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September 18, 2019
12:58 AM

Investigative Division  
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Detective Bureau


Captain Stephen Jaffe Divison Commander



he Investigative Division of the Mahwah Police Department has a Captain as a Divison Commander. The Investigative Division has one Detective Lieutenant, one Detective Sergeant, three Detectives, one assigned as the Departments Juvenile Officer, and one Patrol Officer who oversees the D.A.R.E. program. They are responsible for conducting follow up investigations for crimes committed against persons and property, illegal narcotic activities, administrative investigations and the performance of core administrative functions within the Police Department.


Investigative Division Roles


            The Investigative Division is responsible for numerous investigative and administrative functions within the department including but not limited to:


  • Megan’s Law Sex Offender Monitoring and Registry
  • Investigation of all persons and property crimes
  • Asset forfeitures
  • Fraud 
  • Computer/electronic crimes
  • Identity theft
  • Sex crimes/crimes of violence
  • Inter-agency investigations and intelligence
  • Narcotic investigations
  • Death investigations
  • Crime scene processing
  • Crime prevention activities
  • Licensing investigations
  • Bergen County Prosecutor judicial complaint intake processing and criminal court database entry
  • Compliance of the cataloging and submission of evidence and found property
  • Administrative investigations and the enforcement and compliance of Alcohol Beverage Control laws and regulations
  • Civilian fingerprinting for government licensing, employment and criminal history for submission to the N.J State Police and F.B.I.
  • Employment background investigations
  • Monitoring of Police Internship Program 

            The Investigative Division investigates as well as reviews criminal cases initially handled by the Patrol Division as well as investigations that are self initiated by detectives. Criminal cases are evaluated by the Division Commander and Division Lieutenant and assigned to investigative personnel for further investigation.  A computerized case management system is utilized by the Division Captain to track the progress of the investigative cases and the performance of the assigned Investigator.


            Investigative personnel are cross trained to investigate the miscellaneous and distinct crimes that occur within the Township.  Due to the dynamic changes in Administrative rules and Legislative decisions, there is a constant necessity for continual training to keep abreast of current methods and trends.   



Homeland Security


            The responsibility for the dissemination and evaluation of Federal, State and County Homeland Security directives and intelligence distribution continues to be monitored by the Investigative Division.  The monitoring and dissemination of criminal activity intelligence information through various computer networking and e-mail as well as at regional investigative meetings enables the Investigative Division to share and receive information with a all levels of Law Enforcement throughout the State to improve endeavors for investigations, crime prevention and homeland security for the community.


            Under the umbrella of the Investigative Division is the Police Departments Youth Aid Division, which encompasses the Juvenile Bureau as well as the D.A.R.E Programs.



Investigative Division Initiatives


            The Investigative Division’s criminal and administrative investigations increased notably in 2014.  Investigations varied in seriousness and complexity.  As projected in recent years, identity theft and fraud crimes had the most substantial increase in national criminal trends.  Internet fraud, credit card fraud and identity theft were a major force behind the increase in criminal investigations for the Investigative Division in 2014. Criminals continue to adapt and display creativity in establishing new methods and schemes to commit fraudulent crimes.  What attracts the criminal element to identity, credit card and internet fraud is contributed to the fact that investigations of this crime is difficult for law enforcement to identify and apprehend those responsible and the penalties for being convicted if caught are in many instances not stringent enough.  A major impetus in these investigations is the fact that although the victim may a local resident, the fraud or internet crime was perpetrated in either another distant jurisdiction, state or in some cases another country.  The Investigative Division focuses on assisting victims to prevent future fraudulent activity and guidance in how to minimize the negative impact of what can be devastating to a victim of this insidious crime.


            Members of the Investigative Division worked with various county, state and federal Law enforcement agencies while conducting many investigations.   Many of the Multi Agency investigations resulted in the successful conclusion of comprehensive criminal investigations.  The Investigative Division will continue to embrace the philosophy which comprises cooperation, training and information sharing with various resources in the law enforcement community to improve the capabilities and expertise that members of the Investigative Division can provide to the residents and businesses within the Township.


            As noted above,  the Investigative Division  is responsible for the facilitation, documentation and investigation for civil forfeiture of all currency, vehicles or property seized in commission with criminal activity either.  During 2004 the Detective Bureau processed and submitted for civil forfeiture to the Bergen County Prosecutor Office $3,031,450.00 in currency which were a culmination of four seizure investigations in 2004. 



Civil Forfeitures


            During 2004 the Mahwah Police received approximately $2,080,300.21 into its civil municipal forfeiture account from forfeiture submissions that were a direct result of criminal investigations conducted in 2004. This included $6,439.25 that was received from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Forfeiture Fund resulting from having a Mahwah detective assigned to with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for several months in 2004 as part of a multi jurisdictional task force that participated in a large scale investigation that culminated in multiple arrests and the seizure of money and assets from the arrested individuals.    


            Municipalities receive a percentage of assets received in multi-jurisdictional investigations when an officer from a municipality is currently assigned during the active investigation before the forfeiture. The Investigative Division received permission for use by the agency a 1993 Ford Expedition that was seized in 2003 from a motor vehicle stop and arrest for several hundred pounds of marijuana.  Money and assets seized through forfeiture can only be utilized for law enforcement endeavors that aid in the prevention and enforcement of criminal activity.  Before the Mahwah Police can utilize or purchase items to assist in the Department’s law enforcement mission to the community. The police chief needs to make a written formal request which must be approved by the Bergen County Prosecutor.



Warrant Initiatives


            The Investigative Division conducted a Warrant initiative to address a large amount of outstanding arrest and contempt of court warrants that were the result of defendants not showing up for scheduled court appearances to answer both criminal and motor vehicle offenses or have not paid court ordered fines and penalties.  The Investigative Division Commander  coordinated Investigative personnel and selected several officers from Patrol to comprise of two arrest teams whose primary focus was locating defendants with outstanding Mahwah warrants from the entire tri state area.   During the course of two weeks of the initiative, (42) defendants were arrested with a total of outstanding warrant bail amounts of $40,989.00.   



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