Addressing mid-major crimes in San Gabriel

With the City Council’s decision to end the San Gabriel Police Department’s agreement with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the city has gotten questions on how the San Gabriel Police Department will address mid-major crimes moving forward.

If you’re not familiar with mid-major crimes, here’s a brief overview:

  • Street level crimes usually involve patrol or frontline personnel as well as trained detectives. These cases usually aren’t resource intensive.
  • Mid-major crimes are crimes that are too complex or resource intensive to handle at the street level, but may not be large enough to warrant the resources garnered by major crimes.
  • Major crimes are crimes may be initially addressed by frontline personnel, but due to the case’s complexity, must be adopted by agencies with larger infrastructure and more resources.

As a bit of backstory, because of the size of the SGPD, mid-major crimes are the most difficult to address. As a single entity, the department doesn’t have the resources to individually take on complex and lengthy investigations beyond that of the street level. This is why the department partners with other agencies to pool together resources to combat crime in a coordinated manner.

First, residents should know that the agreement with HSI was just one of many tools that the department used to address mid-major crimes. With the dissolution of the agreement, SGPD will rely other agreements and partnerships to help bolster the department’s resources. One such agreement is the AB109 task force, which pools together resources from other San Gabriel Valley police departments to conduct investigations. The task force deals with fugitive apprehension, burglary suppression and proactive gang enforcement among other issues.

With that in mind, here’s what the department plans to do going forward:

In the immediate term, the SGPD will pull back its detective from the HSI taskforce. He’ll be reassigned to the Detective Bureau with a caseload similar to that of the HSI taskforce. These cases will only be those that involve San Gabriel or the immediate surrounding areas.

The department will also rearrange cases to more effectively address mid-major crimes. In addition, the SGPD will re-task its Special Enforcement Team of two detectives to maintain their caseload, but to assist, when feasible, in mid-major cases.

In the short term, the returning detective will reach out to local agencies to develop investigative resources that impact the area and San Gabriel. In addition, the department will also research other taskforce options at the county, state and federal levels with an emphasis on intelligence gathering.

Finally, the SGPD will request additional staff to help bring in additional permanent resources.

Looking forward, the department will use sworn personnel to address specific mid-major cases. The SGPD will also be increasing the number of specially trained officers to address mid-major crimes at the field and investigative levels.

Long term, the department will investigate the deployment of a regional network led by the SGPD that will share resources and information. The department also hopes to develop partnerships with local universities to study mid-major crimes and how to best address them.