Just the Facts, Ma'am

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The State of Affairs

State Law Enforcement Agencies

A few months ago, the novel Low Country Bribe by C. Hope Clark was published on Amazon. I found the book fascinating mostly because the main character was a civil servant who coordinated federal loans for farmers in coastal low-country of South Carolina. Wow. I figure if an author could make a handsome pig farmer bribery story interesting (and it was), there is a lot of fertile territory out there. And in the State of California, our bureaucracy is undeniable.

With this premise in mind as the next installment l to the Jurisdiction blog I have been reporting on, I decided to do a little investigating of my own.

California has dozens of agencies regulating this, enforcing that and licensing much more. It took me two days to trawl through many websites to come up with some provocative organization. Here also, you see the umbrella that local and county law enforcement call upon in times of need.  

 

Bureau of Firearms–Under the auspices of the Attorney General’s Office, provides enforcement actions regarding the manufacture, sales, ownership, safety training, and transfer of firearms. Bureau of Firearms staff will be leaders in providing firearms expertise and information to law enforcement, legislators, and the general public.

Bureau of Forensic Services–The Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) is the scientific arm of the Attorney General’s Office whose mission is to assist the criminal justice system. Forensic scientists collect, analyze, and compare physical evidence from crime scenes or persons. They also provide criminalistics, blood alcohol, and related forensic science information services to state and local law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and the courts. There is no enforcement duty.

 

 

Bureau of Gambling Control Special Agents and Field Representatives monitor the 91 cardroom gambling establishments and 60 tribal casinos in California by:

  • Implementing routine inspections of gambling operations;
  • Targeting non-compliant gambling establishments;
  • Investigating suspected violations of the Gambling Control Act and other gambling laws;
  • Safeguarding against embezzlement of gambling establishment’s profits and money laundering;
  • Investigating complaints lodged against licensees or other persons;
  • Coordinating multi-jurisdictional criminal investigations involving gambling establishments with local, state, and federal agencies; and
  • Examining the integrity and legality of gaming devices and equipment.

CES conducts gaming related investigations involving bookmaking, loan sharking, burglary, robbery, counterfeiting, extortion, cheating scams, illegal gaming, embezzlement, narcotic distribution, and prostitution, to name a few. CES works with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as local, state, and federal prosecutors

Bureau of Investigation & Intelligence

The creation of the Bureau of Investigation (BI) began on February 17, 2012. They include the following programs. As this bureau bears most of the burden of enforcement, I’ve spent more time on their line up.

  • Special Investigations Team (SIT) Program–SIT units, eCrimes teams, and the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force teams.
  • Special Operations Unit (SOU)–The SOU provides statewide enforcement for combating intrastate drug trafficking and violent career criminals and gangs.
  • Task Force Program–This program continues partnering the Department to with local jurisdictions to coordinate and concentrate efforts against drug traffickers and major crimes, consisting of 27 task forces.
  • Recycle Fraud Program (Recycle Fraud)–The Recycle Fraud program’s primary objective is to detect and stop existing fraud by organized criminal groups against the recycling fund and to deter future fraud through the successful prosecution of criminal activity. (Does this include the homeless guy who rifles through neighborhood garbage? No? But think of the plot possibilities!!)
  • Foreign Prosecutions and Law Enforcement Unit (FPLEU)–The FPLEU assists state and local law enforcement agencies in the location and prosecution of suspects who are Mexican nationals accused of committing violent crimes in California and flee to Mexico to avoid arrest and prosecution in California.
  • Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP)–The CAMP program along with our local, state, and federal partner agencies continues to eradicate the large scale illegal marijuana cultivations from public and private lands that cause deforestation, damage to wildlife habitats, pose danger to our citizens, and hazardous-chemical pollutions.
  • Anti-Terrorism Program–The program works with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of detecting, investigating, prosecuting, dismantling, preventing and responding to domestic and international terrorist activities in a unified and coordinated manner.
  • Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance (Alliance)–This group’s purpose is to enhance and better coordinate investigations and prosecutions of money laundering in the Southwest Border Area which includes the area within 200 miles of the United States/Mexico border on either side of the border and all of Arizona.
  • Los Angeles Clearing House (LACLEAR)–Supports this unified effort and helps provide strategic investigative research and analysis, tactical case and special operations support, electronic surveillance services as well as real-time “officer safety” related operational intelligence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Western States Information Network (WSIN)–WSIN is one of six Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) projects funded by Congress through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
  • California Border Alliance Group (CBAG)/San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center (LECC)–The San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center SD-LECC, the CBAG’s intelligence center, provides responsive event de-confliction, case/subject de-confliction via pointer index, case support, intelligence fusion, and predictive analyses, Law Enforcement Coordination Center intelligence subsystems, and member agency intelligence units. (I gotta ask, “de-confliction”? )
  • Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU)–This program’s mission is to provide leadership and promote professionalism in the criminal intelligence community in order to protect public safety and constitutional rights.
  • Clandestine Laboratory Coordination Program (Clan Labs)–The Clan Lab Coordination program is a national strategy, intelligence sharing and training initiative addressing methamphetamine and pharmaceutical drug crimes in the United States.
  • Controlled Chemical Substance Program (CCSP)–This program monitors the use of meth-making products such as reagents, solvents, laboratory glass flasks and precursor chemicals that are needed for clan lab operations.

