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- Parking, Traffic & Permits
- Auto Theft
- Domestic & Elder Abuse
- Financial & Sex Crimes
- Juvenile & Street Gang
- Homicide & Forensic
PARKING ENFORCEMENT UNIT
Managing street parking in a way that is both safe and fair, is the job of this unit. They have broken the stereotype of the Meter Maid by creating an entire suite of new services within their division. For instance, they strive to keep San Diegans updated with PR announcements that contain important information about changes in parking laws and they take care of abandoned vehicles. They have installed solar powered Single Space Parking Meters in the crowded Uptown/Downtown areas which provide more parking spaces and accept credit cards. These new “Pay and Display Meters” have more payment options for parking customers, can be easily programmed for rate changes, holidays and special events, issue parking receipts with the expiration time, provide data so that the PEU can continue to create more public-friendly parking rules and regs., and can be replaced, if damaged, at a lower taxpayer cost. If you are interested in buying a pre-paid parking meter card, call (619) 533-4218. To report an abandoned vehicle, call (858) 495-7856
The Traffic Unit handles all things that are traffic related – both human and vehicular: Hit and run investigations, accident reconstruction, Safety Patrols, special and stadium events fall under their umbrella. This unit also contains the following divisions: Motorcycle Officers, who enforce traffic laws and assist with patrol radio calls. They also educate the public to reduce collisions and improve traffic flow. Motor officers work with the US Secret Service to escort dignitaries during their travels in San Diego, too. The Traffic Unit’s Accident Investigations Bureau handles on-scene investigations for fatal or serious injury collisions involving felony prosecution, along with city and police equipment collisions. Other divisions are Traffic Investigations, D.U.I.s, and STOP – which tracks down suspended-and-revoked-license drivers that are likely to continue driving during the period in which they have been forbidden to get behind the wheel. Then there is a Special Events, Parking Enforcement, Commercial Enforcement and Abandoned Vehicles section of this busy unit, as well.
PERMITS AND LICENSING UNIT
The SDPD Permits and Licensing Unit uncovers and stops illegal activity from occurring in businesses, building or other occupations that require paperwork to show competency. To do this, they monitor and regulate all kinds of activities through the permit and licensing process, investigations and inspections. Police Permits and Licensing enforces laws and regulations by working with regulated businesses like building contractors and bail bondsmen. They also encourage voluntary compliance and keep tabs on anyone engaged in vice and criminal activity. Their goal is to do all of this in a fair and unbiased manner. Think of this unit as a watchdog, providing safety and security for the community through their investigation of applications, timely inspections, and enforcement of our laws. They protect the public from harm, fraud or deceit by preventing unscrupulous people from operating and engaging in business. They seek to treat all applicants equally, with dignity and respect, while protecting their right to privacy. They also continually seek to update and improve the licensing process.
The unit covers a wide and varied range of permits and licensing – everything from Alarm Permit Applications to Adult Entertainers, Arcades, Auto Dismantlers, Curb Painters, Driver Applications to Home Improvements and more! When submitting paperwork for an application you must appear at their location in person. The Police Permits and Licensing Unit address is: 1400 'E' Street, San Diego, CA 92101. They are open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can reach them by calling: (619) 531-2250.
AUTO THEFT UNIT
The San Diego Police Auto Theft Unit boasts highly trained officers who seek to prevent vehicle thefts. This unit also assists with the recovery of stolen vehicles and the prosecution of the criminals who take them. They even work in tandem with US Customs to recover cars that are stolen and sent to Mexico, or stolen from Mexico and transported to the USA. Stolen car reports are usually handled over the phone. If you live in San Diego and need to report a stolen vehicle you can call (619) 531-2000 for help. If you witness unusual activity in your neighborhood, like seeing neighbors consistently alter cars, remove parts frequently, and people who drive different cars or motorcycles almost daily – the Auto Theft Unit would like this information. The auto theft unit also offers many tips on how to prevent your vehicle from being stolen in the first place, so if you want to learn more, or are curious about other topics like fraudulent credit applications to buy cars, car jackings, forged checks and identity theft with the intent of dealing with stolen vehicles, you can also give this unit a call.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT
The SDPD Domestic Violence Unit works out of the Family Justice Center, which contains many related public and private groups that work together to tackle domestic violence issues. This unit also partners with the Center for Community Solutions, Rady Children's Hospital-Chadwick Center, San Diego Volunteer Lawyers, San Diego City Attorney's Office, San Diego District Attorney's Office, and the County and City Victim-Witness Program, just to name a few. For more information on the Family Justice Center please go to this link.
