Westfield Police Department Detective Bureau Mission
The fundamental mission of the Westfield Police Detective Bureau is to support the Patrol Division and to conduct investigations related to crimes and serious incidents. The goal of the bureau is to identify and arrest perpetrators of crimes and recover stolen property. The Patrol Division is given the initial responsibility for field reporting and investigation, follow-up investigative efforts are carried out by Westfield Police Detectives. Detectives are responsible for developing cases that will ultimately lead to the arrest and conviction of those persons responsible for crimes that are committed within our jurisdiction. Investigations require the interviewing of victims and witnesses, developing evidence, and deciphering elements of illegal activity. While each detective has individual case assignments, the bureau works as a team to support investigations. Confidential and personnel background investigations are also conducted by the Westfield Detective Bureau.
The decision to investigate a crime is based on several criteria which are taken into consideration. Some of the considerations include the severity of the crime, the availability of evidence; identification of suspects and the ability to recover property. The Detective Sergeant reviews all reports taken by the patrol and oversees all investigations. The detective sergeant assigns a detective to investigations. Detectives are assigned to cases based on their expertise and knowledge along with qualifications. Other detectives assist in evidence collection, statements, and investigation according to the complexity of the case. The assigned detective acts as the primary investigator for all events related to the investigation with any matters pertaining to the case referred to them. The detective ultimately submits the completed investigation to an Assistant Prosecutor from the Union County Prosecutors Office for review and complaint approval of criminal charges against the suspect/s. The Assistant Prosecutor determines if, and at times when, charges will be filed against a suspect. If charges are filed, the case proceeds through the court system. When necessary, the detective bureau cooperates with outside agencies to investigate multi-jurisdictional cases.
Candidate selection for Detective and assignment to the Detective Bureau is made by the Chief of Police based on the employee’s record and often a personal interview. Assignment to the detective bureau is generally based upon experience, job performance and an aptitude for criminal investigation along with any special skills or training a potential candidate may have. The Detective Bureau is commanded by a Lieutenant and supervised by a Sergeant, both having been assigned to the bureau by the Chief of Police.
Detective Bureau personnel routinely attend seminars, conferences and training to keep relevant skills current. Detectives receive the most advanced training available to our agency in all aspects of criminal investigations. Ultimately, the Detective Bureau shares the common goal with the Patrol Division of improving the safety and quality of life for the residents and community of the Town of Westfield. This goal is met by focusing on those who will attempt or commit crimes within our jurisdiction.