There are six investigators, one investigative assistant, and one sergeant assigned to Family Protection. The investigators assigned to this detail are responsible for the in-depth follow-up investigation of all allegations of Domestic Violence and physical and emotional child abuse.
These investigations can include comprehensive interviews, collection and inventory of evidence, facilitation of medical exams or evaluations for evidence of physical abuse, and specialized interviews of children or dependent adults who are victims or witnesses. Investigators duties include planning and the implementation of covert surveillances, preparation of chronological investigative and background reports pertinent to each investigation, search warrants and arrest warrants, and presentation of criminal cases to the District Attorney’s Office.
Due to the complex nature and dynamics of family based crimes, the responsibilities for investigating all domestic violence cases was transferred to this detail in October 1999 so that a specialized and uniformed approach would be utilized in the investigation of all domestic violence incidents.
The emotional aspect of family based violence incidents makes it essential that the investigative response include a holistic approach to the citizens who have been impacted by these crimes. Therefore, investigators working on cases in this discipline assist victims and witnesses with referrals to counseling and community based services to aid in their recovery, ability to negotiate the judicial system, and to prevent future victimization. This approach has improved the level of service to the citizens of Orange County.
Victim Specialists from the Community Services Program (C.S.P.) have been contracted to work within the Family Protection Detail. This has provided a direct link between the investigators and referral services currently available within the county. The Victim Specialists focus on providing all forms of assistance and information to victims of domestic violence.