The mission of the Lake County Police Department General Investigations Unit is to impact the crime rate by providing the citizens of Lake County with a prompt and effective investigation response to all classifications of criminal cases.
The General Assignment Unit of the Criminal Investigations Division consists of Detectives that investigate a variety crimes which occur in the unincorporated areas of Lake County, as well as those which occur in the Lake County Jail.
The Lake County General Assignment unit files over 300 felony charges each year. The investigations include murders, cold case murders, attempted murder, battery, confinement, burglary and other serious violent crimes. General Assignment Detectives also assist other law enforcement agencies, and investigate officer-involved shootings, when requested.
General Assignment detectives gather information from a variety of sources, conduct interviews, organize the collection of physical evidence, and ultimately prepare criminal cases for successful conclusion at trial.
As always, Community Involvement is strongly encouraged to ensure successful crime control and prevention. If you would like to report a crime, please contact our anonymous tip line at 1-800-750-2746.
Warrants The Warrant Division of the Lake County Sheriff Department is responsible for the following duties:
Enter and clear both misdemeanor and felony warrants into IDACS/NCIC, and maintain an active file on all outstanding warrants.
Detectives search for and arrest suspects with outstanding warrants who are located within Lake County, Indiana.
Respond to inquiries from law enforcement personnel, courts, prosecutors, attorneys, and the public in general in regards to persons with possible outstanding warrants.
Maintain an active file on all suspects with outstanding warrants, who are pending extradition to the Lake County Jail upon authorization from the Lake County Prosecutors office.
Upon receiving authorization from the Lake County Prosecutors Office, Detectives extradite suspects with outstanding warrants arrested by law enforcement personnel outside the state of Indiana.
Transport suspects to the Lake County Jail who have been arrested on outstanding warrants by law enforcement agencies within Lake County, In.
Process suspects through the Lake County Jail who have surrendered themselves due to having outstanding warrants.
Crime Scene Investigations (CSI)
The Crime Laboratory Division of the Sheriff’s Department is comprised of four sections, Evidence Collection, Photography, Firearms/Toolmark, I.B.I.S. and Fingerprints. These sections service all agencies within the county, local, state, and federal.
The Evidence Recovery section is responsible for the documentation and recovery of evidence at major crime scenes throughout the county. All cities and towns utilize their services for violent crimes. This section specializes in the collection, packaging, preservation, and presentation of evidence for major trials. The Photography section is responsible for the development and printing of crime scene and accident photographs. This section also produces mugshots from negatives.
The Fingerprint section is responsible for the classification and filing of all fingerprints taken of inmates in the jail. This section is also responsible for the comparison of inked fingerprints with latent lifts recovered from various crime scenes. These comparisons are requested by L.C.P.D. and other agencies within the county. They also provide expert testimony in court as to their identifications.
The Firearm/Toolmark section has the responsibility of examining firearm evidence recovered from the scenes and autopsies. The examinations and comparisons of weapons to bullets and casings are necessary for identification of a weapon used at a crime scene. Toolmarks are also examined in the hopes of identifying the specific tool that made a mark at a burglary scene. Expert court testimony is provided to their findings.
The Integrated Ballistics Identification System, a section of Firearms, is a computerized system that compares bullets and casings recovered at crime scenes and recovered weapons. The system searches its database and correlates its findings. This enables investigators to tie previously unrelated scenes together.
Auto Theft Unit
The Lake County Police Auto Theft Unit is one of the many specialized Units that operate out of the Criminal Investigations Division of Sheriff's Department. This Unit handles all vehicle related crimes, be it Auto Theft, Car Jacking, Insurance Fraud, Chop shops etc…
The Lake County Police Auto Detail was awarded the National Equipment Recovery Award for the year for the recovery of nearly one million dollars of stolen equipment, semi-tractors and machinery from a location in East Chicago, Indiana. The national award is given for the highest dollar amount recovered in the country. The outstanding work of the Lake County Auto Detail was recognized by the presentation of a plaque in their honor by the NER and hangs in the Lake County Criminal Investigations Division.
One of the main reasons this Unit has been so successful is the cooperative partnership that they have built with other law enforcement agencies, civic organizations, insurance industry along with the citizens of Lake County. Fighting the most expensive property Crime in this Country is a joint effort and not one agency or individual can handle it by himself or herself. That is one of the main reasons the 1-800 Tip Line was started. Without this partnership, we are never going to get a handle on any of these crimes that no one is immune too. Furthermore Auto Theft, Carjacking, Insurance Fraud etc. have no jurisdictions boundaries and cost all of us, Millions of dollars in higher insurance costs along with replacement of your vehicle.
The Lake County Auto Theft Unit also works closely with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and hold memberships to such groups as the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (North Central Chapter) and I-Act (Indiana Anti – Car Theft Committee) of which Lake County detectives chaired the Northwest Chapter in 1999. This Unit, has been requested to not only assist agencies in Lake County, but also ATF, DEA, FBI, and surrounding Counties and States. With the full support of the Sheriff, the detectives in this unit hold instructors ratings and teach basic classes in Auto Theft recognition at the N.W. Indiana Recruit Academy. Furthermore, these detectives teach advanced classes to detectives in the identification, handling and building cases dealing with vehicle related crimes.
Special Victims Unit (SVU)
The Special Victims Unit is a Criminal Investigative Unit that conducts specialized investigations of juvenile involved cases. Highly trained detectives are assigned to investigate victim specific offenses.
Specialty training is involved with this assignment to include forensic child interviewing techniques. This training allows detectives the ability to conduct interviews with children who
are the victims of sex crimes, physical abuse and neglect while maintaining sensitivity to the child. Investigators testify as fact/expert witnesses in future court proceedings.
Highly trained detectives investigate youth involved criminal acts, crimes involving domestic violence, sexual assaults and offenses against the elderly. Compassion, empathy and support are emphasized to victims of these crimes. A thorough investigation is conducted and charges may be filed with the prosecutor where applicable.
Detectives work very closely with the Juvenile Court, other law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, the Department of Child Services and various organizations such as women’s shelters, Adult Protective Services and victim advocates.
The Special Victims Unit is situated in a remote locale away from the Lake County Sheriff's Department main complex. The ranch style house was intended to create a secure and less stressful environment for victims.