The Domestic Violence Unit will hold abusers accountable for their actions. If police officers are summoned to a home because of a fight or abuse, the victim has the right to get help. There are several things they can do, like file a crime report and get a case number. A detective from this unit will always contact the victim about the case and never leave them unprotected. They also recommend getting a restraining order, even a temporary one that can be granted for ten days. It is suggested that victims keep a copy of this restraining order handy to give to an officer in case of trouble. It is also a good idea to give copies to family members, friends, neighbors and employers so they can be kept aware of what is going on and report any trouble. Changing home locks and adopting a dog (the local animal shelter is the best place). An unlisted phone number helps deter violence as well. For those who choose to remain in a questionable relationship, the department urges that person to remember that their safety and the safety of their children is very important, so they may wish to consider keeping an emergency bag packed with clothing, money, important telephone numbers, along with toys for their children.
ELDER & DEPENDENT ABUSE UNIT
Even though seniors are more active and independent than ever before, they still often live in the shadows of abuse and neglect. This population is the most vulnerable to abuse, hence the creation of the SDPD Elder and Dependant Abuse Unit. Since 2000, this Unit has worked to identify criminals who prey on senior and dependent adult citizens. It then seeks to prosecute these perpetrators. So far, they have played a very instrumental role in developing a more secure environment for senior and dependent adults. San Diego has over 305,000 elders (65 and older) and studies have shown that one out of twenty will likely become a victim of abuse. But because the abuser is very often a family member, only 19% of these cases are reported. If you suspect ongoing abuse, you are invited to call the SDPD at (858) 484-3154 or (619) 531-2000. If you need more information you can call the SDPD Elder Abuse Unit at (619) 533-3500 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FINANCIAL CRIMES UNIT
The Financial Crimes Unit is responsible for investigating criminal offenses that involve forgeries, check cases, credit card theft, fraudulent credit applications, Bunco-fraud schemes, embezzlement, computer crimes, bigamy cases and elder fiduciary abuse cases. Because of the economic downturn, these types of crimes are on the rise. To combat some of these illegal activities, the Financial Crimes Unit has created Operation Thumbprint. This program is designed to deter financial fraud and identity theft with the use of inkless ink thumb printing. It is aimed primarily at local San Diego merchants, who can help stop a financial criminal in his tracks by obtaining a thumbprint from each customer they serve. Later, if the transaction is found to be fraudulent, this print can be used to help members of the Financial Crimes Unit to identify the criminal. Identity Theft, which this Unit also covers, is another growing crime. It occurs when criminals assume the actual identity of their victims. They can ruin the victim’s reputation, credit history and bleed him financially dry. The Financial Crimes Unit lists many effective ways victims can protect themselves from Identity Theft on their official website.
SEX CRIMES UNIT
The Sex Crimes Unit specializes in investigating felony sexual assaults that involve victims who are14 years of age and up. The Child Abuse Unit investigates sexual assaults involving victims under the age of 14. Both of these units partner with the Domestic Violence Unit to investigate sexual assault and other crimes of a sexual nature that involve married people, life partners, and people who have had a child together. The Sex Crimes Unit also works in conjunction with San Diego investigators, prosecutors, medical professionals, rape crisis advocates, community organizations, and other law enforcement agencies to focus on the criminal prosecution of offenders and the reduction of sexual crimes in general. They are nationally famous for their contribution in the field, having recognized the need to create this type of unit over thirty years ago. The unit began when a team of three San Diego homicide detectives banded together and developed the criteria for handling this type of crime. Today, they investigate 1,000 sexual assault cases each year. Their methodology includes detection work, forensic DNA testing, determination of whether or not an assault was fueled by drugs and alcohol, and so on.
