The Major Crimes Division consists of several squads responsible for the follow-up investigation of the various types of crimes committed in Pasco County. The members are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and investigate homicides, other deaths, attempted homicides, aggravated batteries, sexual batteries, domestic violence, robberies, arson (involving injuries to persons), violent crimes against the elderly and crimes against children (both physical and sexual).
The division is also responsible for various secondary assignments, such as the Missing/Abducted Child (MAC) Team. In November 2014, the MAC Team became one of the few stand-alone teams in the United States to earn a national certification in the response and investigation of missing and abducted children. Several members of Major Crimes are also members of the Tampa Bay Child Abduction Response Team (CART), which is coordinated through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). This task force assists local agencies with child abduction investigations, such as the Jessica Lundsford and Sara Lunde cases. In Spring of 2018, the PSO MAC team trained with the FBI in a mock abduction exercise to continue team improvement and effectiveness.
In July of 2016, Major Crimes was awarded a grant from Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence. The Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team (InVEST grant) includes a detective and domestic violence shelter advocate who work together to identify victims of domestic and dating violence at high risk for homicide. The team offers enhanced services to survivors of intimate partner violence and monitors offenders. Click Here for the Domestic Violence page
The Major Crimes squads also work with other agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, State Fire Investigators, U.S. Marshalls, and the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Victim Advocate Unit is comprised of a supervisor and four advocates. Victim advocates are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, responding to victims of crisis and violent crimes. Victim advocates provide support services throughout every stage of the criminal justice process including accompanying victims to trial. The victim advocates assess the needs of victims and their families to ensure they receive the proper help from other social service agencies.
The Property and Evidence Section consists of uniformed members that take in evidence for the entire county. Located at the Forensic Services Section building in Land O Lakes, the section is comprised of seven property and evidence specialists, one supervisor and several volunteers. This section falls under Forensic Services and is led by the assistant forensic chief and the forensic chief.It is imperative that the evidence collected daily is packaged appropriately for safekeeping. Maintaining the chain of custody is essential for the integrity of the evidence as it gets prepared for cases and presented in the courtroom. The items that are retrieved in each case that are worked by a deputy, detective and/or a forensic investigator assists with putting those unknown pieces in a case together. The members in this section work diligently to ensure each item is properly inventoried in the warehouse and housed properly under the Florida Statutes, standards and best practices. Each specialist is required to achieve and maintain their certification through the International Association for Property and Evidence (IAPE) and the Property and Evidence Association of Florida (PEAF). By doing so, it provides us with the education and training needed for all aspects of proper handling and storage of all types of evidence.