When a crime is reported, the Criminal Investigations Division steps in to handle the situation. Listed below are some specific crime areas handled by different divisions within TPD.
Burglary, Pawn, & Property Crimes
Investigation of all commercial, residential, and automobile burglaries that occur within the city limits of Tallahassee is the primary responsibility of the Burglary Unit.
Investigators are assigned to districts with responsibility for geographic areas. This enhances investigators' knowledge of community problems in their assigned districts through increased interaction with citizens and businesses. Stolen property reported in burglaries is routinely checked against area pawnshop transactions. When fingerprints are collected from burglary scenes, an inquiry is made into a Statewide/Regional fingerprint database in order to aid in identifying the perpetrator(s). The database is known as "AFIS" (Automated Fingerprint Identification System). If the source of the print is of "AFIS" quality, and the suspect has a prior criminal arrest history, the system will provide a short list of suspects matching the characteristics of the prints. Our Forensics Section will then identify the source down to one individual.
Recovering stolen property that has been pawned or sold to a second hand dealer can greatly help in returning the property to the owner. It is the Pawn Shop Recovery Units' responsibility to inspect these businesses to make sure they are complying with the state laws involving pawnshops and secondhand dealers.
Pawn tickets are collected from pawnshops and second hand dealers, and the items pawned or sold are checked on state and national computer databases to determine if they are stolen. Collected pawn tickets are exchanged with other local law enforcement agencies to assist in recovering as much stolen property as possible.
The Tallahassee Police Department has partnered with LeadsOnline to provide citizens a system for maintaining secure records of property you own. You may store serial numbers, item descriptions, pictures, and scans of receipts so that your items may be more easily identified in the event of theft or loss. This record may also come in handy when reporting any loss to your insurance provider.
For more information on LeadsOnline, please visit the LeadsOnline's website.
To create an account or login to an existing account, please visit LeadsOnline Citizen Property Inventory System.
All attempted thefts and thefts of motorized vehicles are investigated by the Auto Theft Unit, which also investigates "chop shops" and conducts periodic inspections of salvage and junkyards to ensure compliance with state laws.
Established in 1992 to provide immediate assistance to victims of crime as well as their families, the Victim Advocacy Unit is committed to providing comprehensive services and support that address the physical, emotional, and financial needs that result from victimization. In addition to the on scene support provided by the unit, advocates review offense reports on a daily basis and assess the need for follow up as well as provide assistance to those victims referred to the unit by officers and other agencies. A victim advocate has the unique ability of being able to devote attention to the various needs of the victim while at the same time acting as a liaison with officers to keep the victim and their family informed on how the criminal case is progressing. The unit is staffed with four advocates who provide 24-hour assistance. Services provided by the unit include:
- On Scene Assistance (Crime Scene, Hospital, etc.)
- Crisis Intervention Counseling
- Assistance with the Return of Property
- Community Information and Referrals
- Emergency Financial Assistance
- Transportation for Case Related Activities (i.e.; Court)
- Support throughout the Criminal Justice System
- Assistance with Death Notification
- Short Term Counseling
- Emergency Legal Assistance (i.e.; Protective Injunctions)
- Liaison with Investigators
- Safety Planning
- Assistance with Application for Victim Compensation
- Advocacy on Behalf of Victims/Survivors
- Community Education
For more information about your Victim Rights, please download our Victim Right's Pamphlet (PDF).
It is not necessary to file a police report in order to speak with a victim advocate. If you have any questions about the Victim Advocate Unit or would like to speak with an advocate please call any of the following individuals.
- Fawnisha Brown: 850-891-4432
- Sara LaTorre: 850-891-4246
- Melanie Tudor: 850-891-4265
- Annaliese Wierenga: 850-891-4742
The Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) investigates all crimes against persons and specially trained advocates within the unit provide victim advocacy services.
The Violent Crimes Unit conducts investigations into crimes against persons, such as murder, attempted murder, suicides, battery/aggravated battery, assault/aggravated assault, domestic violence, violation of restraining order/injunction, kidnapping (adults), stalking, elder abuse, bomb threats, accidental deaths (drowning, electrocution), fire deaths, officer involved shootings, and officer involved deaths.
The Robbery Unit investigates all robberies (the taking of property by force or the threat of force) to businesses and individuals, including armed and unarmed robberies, home invasions, and carjacking incidents in the City of Tallahassee. The Tallahassee Police Department Robbery Unit also handles the investigation of all local bank robberies. Specially trained advocates within the unit provide victim advocacy services.
Special Victims Unit
The primary responsibility of the Special Victims Unit (SVU) is to investigate and follow up in cases of Sexual Battery, Child Abuse/Neglect, Crimes against Children, Child pornography, Voyeurism, Missing Persons (adults and children), and Harassing/Threatening phone calls. Many of the crimes investigated by SVU are sexual in nature. SVU works closely with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).