JUVENILE SERVICES UNIT
The Juvenile Services Unit works in tandem with the San Diego community by using early intervention, preventative measures and, when needed, law enforcement to curb youth-related crime. Their duties include investigation, counseling, rehabilitation and referral services to any local youths that need help. They also work with schools to meet a variety of needs, like strengthening relationships between minors and police, working with school staff and overseeing school safety and security. This unit also offers a variety of police-related education programs like ESSP, which teaches kids about bicycle and pedestrian safety, bullying, drug, tobacco and gang awareness and prevention, firearm safety, self-esteem and so on. Their Student Safety Program promotes the safe crossing of elementary students to and from school along with classroom education regarding safety (stranger danger, DARE, McGruff etc.) They also have a Cadet Program that is a voluntary, non-enforcement entry level opportunity for teens and young adults to work with the San Diego Police Department. The Cadet Program introduces these young people to careers in law enforcement. Other programs that the Juvenile Services Unit runs include Juvenile Resources, Truancy and Curfew, STAR/PAL and so much more.
STREET GANG UNIT
No less than ten teams of uniformed police and criminal detectives make up the Street Gang Unit. These teams are then divided to perform three functions: Gang Suppression Teams, Graffiti Strike Force and Gang Investigations. The Gang Suppression Teams work 7 days a week patrolling neighborhoods that gangs have claimed their territory. The Graffiti Strike Force combats emerging tagger groups that are likely to evolve into criminal street gangs, according to the coded signs they leave behind and which ruin the property of others. Investigators in the Street Gang Unit also focus on felony gang crimes. They conduct extensive investigations in cases that involve the most violent gang offenders, often risking their lives to convict and lock these criminals up. The Street Gang Unit’s ultimate goal is to stop gang related crimes, gang wars and gang membership recruitment. They do so by several means: prosecuting those gang members who have committed the crimes, going under cover and conducting special operative stings, making use of field contacts and mass arrests. If you wish to learn more about the Street Gang Unit or report a gang related crime, they can be reached at (619) 531-2847.
COLD CASE HOMICIDE UNIT
A cold case is an unsolved murder and the San Diego Police Department Cold Case Unit is responsible for investigating all of them. It is made up of a combination of investigators from the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. A murder crime has no statute of limitations, which means that no matter how long ago a murder has been committed, the case, if not solved, is still open. So if you have information on any cold cases, or any other San Diego homicide case, please contact the San Diego Police Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293. If you wish to remain anonymous, call SD County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. You could be rewarded up to $1000 if your information leads to an arrest.
FORENSIC SCIENCE UNIT
The San Diego Police Department has a full service crime laboratory at its disposal. There, experts in the art of Forensic Science examine and analyzes physical evidence collected at crime scenes. These men and women are trained in photography, latent print development, evidence collection, and crime scene reconstruction. They also participate in on site major crime scene investigations to help investigators solve the crime. To them, even the most mundane objects can yield valuable information, whether they are clothing, blood samples, fiber samples, hair or bodily fluids, DNA, a vehicle… ad infinitum.
The technical units within the Forensic Science Laboratory of the San Diego Police Department also contain common types of physical evidence that have the potential for linking a suspect to a crime, victim, or a scene. Some of the major sections in this unit are Field Services, Ballistics (which studies anything having to do with firearms), Forensic Alcohol and Narcotics, Forensic Biology, Trace Evidence and more. Every Forensic department has been accredited by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors' Laboratory Accreditation Board, which is a fancy way of saying they really know their stuff!
San Diego County is southwestern most county in the continental United States. About 3,001,100 people live in this county, making it the third most populated one in California.
Needless to say their police department is kept very busy, so it has cultivated a wide array of support operations and special units that are key to providing full and effective law enforcement coverage. This webpage has been created to give the reader information about these Special Units and their responsibilities and procedures.
If you would like further and more detailed information about the Special Units of the San Diego Police Force, you are welcome to visit their official website. It is also a good law enforcement contact source.
If you or someone you know has been arrested by any of these San Diego Police Department Special Units, 888 Bail Bonds can help. Call a bondsman at 888-224-5266.