The Lakewood Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit is split into several main units, to include Homicide/Major Crimes, Forensic Services, Property ProAc, Special Assault/Domestic Violence, and the Special Operations Unit.
The Homicide/Major Crimes Unit investigates crimes committed against persons, which include homicide, assault, and kidnapping. This unit is responsible for all types of death investigations and handles all officer involved shootings. They also investigate and track missing person’s cases. The unit currently consists of a supervisor (sergeant), three detectives and an investigator assigned to investigate all crimes at Western State Hospital.
The Special Assault/Domestic Violence Unit investigates crimes against persons, which include rape (sex crimes), domestic violence, and crimes against those less able to defend themselves. These include children, the elderly and the disabled. The unit is also responsible for tracking and checking on all registered sex offenders in the City. Currently, the unit consists of a supervisor (sergeant), three detectives and two investigators.
The Special Operations Unit investigates narcotics and vice crimes that take place in, or have a direct impact on, the Lakewood community. Frequently people involved in these types of crimes will travel throughout the region as well as out of state. As a result, members of the Special Investigations Unit can be assigned to task forces and work closely with Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. Investigators in the Special Ops unit work closely with members of the community to combat narcotics and vice crimes. Awareness programs have been developed and implemented with retail clerks, apartment and hotel managers, neighborhood block watch programs, and school officials to recognize and report persons involved in narcotics and vice crimes. A Hot Tip Team, made up of members of uniformed patrol officers, work closely with the Special Operations Unit to respond effectively to citizen reports of these types of crimes. The unit consists of a supervisor (sergeant), one detectives, four narcotics/vice investigators and two gang unit investigators.
The Gang Unit, which is part of the Special Operations Unit is a highly visible proactive team designated to combat street gang activity on a routine basis. They also investigate all types of gang related crimes that occur in the City of Lakewood.
Property Crimes are proactively investigated by the Proactive Property Crimes/Robbery Unit. They investigate crimes committed against property, including burglary, robbery, theft, forgery, identity theft and malicious mischief. This unit also hosts the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority (WATPA) Task Force and has one investigator assigned full time to that assignment. The unit currently consists of a supervisor (sergeant), one detective and three investigators (one to WATPA).
Forensic Services, as its primary mission, conducts Crime Scene Investigation, follow-up evidence processing, coordination of submission to various crime labs and preparation of evidence for court.
Forensic Services staff at LPD are experienced, commissioned personnel with specialized education, training, and experience in Forensics. The Unit is supervised by the Forensic Services Manager and staffed and supplemented by Forensic Detectives and Forensic Investigators.
The LPD Forensic Services Unit provides the following types of services to the agency either in-house or through cooperative agreement or contract.
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
- Chemical processing for fingerprints
- AFIS / IAFIS contract management
- Digital Imaging (photography)
- Digital Video Documentation
- Shooting Scene Reconstruction
- Firearms operability and functionality tests.
- Microscopic Analysis (limited current capability)
- Digital Image Clarification
- CAD diagrams (total station based and field sketch based)
- Crime Scene Reconstruction
- Screening for Biological and Trace Evidence
- Digital and Multimedia Forensics
Many other types of analysis and services are available on a case specific basis.
LPD Forensic Services works closely with the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and other Forensic Laboratories to provide quality service to the citizens and the criminal justice system.