CA Alcoholic Beverage Control Purpose is administrate, licensing and compliance of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. ABC Agents are peace officers under Section 830.2 of the California Penal Code and are empowered to investigate and make arrests for violations of the Business and Professions Code that occur on or about licensed premises. Agents are further empowered to enforce any penal provisions of the law any place in the State. Licensees who violate State laws or local ordinances are subject to disciplinary action and may have their licenses suspended or revoked. Sonoma County agencies routinely worked with ABC agents.

CA Assembly Sergeant at Arms The chief law enforcement officer of State Assembly. He appears to be a solo act.

CA California Highway Patrol See post from 9/16/2012

CA California Exposition and State Fair Police Department police for the State Fair in Sacramento.
CA California Horse Racing Board has investigators. What a fun job that would be!

CA Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services monitor alarm company operators and employees, locksmiths, PI, Private Security, Repossessors, Training Facilities/Instructors.
CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Prison guards (how many stories there?)

San Quentin Prison

CA Department of Developmental Services now Department of State Hospitals Law Enforcement Task Force (LETF) investigates but facilities have their own statewide Hospital Police. As of January 1, 2014, they will be permitted to carry firearms. Sheesh, what took so long?

CA Department of Employment Development Under LETF, has an investigative branch

CA Department of Fish and Game We used to call them fish cops.

CA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) arson investigators

CA Department of Insurance, Fraud-Enforcement Branch Overview:

 

The Enforcement Branch of the Department of Insurance is the investigative body for the department. This branch consists of the Fraud Division and the Investigation Division. Leading the nation in consumer protection continues to be the motivating force in providing all investigative and support services necessary for the fight against insurance fraud. The Enforcement Branch maintains its lead through the collaboration of other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors throughout the state.

Fraud Division
The core mission of the Fraud Division is to protect the public and prevent economic loss through the detection, investigation, and arrest of insurance fraud offenders.  The Fraud Division acts as the primary law enforcement agency in the State of California for investigating different types of suspected insurance fraud.

Types of Crimes Investigated Include:

Automobile Collision

Automobile Property

Medical

Life

Workers’ Compensation

Other

Fire

Property

Healthcare

 

Investigation Division
The mission of the Investigation Division is to protect California consumers by investigating suspected violations of laws and regulations pertaining to the business of insurance and seeking appropriate enforcement action against violators.

The Insurance Commissioner has established a case handling priority system for the Investigation Division which helps to categorize major cases and prioritize the Division’s resources.

