Our Mission: To provide a safe community where people can live, work, and thrive.
This year, the Chandler City Council approved funds to be used for computer crime investigations. As a result, Unit members were able to receive training in “Network Security and Intrusion” investigation. This funding also accommodated the purchase of lab equipment – used to gather evidence from digital devices. Chandler is one of the only agencies in the State that has these tools available for data extraction.
Also in 2016, the Computer Crimes Unit received new laptops – replacing outdated and slow technology. This allows for expedited retrieval of crucial evidence and timely support for investigations. Further, the Unit reduced the need for purchasing redundant software programs by installing a new “dongle server” – which makes USB drives accessible over a network. Finally, the Unit gained laboratory space for dismantling devices.
2016 has been a busy year for the Computer Crimes Unit with many arrests being made and thousands of illegal photographs being taken out of circulation. As the technological needs for digital forensic investigations evolve, the Chandler Police Department is ready for new challenges and looks forward to meeting the needs of the community.
As of 2016, CAU has participated in the U.S. Marshals East Valley Violent Offender Task Force for eight years. Other valuable relationships maintained this year include those with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department’s Fugitive Apprehension team, Scottsdale Police Department’s High Enforcement Arrest Team, Gilbert Police Department’s Fugitive Apprehension unit, Tempe Police Department’s Criminal Apprehension unit, Phoenix Police Department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET), and the Mesa Police Department. These partnerships have proven invaluable in leveraging resources as a force multiplier in apprehending violent and repeat offenders. CAU also continued to participate in several annual warrant round-ups such as “Operation Grinch Stopper,” “Operation Justice,” “Operation GRIT”, and the annual domestic violence “warrant sweep.”
During 2016, CAU surpassed the previous year’s apprehension number by making more than 260 arrests from a combination of felony crimes and outstanding warrants.
The exceptional commitment and dedication of the CAU has earned them many commendations and expressions of gratitude this year – not only from within the Department, but also outside agencies such as the Pinal County Prosecutors Office, Mendocino County Attorney’s Office, and Las Vegas, Nevada Police Department.
In 2016, the Criminal Intelligence Unit continued gathering and providing intelligence to the Department, and participating in several task forces and other assignments designed to improve information sharing among law enforcement agencies.
During the last fiscal year, an agreement was signed to provide staffing to the Southwest Border Desk at the National Operations Center (NOC) in Washington D.C. In 2016, the Intel Unit Sergeant did two rotations at the NOC desk. These rotations are typically six weeks long and require the participant to take residence in Washington D.C. during the temporary duty assignment. The assignments to the NOC desk, as well as the Unit’s participation with the East Valley Fusion Center and the Arizona Counter Terrorism Center illustrate the Department’s continued support of interagency operations and information sharing.
The Intel Unit has also continued to staff the Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) position. The TLO is the principal point of contact for the Department on matters related to terrorism that helps maintain awareness of tactics, techniques, and practices used by terrorists.
In addition to the role the Intel Unit plays in gathering, analyzing, and disseminating information, members of the unit also investigate crimes that don’t fall into the investigative specialty of any other Criminal Investigations Bureau units. One such case involved a social media post authored by a local high school student threatening to do a shooting at the school. Members of the Intel Unit assumed the investigation in the early morning hours after the post was discovered. Prior to school beginning the next morning, the suspect was identified and arrested. The quick actions of the detectives assigned to the case prevented any disruption to the school, and possibly averted a catastrophic event.
The Criminal Intel Unit regularly fosters working relationships with patrol officers. By conducing regular briefing trainings and shadowing programs, patrol officers are provided with opportunities to interact with detectives – thus gaining a better understanding of how in-depth investigations are conducted.
2016 continued to provide a steady flow of work for the Financial Crimes Unit. Several cases demonstrated the Unit’s tenacity in pursuing those who victimize members of our community through fraud and other forms of deceit. Some examples are as follows:
It is an overarching goal of the Chandler Police Department to educate its patrol officers in the proper identification and investigation of serious crimes. The Financial Crimes Unit does its part by regularly attending Patrol briefings to share information with and provide training to Patrol officers.
This year, the Gang Unit continued to embrace the Department’s stance on intelligence led policing. Approaches towards identifying crime trends included: attending and hosting state wide gang intelligence meetings; using technology to track graffiti; capitalizing on available analytical resources; and continuing to establish a network of relationships with various agencies around the state. The latter is illustrated with the continued participation on the Arizona Department of Public Safety Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM) Task Force. Also, during 2016, a special relationship was cultivated with the Gila River Police Department to collaboratively track, investigate, and recover stolen vehicles.
In 2016, the Gang Unit received a Unit Citation Award for its unique ability to cultivate sources throughout the City that has not only allowed them to solve crimes that would otherwise go unsolved, but also prevent crimes before they occurred. Unit members taught officers about pro-active techniques and how to develop intelligence and sources on the streets.
An example of a case in which the Gang Enforcement Unit was instrumental in solving is as follows: In November 2016, the Gang Unit received information of a possible stolen vehicle and narcotics sales at downtown Chandler home. The Crime Apprehension and Narcotics Units responded to assist. A search warrant was drafted and served. The suspect was located inside the house and detained. The stolen vehicle was found to be related to a homicide being investigated by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. During the search, detectives located and seized five firearms, a stolen laptop and a bullet proof vest. The stolen vehicle had been painted, covered, and concealed in the backyard of the residence. If not for information provided to the Gang Unit through established relationships, a key piece in a homicide investigation may have gone undetected indefinitely.
