Major Carlos Raines
The Criminal Investigations Division of the Florence Police Department is charged with a variety of responsibilities that, when accomplished, will contribute to the well-being of all citizens in our community. To assist in fulfilling our mission, the division has been divided into six specialty units with a Sergeant supervising each of these units under the direction of a Division Commander and an Assistant Division Commander. The various units and some of their responsibilities are as follows:
1. General Investigation: Investigators assigned to this unit are responsible for the investigation of a wide range of crimes such as property crimes, white collar crimes, theft, murder, robbery, and any other criminal activity that is not being investigated by another specialized unit. The investigation of these crimes often requires our personnel to work with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies both in and out of our state.
2. Special Investigations: This unit is responsible for conducting narcotics/vice investigations and enforcement as well as other special investigations of criminal activity requiring undercover or special surveillance. A joint effort with our patrol division and a positive working relationship with other law enforcement agencies to include formal metro-agreements contributes to the enforcement effort. In addition, we have an agent assigned to the drug enforcement agency task force (DEA). This allows our access to large-scale drug investigations. Personnel assigned to special investigations regularly work with other federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and ATF.
3. Missing Persons/Juvenile Victims-Offenders: This unit has the responsibility to conduct all investigations relating to missing persons and to work with any outside agencies that may provide any assistance in such investigations. In addition, this unit also serves as the liaison with the department of Juvenile Justice in order to fulfill all of the requirements that need to be met when there is a juvenile offender. This unit also has the responsibility to work with the Department of Social Services in child neglect or child abuse cases and to conduct the investigations of all juvenile sexual assault cases.
4. Crime Scene/Technical Services: This unit has been charged with the responsibility of processing crime scenes and collection and preservation of evidence. They also transport all evidence to and from our state laboratory as needed. Analysis of certain drugs is done by crime scene personnel for court purposes. The technicians in this unit provide assistance to all areas of the department with video and photographic needs and upon request will give training in this area. Such technical equipment such as specialized video surveillance cameras and crime scene scope is assigned to this unit to install and maintain equipment used in the production of prints from video footage. The tactical alarm systems and their usage is also the responsibility of this unit.
5. School Resource Officer: The officers we have assigned to this unit are all certified school resource officers who have been specifically selected to serve in this capacity. These officers are liaisons between the students, parents, and teachers in their perspective schools. They provide classroom training on a variety of tropics and organize special groups such as SAVE and others. These officers attend sporting events and other after school activities such as dances, parent/teacher meetings, or any other special event. The school resource officers attempt to identify specific problems with the students and take the proper action to eliminate the problems. These officers work closely with our juvenile investigators to provide assistance in whatever area it is needed.
6. Victim Witness Assistance Program: The victim witness advocate (VWA) is assigned to the criminal investigations unit. The VWA is responsible for making contact with all victims as defined by South Carolina State law within 72 hours of victimization. The VWA meets each morning with the investigators in order to review the reported crimes. In addition, the VWA provides information about crime victim's rights to the community and police officers.