The Ferndale Police Department Detective Bureau supports the Uniform Division. When a report is taken on a case that needs follow up investigation the detectives will perform this function. They are responsible for developing cases that ultimately lead to arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for crimes that are committed within our jurisdiction. This requires the interviewing of victims and witnesses, developing evidence and elements of criminal activity and using these skills to the best advantage. Today's detective must be familiar with the plethora of technology now available to criminal investigators including the creation of composite pictures of suspects, DNA collection methods, and the numerous computerized databases and investigative tools available.
When a suspect is developed, the necessary forms required to secure a warrant are prepared, and the completed case is presented to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, or to the City Attorney. The detective assigned to the case makes this presentation and is an integral part of the warrant process. He has much influence in obtaining a charge commensurate with the crime and in the best interest of the community that we serve.
After the warrant is obtained, the detectives swear to the information contained in the warrant authorization and then conduct the arraignments of the suspect in front of a judge or magistrate. The Detective Bureau utilizes FAX service and secured Internet access to communicate with and receive warrant authorizations. This process eliminates the need to travel to the Pontiac office of the Prosecutor or the Bloomfield Hills office of the City Attorney for face-to-face conferences. This time saving technology allows the detectives more time to focus on open investigations and the many other support services and administrative enforcement duties the Detective Bureau is responsible for. More recently, the addition of a video arraignment system has again advanced the technological process in handling the preliminary stages of a criminal case as it is introduced into the judicial process. The face-to-face contacts are now done digitally at a workstation positioned in the Detective Bureau.
Detectives assist the prosecutors during preliminary examinations in District Courts. They also assist the prosecutors during the actual trial in Circuit Court should the case go to trial. Most cases prepared by the Ferndale Police Department Detective Bureau do not go to trial. The defendant frequently pleads guilty because of the quality of case preparation presented by our detectives. This low number of cases going to trial is a tribute to the quality and professional dedication to the mission of the Detective Bureau by its members.
The detectives are also trained in specialized investigation. These investigations include:
Criminal sexual assault
Domestic violence cases (These are difficult cases to work on because they involve family members who are reluctant to testify against each other)
Fraud cases from checks to altered documents
Robberies and white-collar crimes such as embezzlement
Liquor Control administrative investigations (This includes violation referrals and license transfers)
While each detective has individual case assignments, they must still work as a team. While all of the detectives have been honored with individual awards from the department they continue to work together, forming a cohesive investigative unit.
Aside from the above duties, the detectives also fingerprint persons desiring a firearms purchase permit, bartenders, teachers, stockbrokers and cab driver licenses.