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, economic crimes, 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 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. Several of our Major Crimes detectives are currently assigned to task forces with state and federal agencies.
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 Economic Crimes Unit is comprised of a sergeant, eight detectives, a civilian investigator and a secretary. The Economic Crimes Unit investigates complex, organized frauds throughout the county. Some of these crimes include identity theft, forgery, exploitation of the elderly, schemes to defraud, counterfeiting and money laundering. In 2016 the investigative unit was tasked with the investigation of 1,726 cases. Due to the complexity of these investigations and jurisdictional issues, investigators work very closely with other agencies including the United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspectors, the Florida Attorney’s General Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The sergeant and three economic crimes detectives are members of a task force with the U.S. Secret Service. There are also two detectives who specialize in the investigation of construction fraud and unlicensed contractors.
- Credit Education: Establishing good credit
- Identity theft: Identity Theft Kit
- Tax Fraud: Per the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit, tax fraud victims do not need to report these occurrences to local law enforcement. Instead, they should complete and submit Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS form 14039) which can be accessed online at http://www.irs.gov/
- Tax Fraud Information: Brochure
- Tax Fraud Affidavit: Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit
- Counterfeit Money: Know Your Money
- Internet Fraud: Reporting Internet Fraud Offenses
- Combat criminal offenses involving the financial sector: Protecting Your Money
The Special Victims Unit is comprised of a sergeant, eight detectives and a community services specialist. This unit investigates crimes and provides services within three separate specialized areas or sub units to include Cyber Crimes, Missing Persons, and Sex Offenders.
The Cyber Crimes component includes three detectives who investigate child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children through electronic means. Cyber crime detectives also provide support in the recovery of digital evidence for other investigative units. The detectives are members of the Central Florida Internet Crimes against Children, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement task forces for the investigations of exploitation of children.
The Sex Offender component is comprised of three detectives and has the responsibility of monitoring over 950 sexual offenders, predators and career offenders that reside in Pasco County. The unit conducts address verifications at the home of each sexual offender/predator at least four times per year and each career offender twice per year. Sexual offenders and predators are required to register either two or four times per year based on their offense which provides contact with the Sheriff’s Office at least six to eight times every year. Any violations or complaints received by the Sheriff’s Office are investigated by the unit. The members also work to educate the public on sexual offenders by hosting community presentations and law enforcement training.Should you have any concerns about a sexual offender or predator’s compliance with the law you can e-mail the Sex Offender Unit at this address email@example.com or call us during business hours at 813-235-6170.
The Forensic Services Section (FSS) is a uniformed component of the Major Crimes Division. It is comprised of 19 members, all serving countywide from their office located in Land O’ Lakes. The section has one secretary, 12 forensic investigators, two latent print examiners, two forensic supervisors, one assistant forensics chief and a forensics chief.The duties and responsibilities of the members of the FSS varies. By far, the most important duties performed by the members are crime scene documentation and evidence collection. Each forensic investigator must be skilled in the use of digital and video photography, crime scene assessment, evidence recognition and proper collection procedures, latent fingerprint lifting techniques, the casting of tire and footprint impressions, sketching and measurements of interior and exterior scenes, blood stain assessments and collection, the use of alternate light sources and chemical developers and a host of other skills needed to process a crime scene. The Latent print examiners aid in Automated Fingerprint Identification System entries and conduct comparisons to also aid in fingerprint identifications.The Forensic investigators and latent print examiners are required to achieve and maintain their certification through the International Association for Identification (IAI). Volunteers are an integral part of the Forensic Services Section and receive extensive training allowing them to assist on calls throughout the county. Advances in science and technology help us solve more crimes every day and the importance of forensics continues to grow. In recent years, calls for service by the Forensic Services Section have increased significantly.
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.