Captain Towsend, Division Commander
The Investigations Division provides professional investigative services designed to increase public safety and quality of life. The Division’s problem-solving approach to crime reduction includes prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies. The Investigations Division consists of the Centralized Investigations Bureau and the Special Investigations Bureau.
Centralized Investigations Bureau
Domestic Violence – The Domestic Violence Unit investigates all crimes involving domestic violence, criminal protective order violations, child custody violations, and physical elder abuse. They also investigate all crimes committed by and against persons residing within the same household. The Domestic Violence Unit works closely with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and is housed within the Riverside County Family Justice Center.
Economic Crimes Unit – The Economic Crimes Unit investigates fraud, counterfeit credit cards, counterfeit checks, identity theft and embezzlement, as well as allegations of financial elder abuse. They also work with the US Secret Service in the investigation of alleged counterfeiting of US currency.
Forensics Unit – The Forensics Unit provides crime scene investigation services for all manner of crime scenes with a focus on violent crime. The unit is staffed by civilian Forensic Specialists trained to operate in the field and laboratory environments. Example services include videography, photography, fingerprint development, crime scene diagramming, processing living or deceased individuals and vehicles. Additionally, the unit specializes in the identification, recognition, documentation, interpretation, collection, transportation, and preservation of physical or biological evidence related to crime scenes.
Robbery / Homicide – The Robbery Homicide Unit investigates homicides, kidnappings, carjackings, major assaults, robberies, suspicious deaths, and other crimes against persons. They investigate all officer-involved shootings and officer-involved fatal incidents. They are also frequently assigned investigations which are sensitive or high-profile in nature.
Sexual Assault/ Child Abuse – The SACA Unit investigates rapes and sexual assaults committed against adult victims, as well as allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children. They also have an ongoing partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and actively investigate the production and possession of child pornography.
Sex Registrant Compliance Officer – The Riverside Police 290 PC/Sex Registrant Compliance Officer and an assigned Police Service Representative register sex offenders residing within the City of Riverside, and may also register sex offenders attending Riverside Community College. The Officer verifies that the information provided on the Sex Registrant application is accurate by performing compliance checks at the listed addresses. In addition, the officer makes arrests and prepares those cases for prosecution where the sex registrant’s terms have been violated.
Computer Forensics Unit – The Computer Forensics Unit is responsible for the preservation, acquisition, and analysis of digital evidence. This includes extracting items of evidentiary value stored on cell phones, computers, hard drives, USB flash drives, IOT devices, and digital surveillance systems.
Homicide Cold Case Unit–The Homicide Cold Case Unit specializes in investigating unresolved homicides. Assigned detectives meticulously review “Cold Cases” and evaluate to see if recent advancements in DNA technology and other forensic techniques could lead to the identification of the person or persons responsible. Detectives also attempt to identify, locate and interview witnesses, whether known or unknown at the time of the initial investigation. All investigative techniques and available resources are applied in hopes of bringing a resolution to the investigation.
Special Investigations Bureau
Gang Intelligence Unit – The Gang Unit investigates crimes committed by criminal street gangs operating in the City of Riverside. They are frequently the primary unit tasked with investigating gang-related homicides and assaults. Detectives within the unit are frequently called upon to provide expert testimony in criminal trials pertaining to crimes committed by gang members.
Graffiti Unit – The Graffiti Unit is currently housed within the Gang Unit. The Graffiti detective investigates tagging and other vandalism crimes committed within the City. The detective informs members of the Gang Unit regarding gang graffiti, and works with the City Attorney to facilitate civil restitution cases on behalf of the City and victims of vandalism.
Narcotics Unit – The Narcotics Unit investigates street to mid-level narcotics sales operations. They investigate individuals and groups engaged in the trafficking and sale of illicit drugs within the City of Riverside. They also regularly partner with other State and Federal agencies such as the DOJ, DEA, and Postal Service to pursue investigations which lead them out of the area.
Vice Unit – The Vice unit is responsible for handling investigations related to human trafficking, labor trafficking, and prostitution. They also investigate municipal code violations related to massage establishments, billiard halls, alcohol establishments, taxi services, psychic services, and gambling.
The Investigations Division has detectives assigned to several inter-agency task forces that perform specialized investigative functions that cross jurisdictional boundaries.
Inland Violent Crime Suppression Task Force (IVCSTF) – IVCSTF is a task force hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The mission of the IVCSTF is to identify and target for prosecution criminal enterprise groups and individuals responsible for crimes of violence such as bank robbery, Hobbs Act offenses, extortion, transportation crimes, special jurisdiction matters, and other violent incident crimes, as well as to focus on the apprehension of dangerous fugitives where there is or may be a federal investigative interest.
Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) – The RCFL is a multi-agency task force hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Its primary responsibility is to handle highly specialized computer forensic services, including accessing locked or encrypted devices and recovering data related to criminal investigations.
Cannabis Regulation Task Force (CRTF) – The CRTF is a multi-agency task force hosted by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. It focuses exclusively on regulation enforcement, unfair business practices, environmental impact, state and local licensing, and the detection of illegal Cannabis grows and dispensary sales outside of county, cities and state laws and the prosecution of these cases, including any related fraud or criminality such as utility and water theft, intellectual property crimes, real estate fraud and tax fraud.
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) – Detectives are currently assigned to the HIDTA and DEA task forces, hosted by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Those task forces investigate individuals and organizations engaged in domestic and international drug trafficking and large-scale drug sales operations.
Inland Crackdown Allied Taskforce (INCA) – INCA is a multi-agency task force hosted by the California Department of Justice. It is a multi-agency group with responsibility for investigating individuals and organizations engaged in drug trafficking and large-scale drug sales operations.
Gang Impact Team (GIT) – GIT is hosted by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. The team’s mission is to make a direct impact on the public safety of Riverside County communities through the use of typical and unconventional law enforcement strategies and tactics to proactively address violent and firearm-related crimes and quality of life issues.
The Riverside County Child Exploitation Team – The Riverside County Child Exploitation Team is a Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation led team of local, state and federal law enforcement officials dedicated to proactively monitor and track registered sex offenders to ensure their compliance with registration requirements, and to protect our children through community education and the identification, apprehension and prosecution of those who commit internet crimes against children.