate and resolve vice-related crimes including prostitution, illegal drugs and more. 

Those glamorous vice cops in TV shows like Miami Vice are fictional characters who drive fast cars, wear expensive clothes, have eye candy on their arms and get the bad guys within the course of an hour. 

Our real deals in Pasadena sometimes spend weeks and months on stakeouts -- work that can be very tedious yet is absolutely necessary if they are going to get the bad guys within...well, certainly not an hour.

And then there's the paperwork that is critical for documenting and building the most compelling, undeniable cases possible for the District Attorney's Office to take to court. That part of the job is never included in "Miami Vice."

Vice, technically known as the Special Investigations Unit, is part of the Pasadena Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division. This division covers such a wide range of units that this portion of our class is being broken up into two parts. (We'll have Part II tonight.)

Commander John Perez oversees the Criminal Investigations Division. I've known John for many years and have always been so impressed by his expertise as well as his friendly, approachable nature.

Everything covered Thursday night was under the Criminal Investigations Division's Crimes Against Persons Section. Detectives informed us about their jobs handling homicides, assaults, robberies and financial crimes such as identity theft.

Lt. Terysa Rojas heads up the Crimes Against Persons Section.

Other detectives in the Crimes Against Persons Section told us about domestic violence, elder abuse and crimes against children.

Believe me, it was all very sobering. 

Tonight we'll learn all about the Crimes Against Properties Section as well as the Fugitive Apprehension Unit.

Then I'll tell you all about it.

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