The Investigative Division of the Mahwah Police Department has a Captain as a Division Commander.
The Investigative Division has one Detective Lieutenant, one Detective Sergeant, three Detectives, one assigned as the Departments Juvenile Officer, and several Patrol Officers who oversees the Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) 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
Sex crimes/crimes of violence
Inter-agency investigations and intelligence
Crime scene processing
Crime prevention activities
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.
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 Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) 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.
In the last two years the Mahwah Police Department has seized in excess of $700,000.00 of United States Currency from various criminal investigations and proactive patrol activities. In this time frame, four Motor vehicles have been seized as part of these investigations and will be sent to auction or used to further the mission of the Mahwah Police Department. Money and assets seized through forfeiture can only be utilized for law enforcement endeavors that aid in the prevention and enforcement of criminal activity. The police chief needs to make a written formal request which must be approved by the Bergen County Prosecutor.
The Investigative Division along with the Patrol division has conducted proactive initiatives to address problem areas within the township that has been identified through investigations and citizen complaints. The Investigative Division Commander coordinated Investigative personnel and selected several officers from Patrol to participate in this details. These details are responsible for the arrests of over 70 defendants, which resulted in over 100 criminal complaints ranging from drug possession to possession of weapons and burglaries. The Mahwah Police Department remains diligent in enforcing the laws of New Jersey and keeping the residents of Mahwah safe.