Of final note, a staple of the Gang Enforcement Unit is its continuous involvement with a local youth organization known as ICAN (Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods). This year, ICAN celebrated its 25th year of success. A large part of their achievement is credited to the Unit members who provide educational and awareness sessions, security at events, and positive interaction with the children in this program. Together, ICAN and the Gang Enforcement Unit are recognized as a factor in the decreasing crime rate in the City of Chandler.
In its second year in existence, the Human Trafficking and Vice Unit continued its effort to change the mindset and approach in dealing with sex trafficking and pandering. To solidify the City’s commitment in the fight against human trafficking, the Chandler City Council approved two new detective positions that were added in early 2016. As a result of the Department’s forward thinking approach to addressing this problem, members of the unit have developed specialized expertise. Consequently, they have been called upon to provide training to other law enforcement agencies, locally and nationally, as well as to non-governmental organizations. Of special note, one Unit detective was invited to Washington DC to share investigative techniques and educate federal agencies in this area of criminal enterprise.
At present, one Unit detective is assigned to the FBI’s Greater Phoenix Area Human Trafficking Task Force. This membership affords the Department access to FBI resources that are crucial to these types of investigations. The Unit’s investigative model has been so successful that the FBI’s Safe Street Gang Task Force is now working with this detective with a primary focus of arresting violent gang members who are also pimps.
The way in which buyers seek out and purchase sex has been changing drastically over time, constantly evolving with the introduction of new technology. As such, detectives continually enhance their skills through training opportunities.
The following cases illustrate the importance of conducting these investigations with the purpose of removing these types of predators from the community. Further, they highlight the Unit’s valuable ability to work collaboratively with other agencies in identifying, tracking, and apprehending violent and dangerous suspects.
In 2016, the Narcotics Unit continued to maintain an assigned detective to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Phoenix Task Force. This is the second year of this partnership which allows the Unit to expand its use of technology in conducting long-term investigations. This is making a significant impact on the illegal drug trade within and around Chandler.
National drug trends have shifted in the past two years with heroin and methamphetamine becoming the dangerous drugs of choice. Law enforcement agencies across the nation are struggling with combating these drugs, exploring various ways to approach the issue. Chandler is no exception. In addition to conducting thorough investigations, the Narcotics Unit has maintained focus on quality of life issues that directly affect the safety of Chandler residents. The Unit actively and thoroughly responds to complaints and tips on a daily basis, working leads to exhaustion.
The following cases highlight the positive impact that the Narcotics Unit is having in Chandler:
As a result of investigations conducted, the unit received several “thank you” letters from members of the public, expressing their gratitude for eliminating the threat of drug transactions from their neighborhoods, allowing them to “feel free” again.
In addition to the outstanding work done on a daily basis, the Property Crimes Units investigated several significant cases in the past year:
In addition to conducting these investigations, the Property Crimes detectives continued to enhance their working relationships with patrol officers. In particular, the Property Crimes sergeants initiated a very successful program that involves meeting regularly with patrol personnel to identify potential crime issues and problem areas. This committee has served to enhance the relationship between the Criminal Investigations Bureau and the Patrol Section by maintaining open and productive communication.
By conducing regular briefing trainings and shadowing programs, patrol officers are provided with opportunities to interact with detectives – thus gaining a better understanding of how in-depth investigations are conducted.
(About this Unit)
In 2016, the Chandler SWAT Unit continues to be a part of the Central Phoenix Region Rapid Response Team for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). This requires SWAT to be able to deploy to other jurisdictions to assist in emergency situations, and be self-sustainable for a minimum of three days. Further, SWAT remains a long time partner with Intel, and other large businesses with critical infrastructure to maintain a state of readiness in protecting and responding to any situation.
This year, in the interest of furthering valley-wide operability, the Unit participated in a multi-agency training exercise held in Glendale at a large shopping mall. This training was designed to assess joint operational capability, team tactics, and command response to active shooter situations.
Throughout the year, team members attended thirty community events and demonstrations. In particular, the Chandler SWAT Unit assisted the Tempe and Arizona State University Police Departments with the visit of Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.
Of exceptional note, in November, the SWAT Team officially moved into its newly re-purposed building. This building had previously served as a fire station. Once vacated, city leaders were instrumental in securing the remodel of the building to provide the SWAT Team with a sorely needed facility. This building offers increased garage space for specialty vehicle and equipment storage, expanded office, briefing and classroom space, and a room which holds enough lockers for all team members. On December 8th, the Unit had the privilege of giving a tour to City leadership and Council Members during the re-dedication ceremony.
In 2016, the Special Victims Unit (SVU) worked over 650 investigations involving serious crimes of physical and/or sexual abuse committed against adults and children. The sensitive and complex nature of these cases requires that an SVU detective complete hundreds of hours of specialized training. SVU partners with the Victims Services Unit, Department of Child Safety, forensic nurse examiners and many other organizations on a daily basis while conducting these investigations. This year, SVU detectives remain active participants on the Arizona Child Abduction Response Team (AZ CART), a multi-jurisdictional team tasked with responding across the state to an event of a critically missing or endangered child.
In 2016, the current team of two advocates and a coordinator worked tireless hours to not only maintain the level of service, but actually exceed team statistics over the prior year. The Unit assisted approximately 950 individuals in 2016.
The advocates continually strive to create a warm and welcoming environment for adult and child victims. In 2016, the waiting area in the Unit was refurnished to enhance the level of comfort. Improvements included providing new games, movies and activities for children so as to occupy their time during the investigative process.
Along with providing individual assistance to the community members, the Victim Services Unit continued to work collaboratively with specialized police teams and with community agencies. In 2016, the Unit fostered and maintained relationships with Maricopa County Justice Advisory Group, Maricopa County Sex Assault Protocol Group, and the Arizona Child Abduction Response Team, to name a few. Through these partnerships, the Unit was able to increase its level of service.
Other accomplishments this year: