The Investigations Division is the largest Division in the Unified Police Department with 95 assigned full time sworn and civilian employees. It is commanded by a Division Chief and staffed with two lieutenants and 11 sergeants. The primary mission of the Division is to investigate serious crimes against persons through the Violent Crimes Unit and Special Victims Unit. Additionally, Investigations covers a much broader scope of law enforcement with a number of specialized units such as the Forensic Investigations Unit, Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit, Mental Health Unit, Major Investigations/Cold Case Homicide Unit, Jail Investigations Unit, Narcotics Diversion Unit, and the Warrants/Extradition Unit. The Division is home to the Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit and the Unified Police Intelligence Center. The Narcotics Unit is currently assigned to the Salt Lake Metro Narcotics Task Force coordinated and managed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The men and women working in the Investigations Division are extremely experienced and dedicated law enforcement professionals whose tenacity and attention to detail are second to none.
Violent Crimes Unit
The Violent Crimes Unit is comprised of nine detectives and one sergeant. They are tasked with investigating violent crimes committed against persons. The crimes include but are not limited to homicides, abductions, robberies, and sexual assaults. Detectives are also tasked with investigating all death investigations which include suicides and in custody deaths. The Violent Crimes Unit participates in the Officer Involved Critical Incident Protocol, and comprise one of the three protocol teams. The team investigates Officer Involved Critical Incidents such as Officer Involved Shootings for other jurisdictions in Salt Lake County.
Bank robberies committed in Salt Lake County are considered a federal crime. Two of the VCU detectives are cross designated, and work directly with the FBI to investigate robberies committed against banks and other financial institutions.
Special Victims Unit
Children pose a unique challenge when investigating crimes perpetrated against them. The Special Victims Unit is specially trained to handle these sensitive cases. The SVU is comprised of ten sworn detectives, two civilians, and one sergeant. They are tasked with investigating physical child abuse, neglect, and all sexual abuse cases. They also investigate allegations of abuse committed against vulnerable people in the community such as disabled citizens or the elderly. The SVU also conducts investigations into all sexual crimes including domestic sexual assault cases.
SVU has one detective that participates in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Predators can be found on line searching for child victims, and the ICAC works to apprehend them using the same forum.
The civilian employee assigned to the unit is responsible for all missing persons and runaway children investigations.
The members of the SVU also coordinate the sex offender registry list and ensure people are in compliance with their court mandated requirements.
Forensic Investigations Unit
The Forensic Investigation Unit is part of the Investigations Division of the Unified Police Department. Our mission and goal is to provide the residents of Salt Lake County with a dedicated, skilled and highly trained work force of Forensic Analysts. We provide the highest quality of scientific analysis to the criminal justice system. Our Forensic staff is motivated by a strong work ethic, intelligence and integrity. Diverse educational backgrounds and areas of interest in the Forensic Science arena help us fulfill our goals and accomplish our mission. One that partners with governmental and private entities to effectively meet the needs of Utah’s criminal justice community. We are committed to a strategy of continuous improvement, through education and constantly seeking to learn the expectations of our customers and striving to meet those needs and expectations.
The Forensic Investigation Unit is staffed with a Sergeant, 9 highly trained full-time civilian Forensic Analysts, a Forensic Office Specialist, and a part-time Forensic Unit Clerk. We provide services in Forensic Photography, Latent Print Processing and Identification, Evidence Collection, Forensic Microscopy for Trace Evidence, Blood Stain Pattern Interpretation, Digital Forensics, 3-D Crime Scene Scanning and Reconstruction, Serial Number Restoration, E-Trace (weapon serial numbers), and Controlled Substance Analysis. Additionally, the Forensic Analysts are certified phlebotomists.
The Forensic Unit also offers student internship programs, and ride along opportunities to those enrolled in college criminal justice programs.
The Unified Police Department and the Forensic Unit also provides fingerprinting services to the public for a variety of reasons including such things as:
- Employment requests
- Applications for adoption
- Concealed weapons permits
The UPD cannot provide fingerprinting services for I.N.S. purposes. Those individuals can contact US Immigration for such services at 646.233.3836. Also, the UPD does not provide fingerprinting services for Utah Driving Privilege Cards. Please contact the Utah Department of Public Safety - Driver License Division at 801.965.4437.
Hours for fingerprinting are Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. We are not open on holidays. A picture I.D. is required and there is a $10.00 fee per card (cash, check or credit card).
Sheriff's Administration Bldg. - North Entrance
Crime Lab / Second Floor
3365 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit (CAR)
The Collision Analysis Reconstruction (CAR) Unit is a multi-jurisdictional effort with participating agencies from across the Salt Lake County area. Unified Police has two full time sworn members assigned to the unit as well as seven sworn members who work CAR as a secondary assignment.
