Police Officer Preparation & Law Enforcement Resource - Archive
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08-17-11, 10:59 AM
Greetings. I'm a writer developing a story involving a female IA and would like to clarify the role of an IA detective. I have read Lee Lofland's much appreciated book on Police Procedure and Investigation (and have surfed your site and others) but I still have more specific questions. Thanks for your time.
In your experience or with your knowledge:
1. Is it feasible for a detective, who is a year or two away from retiring, to be rotated into the IAD department? (I'm not clear on what the requirements are for an IA position. Do they apply? Does a station Chief rotate them? Would a detective be sent to that department for disciplinary reasons or to get off the streets (for a good reason)?
2. If an IA detective is investigating a minor matter, would the IA detective travel to the police station/officer in question to interview or observe police behavior and cases (in a small town, without their own IAD department) OR would the station Chief deal with the case, if it is considered minor?
Please note, my story is not about police misconduct. It becomes a story about a murder case. Thanks.
08-17-11, 11:20 AM
1. Sure. Every dept. is different, ours has a one year rotation of detectives through IA as investigators. There is no special requirement other than having a least a year on the job as a detective.
2. We have an officer's bill of rights in our contract that says all interviews of officers have to be in a police facility. Ergo, we can't go to the officer's homes or do anything off the wall. Almost all the time, the officer comes to the IA office. I can think of no situation where the officer's behavior would be observed though. In a small town, the chief or someone he designates would do the investigation.
08-17-11, 12:17 PM
Thanks so much!
08-17-11, 09:37 PM
1. At our agency the personnel assigned to the Professional Standards Unit (IA) are appointed by the Sheriff. It would be entirely possible to be appointed at the end of your career as long as your work ethic gas tank is not running on fumes.
2. There are priority levels assigned to a PS (IA) case based upon the severity of the complaint and/or the reasonable expectation of discipline should the principal (accused) receive a sustained charge. Lower level investigations are assigned to the shift sergeant or region commander, but the same formal guidelines (Garrity Admonishment, Administrative Order, recorded interview, availability of an observer, etc.) are afforded cross board. There is no requirement that the accused be interviewed at headquarters, but in the vast majority of class 1 or 2 cases, they will be ordered to appear at the PS office during normal working hours. A sergeant doing a lower level investigation can interview the principal at a duty sub-station, usually in the sergeant's office.
08-17-11, 10:32 PM
Just before I retired, they took away even low level complaints from the local commanders, et al. All procedural, internal regulation violations are investigated by IA. Anything that has a chance of criminal prosecution is given to a detective assigned to that area in detective division. For instance, when I worked sex crimes, I worked several where the officer was accused of sexual misconduct of some sort. If I found nothing prosecutable, it went back to IA and they looked to see if any regs were violated before the officer is completely cleared.
08-17-11, 11:44 PM
Investigations that even have an inkling of criminal activity will not go to PS until the criminal investigation is completed.
We have grown so rapidly that PS was getting swamped. High priority investigations were causing the "less" serious ones to collect dust. This was not fair to either the complainant or the principal. It is because of this that low level investigations are going back to the field/command. I suspect that when the economy recovers enough to allow more hiring that PS will get more staffing and resume formal investigation of all complaints that appear likely to result in discipline.
08-18-11, 04:27 PM
Thank you all for your time and sharing your knowledge. Much appreciated.