A little over a year ago, I announced the start of a "pilot" program with the creation of two new units of detectives in 2015 – one for violent crimes (VCU) and one for burglary crimes (BCU). I chose to focus on violent crimes and burglaries in light of their increased frequency and because these crimes have profound implications for victims, their families and friends. The harmful impacts of these very personal crimes can generate perceptions that wreak havoc on our psyche, particularly when these types of crimes are left unresolved. When our constituents feel unsettled about their personal safety and the sanctity of their homes and neighborhoods, everyone's quality of life is diminished.
Now that we've had one year to assess the efficacy of these programs, I am convinced that these units are delivering improved results and services to the residents of Madison. Thus, I am removing the label "pilot" and these two investigative teams will now be made a permanent part of our Department.
These two teams joined our Investigative Services Section at the beginning of last February and were tasked with enhancing our efficiency and overall quality of certain violent crime investigations and burglary investigations. Within the Investigative Services Section, the VCU and BCU integrated with other specialized investigative teams - the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Gang Unit, the Criminal Intelligence Section (CIS) and the Criminal Intake Unit (CIU). Together and throughout 2015, these teams aimed to synergize as a section, focus on effective communication (both internally and externally) and to integrate with the organization.
These specialized units worked throughout the year to better coordinate efforts with the districts to maximize a consistent and comprehensive response. Positive results were quickly realized and needed as Madison experienced a profound increase in the number of shots fired calls and weapon offenses that occurred in and around the city during the first few months of 2015. The VCU planned a multi-faceted strategic effort which was executed in coordination with our Crime Analysts, Gang Unit, all five police districts, the BCU, the SIU, CIS and a number of outside agencies. At the end of the effort, numerous arrests were made, investigative leads were obtained, over 100 homes in the neighborhoods affected by the shootings were canvassed or contacted and a number of proactive "custom notifications" (in person contacts) of people suspected to be involved in the incidents were completed.
Here are other highlights and successes from the "pilot" year of the VCU and BCU and the Investigative Services Section:
- VCU was the primary investigating team on 58 cases and referred 44 serious felony charges to the DA's Office and there were five federal indictments.This equated to hundreds of investigative hours.
- Burglary cases assigned to detectives almost doubled from 2014 and burglary cases cleared by arrest increased significantly.
- Communication about certain crimes improved.
- There was an on-going focus on case management and victim care.
- Further detail on the successes of the first year of the VCU and BCU and those of the entire Investigative Services Section can be found in the attached year-end report or by contacting Captain John Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog was authored by Captain John Patterson