Welcome to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Division website. I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself as the Commander of the division and give you a little background on myself. My name is Captain Michael Wallace and it is an honor to have been chosen to oversee the Violent Crimes Division. My law enforcement career started in 1984 as a member of the New York City Police Department. During the time in New York City I learned the true value of Community Policing and the importance of partnering with those who I serve. In December of 1990 I began my career with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. During my career with PBSO I have been afforded the opportunity to work in many rolls. I have been assigned as a patrol deputy, Corporal and Patrol Sergeant. I have also worked in Narcotics, SWAT and an investigator in the Violent Crimes Division with a focus on Gang and Homicide investigations. I am a strong proponent of education and training, and have worked hard to achieve my Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Administration from Barry University and Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic University. I am also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Command Officer’s Development Course, and look forward to continuing my education as a Commander to better serve the citizens of Palm Beach County.
There are several diversified investigative components that comprise the Violent Crimes Division, they include:
Homicide/Cold Case Unit
The Homicide Unit is responsible for investigating all homicides, suspicious and accidental deaths, suicides, critical incidents (police shootings and in-custody deaths), shootings, kidnappings, robberies, and other violent crime related cases. This unit also is available to assist any Palm Beach County municipal police agency in any type of violent crime investigation when requested. There are 4 homicide squads each supervised by a Sergeant and comprised of 5 Detectives.
The Cold Case Unit investigates unresolved homicides, the earliest dating back to 1962. The unit also investigates cases involving unidentified human remains. There are currently 360 unsolved homicides being reviewed for investigation by the Cold Case Unit. This unit consists of 1 Sergeant and 5 Detectives.
Drug Overdose Prevention
Drug Overdose Prevention offers a comprehensive and multi-dimensional approach to the complex problem of drug overdose death. The project combines the efforts of several PBSO divisions and comprises three, separate, but related components:
1) Law Enforcement /Investigative – applies any and all relevant criminal statutes to those individuals found criminally liable for any aspect of another’s overdose death.
2) Public Awareness/Education – raises public consciousness for the overdose epidemic by offering educational programs and establishing strategic community alliances.
3) Quantitative Research – contacts family members from each and every overdose fatality. During those conversations, we inquire about many different variables, everything from the victim’s level of education to his or her drug habits. We recognize that before we can positively impact an issue as complex as drug overdose, we must first thoroughly understand the phenomenon.
Gang Unit & Gang Task Force
The Gang Unit is responsible for the investigation of all gang related crimes in the unincorporated areas of Palm Beach County. The unit is responsible for gathering intelligence, conducting surveillance and documenting gang members while networking with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. A priority of the gang Unit is to share gang related intelligence with our law enforcement partners. The unit is comprised of 1 Sergeant and 7 Detectives.
The Gang Task Force shares the same mission as the Gang Unit but is responsible for the investigation of gang related crimes in all areas of Palm Beach County when requested by the local law enforcement agency.
The task force is comprised of 2 Sergeants and 10 Detectives.
Auto Theft Unit & Task Force
The Auto Theft Unit investigates the theft and recovery of stolen vehicles through proactive investigation. They are responsible for the following: inspecting vehicles that enter and exit the Port of Palm Beach for import and export; investigating suspected “chop shops”; conducting site inspections of salvage yards, junkyards, body shops, licensed motor vehicle and vessel dealerships, repair shops, tow yards and scrap metal processing plants. In addition they confiscate property used in conjunction with auto theft and initiate forfeiture proceedings. The Auto Theft Task Force is comprised of 1 Sergeant, 4 full time Detectives from PBSO and 5 Detectives from state and local law enforcement agencies.
Juvenile Arrest and Monitoring Unit (JAM)
The Juvenile Arrest and Monitoring Unit (JAM) is responsible for the monitoring of hard-core juvenile offenders currently assigned to probation programs. The priority of the JAM Unit is to reduce the cycle of juvenile violence by creating positive partnerships with parents, community leaders, and other entities that are committed to assisting juveniles. JAM Unit personnel are assigned to the Robbery & Gang Units.
The Violent Crimes Division staff looks forward to serving the residents and visitors of Palm Beach County and making this a safer place to visit and live. Please feel free to contact us at (561)688-3000 for any questions or concerns that you may have regarding our services.
Captain Michael Wallace