CAR responds to all major traffic accidents resulting in substantial bodily injury or fatalities. The members of CAR have extensive specialized training and experience to be able to reconstruct accident scenes.
CAR is also involved in public safety awareness programs such as the recent initiative pushing education and awareness of pedestrian safety.
Mental Health Unit
The Mental Health Unit is a collaborative effort combining a social worker from Salt Lake County Behavioral Services with a sworn UPD sergeant and one full-time UPD detective. There are also eight secondarily assigned sworn members representing the incorporated cities.
Research conducted within the UPD recognized a tremendous amount of calls for service dealt with a mental health issue rather than a criminal situation. The goal of the MHU is to address the needs of the citizen suffering the mental health crisis, and to connect them with the appropriate resources. The MHU works with other mental health agencies across Salt Lake County as well as Veteran and Mental Health Courts.
Warrant, Fugitive and Pawn Unit
The Warrant, Fugitive and Pawn Unit is comprised of one sergeant and three detectives from UPD. All three detectives are cross-trained and work in concert with one another as they go about their diverse assignments. Detectives are responsible for screening all criminal cases brought forward by the Department. This unit transports prisoners and manages extraditions to and from the State of Utah. Detectives are also responsible for monitoring pawn transactions and assisting in investigations throughout Salt Lake County.
The Unified Police Information Center (UPIC) is comprised of 1/2 civilian and is overseen by a division Lieutenant. This unit is responsible for supporting investigations and supplying the Office’s Precincts with crime data, mapping, workload analytics, and a variety of standardized reports.
Neighborhood Narcotics Unit
The Neighborhood Narcotics Unit is designed to aggressively combat street level drug dealers and to concentrate on drug dealers and suppliers that directly impact Salt Lake County residential neighborhoods. Partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration has enabled our agencies to aggressively investigate narcotics distribution organizations of any size or complexity.
Sheriff's Office Investigations Unit
The Sheriff's Office Investigations Unit is staffed by a Unified Police sergeant and detectives from Protective Services and Corrections. The responsibilities of the unit include the investigation of criminal events which occur within the Salt Lake County Jail and the court buildings and other County facilities. Additionally, the unit acts as a liaison between outside law enforcement agencies and the jail and gathers intelligence related to criminal cases through the monitoring of prisoner mail and communications. Typically, charges screened include aggravated assault by a prisoner, assault on a correctional officer, narcotics smuggling, escape, and damaging a jail the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and several out of state departments and agencies.
Narcotics Diversion Unit
The Unified Police Department Narcotics Diversion Unit is a specialty group of very unique detectives. This unit is the law enforcement arm of the Salt Lake County Felony Drug Courts. The drug courts offer participants drug treatment and addiction recovery as a path away from criminality. The Narcotics Diversion Detectives act as compliance and probation officers for participants of this very important program. Statistically, on a national level every dollar spent on drug courts saves four dollars for the community who is involved with these proven successful programs.
The Unified Police Department recognizes the importance of reducing crime and the causes that perpetuate criminal behavior. Arresting and jailing is not always the answer that promotes a long term solution. Most property crimes and to a larger degree societal ills can be attributed to substance abuse. The Narcotics Diversion Unit was designed to assist at all levels of the criminal justice system. This includes but is not limited to:
- Enforcing and keeping drug court clients in adherence to the drug court agreement.
- Ensuring that drug court participants occupy crime free, drug free housing.
- Frequent visits to drug court participants’ homes to administer random compliance searches that assist the client with remaining drug and crime free.
- Dispensing random urinalysis to ensure a client is remaining drug free.
- Placing clients on ankle monitor and frequent supervision to free much needed jail space and to keep participants in addiction recovery classes. This also allows participants to maintain their jobs.
- Maintain and monitor community service components of drug court.
- Interact with other members of the drug court community including prosecutors, defense attorneys and drug treatment providers.
- Provide education to the law enforcement community and the public about the dangers of drug addiction and recognizing signs and symptoms of drug use.
- Be ambassadors of the drug court program and report the statistics that allow the program to be a proven crime reducer.
The detectives of the Narcotics Diversion Unit are on the front lines of the newest drug abuse trends and are instrumental in identifying the dangers posed by the ever changing illegal street drug market. These detectives communicate directly with the judges and legislators to assist in passing effective controlled substance laws that make our community a safer place to live and work.
Narcotics Diversion Unit Detectives may be contacted regarding questions about drug abuse and the prevention of dangerous street drugs in your neighborhood. If you have a family member, friend or loved one who is struggling with drug abuse help is available. Narcotics Diversion Office Number: 385.468.9800.
Division Chief Kris Ownby
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Click here to learn about The Law Enforcement Officer Involved Critical Incident Investigative Protocol