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The Wood Dale Police Department's Investigations Division is primarily charged with the responsibility of investigating all criminal incidents reported to the Police Department. The unit consists of one Deputy Chief, four Detectives and one special agent. Our Special Agent is assigned to the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group and one other officer provides plain clothes enforcement services as a School Liaison Officer assigned to Fenton High School.
On a daily basis, The Deputy Chief reviews all criminal incidents reported to the Police Department. Utilizing a crime analysis report, the reports are screened for solvability factors in order to determine if they merit assignment to an investigator for follow-up. Not all cases reported to the police Department are actually assigned to an investigator. Examples might include minor thefts or acts of vandalism for which there are no witnesses or suspects. Additionally, if the victim does not wish to prosecute, the case may not be investigated. Following assignment to an investigator, cases are actually worked based upon the seriousness of the offense. Typically, crimes committed against persons receive the highest priority.
The Investigations Division also makes a significant contribution to the prevention of crime. This is done by analyzing crime data, gathering intelligence information and discerning patterns of criminal activity. When data and patterns of criminal activity yield enough information, the Investigations Division may conduct surveillances, execute search warrants, conduct sting operations or initiate a task force to address ongoing criminal activity.
In addition to the daily task of investigating criminal activity, the Investigations Division performs a variety of other tasks throughout the year to assist the Police Department and help City of Wood Dale maintain a high quality of services to residents, business owners and visitors. These activities include background investigations of police officer applicants, registration and tracking of convicted sex offenders, alcohol and tobacco compliance checks and coordination of peer jury system for juveniles.
Major Crime Task Force (MCTF)
The Wood Dale Police Department is an active member of the DuPage County Chiefs of Police Major Crime Task Force, or MCTF, and was one of the first police departments involved with the development of the task force concept. MCTF was first formed in the late 1998 to promote countywide public safety and enhance the ability of all law enforcement agencies in DuPage County to solve major crimes through resource sharing, partnership building and joint cooperation, consistent training and application of investigative and enforcement methodology. The purpose of the MCTF is to provide member agencies with highly competent and comprehensive investigative, crime scene, evidence collection, analysis and technical assistance relative to incidents of major crimes. Today, MCTF consists of 20 law enforcement agencies from Federal, State and Local Police Agencies, and the DuPage County States Attorneys Office. MCTF allows all of the member agencies to share equipment, personnel, and resources as needed for major crime investigations or significant events.
The Wood Dale Police Department currently has two Detectives and a Deputy Chief assigned to the MCTF.
Internet Child Exploitation Task Force
In 1998, the Wood Dale Police Department entered into an agreement with the Illinois Attorney General's Office to combat the exploding use of the Internet to exploit our children. The Wood Dale Police Department has assigned one Detective who has been trained in the complex techniques of identifying pedophiles and child sex offenders who use the Internet to victimize our children. Pedophiles and child sex offenders now use the anonymity of the computer in an attempt to mask their identity. The task force is made up of over 50 Federal, State and Local Enforcement agencies from throughout Illinois. With this partnership it has been proven invaluable in terms of protecting our children, arresting offenders, and educating the public in regards of Internet safety.
DuPage County Fire Investigation Task Force (DCFITF)
The Wood Dale Police Department is a participant in the DuPage County Fire Investigation Task Force (DCFITF). The DCFITF was started in 1999. The task force is a joint operation made up of representatives of law enforcement and fires agencies in DuPage County, as well as the Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, the DuPage County States Attorney's Office and the private sector's National Insurance Crime Bureau. Members of the DCFITF participate in monthly meeting and training sessions that are sanctioned by a governing board to enhance the ability of solving arsons in DuPage County. The development of the task force provides a more aggressive investigative approach during the suppression stage of a fire in order to solve, and increase successful prosecution. The task force is not called out for every fire, though the task force members generally attend the more significant ones, in other words, the fires that are more difficult to solve. Even so, the task force solves 40% of its cases.
DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group (DuMeg)
The DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group is a countywide drug task force operating under the direction of the Illinois State Police. All police departments in DuPage County contribute either manpower or financial assistance to the agency. DuMeg was formed in the 1980's to address the emerging drug problem in DuPage County, and in recognition of the fact that drug dealers often crossed into several jurisdiction while carrying out their criminal enterprise.
Typically, DuMeg targets large drug dealers through intelligence and long term investigations. Experience has proven that a task force with statewide arrest powers better handles such investigations. The Wood Dale Police Department assigns one detective to the unit and his salary and other cost are reimbursed back to the City of Wood Dale. Other personnel in investigations offer support and as cases dictate perform temporary duty assignments to the unit.
School Liaison Officer
The School Liaison Officer is assigned to School District 100 at Fenton High School. The position is paid for by School District 100. The liaison officer has received training and certification in many areas to qualify them to work with juveniles, such as being a state certified juvenile specialist and Nationally Certified School Resource Officer. In addition to the duties at the school, the liaison officer is responsible for other investigative duties including follow up of juvenile cases during the school year.
The school liaison officer has many duties at the school and plays a crucial role in developing positive relationships with the youth in our community. Some of the regular duties include: answering law related questions for faculty and students, being available to counsel and direct students and parents about family issues, assist the school deans with various discipline problems and handle all police related incidents that occur at the school. The officer also sits on several school committees and groups such as: Student Assistance Team, Character Counts, and School Crisis Response Team. The officer also attends many of the after school events such as teen dances, homecoming events, all home football and basketball games.
The School Liaison Officer is a vital link between the School, Student and the Police Department. This interaction assists the department in gathering important information from students on current trends and events, and keeping the Wood Dale Police Department up to date on events in our schools.