In addition to the above investigations the SVU also has three investigators assigned to Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). These investigators work closely with the North Florida ICAC Task Force, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Leon County Sheriff's Office (Leon County Sheriff's Office) in protecting Tallahassee's children against online predators. Many of these cases cross-jurisdictional lines, therefore this unit works closely with FDLE, ICE, the FBI and the US AttorneyΓ??s Office. The FDLE web site provides several links that are useful in protecting children against sex offenders.
For more information, please visit TPD's Guide to Internet Safety.
Documentation, collection, preservation, and ultimately the identification of physical evidence is the responsibility of the Forensics Unit. This process involves many aspects of forensic investigation, which include detailed photography and videography, processing for fingerprints, collection of DNA, crime scene reconstruction, and preparing detailed crime scene diagrams and reports for courtroom testimony.
The section supports all of the department's units in the area of evidence collection and is active in all levels of cases, available 24 hours a day.
In addition to the basic duties being shared by all the Forensic Specialists, each person is assigned to at least one area of specialized work. These disciplines require specialized training and years of on the job instruction. In many cases it allows the forensic specialists to examine and render expert opinions as to the value and identification of an item of evidence. These specialized areas include, but are not limited to: inked and latent fingerprint comparisons, computerized fingerprint searches, digital photography, footwear comparison, blood stain pattern analysis, and entomology evidence collection.
General Narcotics Unit
The General Narcotics Unit is comprised of a diverse group of investigators charged with investigating a wide variety of narcotics and vice crimes. Those crimes include but are not limited to prostitution, gambling, and short and long term narcotics trafficking cases.
Drug Interdiction Unit
The Tallahassee Police Department Drug Interdiction Unit focuses on the interdiction of illegal items through the interception of parcels, couriers, and other criminally subversive activity. The unit utilizes technical investigative methodology and specialized tools, to include a detector K-9, to achieve this goal. The unit works closely, internally, with the Tallahassee Police Department's General Narcotics Unit and also with the Drug Enforcement Administration, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Leon County Sheriff's Office.
Career Criminal Unit
The CCU is the only unit in the Department staffed exclusively by members of the Tactical Apprehension and Control Team. The unit deploys with a variety of specialized equipment and skill sets which require training beyond that available to members not also attached to the Tactical Team. Their day to day operational role is often diverse and includes responding to high risk incidents to supplement Patrol and Investigative units, warrant services, and participation as members of the United States Marshal's Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. This means members may be called on to operate anywhere throughout the region and hold sworn credentials from both the City and the Federal Government. Select members within the unit also monitor the sanctions and registration requirements of City residents designated by the judicial system as Career Offenders or Sexual predators.
Technical Operations Unit
The Technical Operations Unit (TOU) is tasked with administering specialized electronic equipment necessary for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes. TOU duties include the identification and collection of digital evidence through computer forensics. Additionally, TOU provides technical collaboration and support to other local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the region.
Financial Crime Unit
The Financial Crimes Unit is responsible for investigating a variety of property related crimes. The Unit investigates Credit Card Frauds, Internet/Computer Crimes, Bank Fraud, Identity Theft, Grand Theft, Mail Fraud, Forgery/Uttering, Counterfeiting, Embezzlement, and Con-Games. Many of these offenses are extremely involved and time-consuming. They often cross multiple jurisdictions into other counties, states and countries. The Investigator works cooperatively with other municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies to resolve and apprehend the offender(s).
The Financial Crimes Unit is working hard to meet today's sophisticated criminal challenges. Two initiatives being undertaken by the Unit include educating the public about identity theft and on-line police report through CopLogic.
- Identity theft is one of the fastest growing forms of "white-collar" crime in the United States and other nations. In a traditional fraud scheme, victims are contacted directly by suspects who use lies and deception to get the victims to part with their money. Identity theft, however, requires no direct communication between criminal and victim. Identity thieves capture information about you and use it to commit fraud, steal your money, fraudulently charge items to your accounts or even create new accounts. To address this important criminal trend, the Financial Crimes Unit has developed an educational campaign entitled, "Identity Theft Awareness Initiative." As a part of this initiative the Unit provides a large amount of Web-based identity theft information designed to educate citizens, both helping identity theft victims and acting as a helpful reference.
- To meet the needs of the community, a method has been created to provide a direct and timely method to report a crime or suspicious incident. The CopLogic program is an on-line police report service that enables the community to submit and print, at no charge, a non-emergency police report.
- Members assigned to the Financial Crimes Unit may be reached at 850-891-4456 from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.