Types of Violations Investigated Include:

Premium Theft

Life & Health Senior Citizen Abuse

Insurance Company Deceptive Fraudulent Acts

Bogus/Unauthorized Insurance Companies

Public Adjuster Violations

Title Company Rebate Activity

Bail Industry Misconduct

The Office of the Attorney General

Kamala Harris Official Attorney General Photo

The Attorney General represents the people of California in civil and criminal matters before trial courts, appellate courts and the supreme courts of California and the United States. The Attorney General also serves as legal counsel to state officers and, with few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions. Exceptions to the centralized legal work done on behalf of the state are listed in Section 11041 of the Government Code.

The Attorney General also assists district attorneys, local law enforcement, and federal and international criminal justice agencies in the administration of justice. To support California’s law enforcement community, the AG coordinates statewide narcotics enforcement efforts, participates in criminal investigations and provides forensic science services, identification and information services and telecommunication support.

In addition, the Attorney General establishes and operates projects and programs to protect Californians from fraudulent, unfair, and illegal activities that victimize consumers or threaten public safety. The Attorney General also enforces laws that safeguard the environment and natural resources.
CA Department of Motor Vehicles investigative division–The DMV Investigations Division protects the programs and interests of the department and public through active fraud/counterfeit detection, investigation, audit and enforcement services. The Investigations Division diligently enforces laws, rules, and regulations that apply to new and used vehicle dealers, brokers, dismantlers, registrations services, vehicle verifiers, driving schools or traffic violator schools, and other vehicle-related businesses.

CA Department of Parks and Recreation Park rangers and lifeguards. There are several mystery novels featuring park rangers. Think about it: a law enforcement officer solo in his/her beat-a remote area of a state park. Rescue calls? Drunk campers, there’s lots more here.
CA Department of Social Services: varied depending on type of incident-if, Social Security fraud goes to Federal Office of Inspector General; Medical fraud is state and the Department of Health Services Audits and Investigation — Since 1999 a tremendous amount of resources have been put forth to combat Medi-Cal fraud. Fraud is a key issue to the State of California and a special group has been formed, the Governor’s Medi-Cal Fraud Task Force, which is chaired by the Director of Department of Health Care Services, to improve communication and cooperation among agencies that investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of Medi-Cal fraud. The group includes the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the State Department of Justice (DOJ), the State Controller’s Office (SCO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Employment Development Department (EDD), Department of Consumer Affairs Medical Board, Health Authority Law Enforcement Team (HALT) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Talk about a frickin’ bureaucracy!

CA Department of Toxic Substances ControlOffice of Criminal Investigations
The mission of the Office of Criminal Investigations is to prevent and investigate violations of California’s Hazardous Waste Control Laws for the safety of the public and protection of the environment.

 CA Franchise Tax Board–FTB’s audit program identifies and refers cases to the department’s criminal investigation program. FTB attacks the use of abusive tax shelters which cost California hundreds of millions in lost revenue. FTB’s criminal investigation program identifies and investigates cases of tax evasion and tax fraud to encourage compliance with California income tax laws and maintain the public trust.
CA Secretary of State Office of Investigation— Many Californians are aware of the Secretary of State’s role in overseeing our elections, managing the filing of important business documents and preserving the state’s archives, but the office also administers several other important functions.

The Secretary of State’s Office also manages the “Safe at Home” confidential address program for victims of Domestic Violence, the publication of the California Roster, the Registry of Domestic Partners, and the Advance Health Care Directive Registry. Who knew? I surely didn’t!
This is not a comprehensive list of agencies within the state, merely a selection that has enforcement powers of some type. Cops at all levels use the next higher step to build a case if needed. Any of the above could be used in partnership with your patrolman, detective or whoever your hero is.

Most of this info is culled from the internet. If you see or know of an error, please let me know. My goal is authenticity in fictional cop stories.

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2012 by in Law Enforcement, Writer's Notes and tagged , , , , .

Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

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Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Fridays. Sundays scheduled writers Hal Collier, Ed Meckle, Mikey, and John Schick take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve.
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Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop.
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