The Duties of the Westfield Police Department Detective Bureau
When people think of police detectives, investigating crimes comes to mind. While this is an important part of a police detective’s work, they may be called upon to perform a wide range of duties and responsibilities. Lieutenant Leonard “Leo” Lugo, a decorated veteran of the Westfield Police Department in Westfield Township, New Jersey, served in several capacities, first as the Detective Sergeant and later the Commander of the Westfield PD Detective Bureau.
Organization of the Bureau
The Westfield PD Detective Bureau is comprised of:
- Detective Sergeant
- Four Detectives
- Two plainclothes officers
School resource officers in Westfield area schools also report to the Detective Bureau. In all, the personnel of the Detective Bureau supports the patrol division by investigating crimes, address citizen concerns, and provide services for other area government entities.
Duties of the Detective Bureau
Investigating serious crimes is a fundamental part of the Westfield Detective Bureau. Each investigation begins with the management and processing of crime scenes, collecting evidence, and obtaining sworn written, and video statements from witnesses. The Bureau handles a wide range of investigatory duties, including:
- Motor vehicle thefts
- Sexual Assaults
- Violent crimes
- Identity Thefts
- Narcotics crimes
- Elder abuse
- Juvenile crimes
In 2017 alone, the Bureau was responsible for conducting almost 700 investigations.
Additional Responsibilities of the Detective Bureau
The Westfield PD Detective Bureau is tasked with conducting background checks for all municipal employees hired by the Department of Public Works, the Library, Fire Rescue, Recreation, and Police Department.
In addition, the Bureau manages and investigates registered sex offenders under the federal Megan’s Law. This includes initial registration as well as 90-day and annual checks of offenders.
Some of the other duties of the Bureau include:
- Oversight and enforcement of state “ABC” liquor licensing and sales laws.
- Liquor license transfer investigations.
- Precious metals dealer/sales licenses.
- Oversight of the regional discarded/expired medicines drop program, including the destruction of medications.
- Fingerprint services for professional licensing.
- Custodial services for police property and evidence. Two detectives in the Bureau manage property and evidence with a digital tracking and barcoding system.
Every day presents a different challenge and a new responsibility for the Westfield PD Detective Bureau. Leo Lugo and his team are dedicated professionals sworn to improve the lives and safety of residents in the Westfield area.