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Criminal Investigations Division

The men and women of the Criminal Investigation Division are charged with the responsibility of investigating all criminal activity in the City of Des Moines. They remain dedicated in serving the needs of our city and actively solicit the support of our community in our quest to keep this a great place to live. All investigations require that sufficient evidence be gathered to identify the perpetrator through witness interviews, interrogations and physical evidence. The primary goal and function of this division is to ensure that all investigations are complete and properly prepared for prosecution. The Criminal Investigation Division is divided into the following sections:

Crimes Against Property Section

Crimes Against Property Section investigates the largest volume of cases in the Division. The nature of these cases include all burglaries, thefts, criminal mischief, trespassing, harassment, and hate crimes. Arson/Fire Investigators and the Pawn Shop/Gun Control Investigators are two additional specialized units in this section.

Crimes Against Persons Section

Members of the Crimes Against Persons Section are responsible for investigating the most violent and very sensitive crimes. Any one of these investigations has the potential of requiring literally hundreds and even thousands of investigative hours. Homicides, infant deaths, suicides, assaults, and terrorism are examples of crimes investigated by this section. This section consistently has a homicide solution rate which exceeds 80%. This rate is exceptional when compared to the 55% Midwest average and 65% National average.

Special Assignment Section

The Special Assignment Section has a broad function in this division. Forgeries, frauds, embezzlements, identity thefts, car thefts and counterfeiting are examples of crimes investigated. In addition, this section is responsible for the processing of fugitive warrants and completing handwriting analysis. An Intelligence Unit and Senior/Youth Services Officer are also assigned to this section.

Sex Abuse/Child Trauma Section

Mobile Command CenterThe Sex Abuse/Child Trauma Section is responsible for investigation all sexual assaults, child enticement and Internet cases, pedophile, child abuse, child exploitation, and child in need of assistance cases. An emergency response team known as the Trauma Team investigates the most serious child abuse cases. The mission of this team is to protect those children unable to protect themselves. A School Resource Officer Program has been re-introduced and is part of this section. The arrest and conviction of individuals making bomb threats and carrying loaded weapons has once again allowed the schools to sustain the educational process without the outside interference caused by these disruptive personalities.

Identification Section

The Identification Section is responsible for the discovery, documentation, and analysis of crime scene evidence. Members of this section process over 11,000 crime scenes each year. With digital technology, one fingerprint can now be compared to a database containing over 4 million fingerprints. These comparisons provide the potential of matching suspects to fingerprints found at a crime scene and identifying unknown persons who are wanted. A polygraph examiner is also assigned to this section.

Personnel and Training Section

The Personnel and Training Section, better known as the "Police Academy," provides initial and recurrent training to personnel of the Police Department and surrounding public safety agencies. It also provides other personnel related services to members of the Department.

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