Violent Crimes Division

Welcome to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Division webpage. Thank you for taking the time to explore our page and discover all of the services we offer to the citizens and visitors of Palm Beach County.

The Violent Crimes Division is the principal investigative division within the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office tasked with investigating violent crime.  Our responsibilities encompass a full array of investigative tasks, from robbery and homicide investigations to gang enforcement and burglary and auto theft suppression through our Multi-Agency South Florida Burglary and Auto Theft Task Force.  The detectives of the Violent Crimes Division are responsible for investigating all serious and violent crimes that occur within the primary jurisdictional areas covered by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

The Violent Crimes Division also includes the DUI enforcement unit, the Vehicle Homicide Unit, Crime Stoppers, the Forensic Imaging unit, and the Cold Case Homicide Unit.

Please take some time to explore our website and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have.  It is an honor and a privilege for us to serve and assist you.

Respectfully,

Captain Laurence Poston

Analytical Support

There are four analysts assigned to The Violent Crimes Division.  There is one analyst assigned to the:

  • Gang Unit
  • Homicide Unit
  • Robbery Unit
  • Multi-Agency South Florida Burglary and Auto Theft Task Force

Each analyst is part of the investigative team and works closely with the detectives in their assigned unit to provide analytical support by systematically collecting, organizing, analyzing, and utilizing criminal intelligence to guide detectives in their operational and tactical decisions.

Crime Stoppers

The Crime Stoppers Unit is responsible for receiving anonymous phone, text, and website tips regarding criminal activity.  These tips can be related to wanted fugitives, illegal drugs, gangs, witness information, or information associated with any unlawful activities.   Once crime tips are received, the Crime Stoppers Unit directs this information to the appropriate law enforcement agency regardless of jurisdiction. One of the most essential elements in conducting criminal investigations is information received from members of the public.   We encourage you to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS (8477) if you have information related to criminal activity or any ongoing criminal investigations.  You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for information that leads to an arrest or is crucial to solving a crime.

Gang Unit

The Gang Unit is responsible for investigating gang-related crimes in the primary jurisdictional areas covered by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in Palm Beach County. The unit is responsible for gathering intelligence, conducting surveillance, documenting gang members, and conducting gang-related investigations 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.

Homicide 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, and other violent crime cases. This unit is also available to assist any Palm Beach County law enforcement agency with any violent crime investigation when requested.

Cold Case Homicide Unit

The Cold Case Unit investigates unsolved homicides, where active leads and evidence were exhausted when the crime occurred.  Due to scientific advances and new technologies, many of these cold cases are now being solved.  The unit also investigates cases involving unidentified human remains. There are currently 360+ unsolved homicides, and unidentified human remains cases being reviewed and under investigation by the Cold Case Unit.

Forensic Imaging Unit

The Forensic Imaging Unit assists detectives in numerous areas of investigation.  The Forensic Artists assigned to this unit are experts in composite imagery, image modification, and reconstructive postmortem drawings.  The Forensic Imaging artists render suspect composites from victim/witness statements, construct craniofacial reconstructions of unidentified remains to assist in cold case investigations, and use the latest software and forensic imaging tools to assist detectives.

Robbery Unit

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Robbery Unit investigates carjackings, home invasion robberies, strong-armed robberies, armed robberies, business robberies, robbery by sudden snatching, and any robbery involving injuries.  The Robbery Unit’s mission is to apprehend offenders, prepare evidence, and provide testimony to secure convictions, and remove individuals who commit these violent crimes from our communities.  Additionally, the Robbery Unit is asked to handle bank robberies in the areas of primary jurisdiction covered by the Sheriff’s Office when requested by the FBI.

Vehicle Homicide Unit (VHI)

The VHI Unit investigates fatal and serious bodily injury traffic crashes occurring in Palm Beach County. The VHI investigators document all evidence at crash scenes to reconstruct how a crash happened to show causation and whether anyone is civilly or criminally liable for the personal injury or death to those involved.  The VHI unit also investigates departmental-related crashes involving injury or when Sheriff’s Office vehicles are involved in critical incidents.  The unit members are experts in traffic crash reconstruction and scene mapping.  Often the unit is used for their expertise to assist other units, divisions, and agencies in non-traffic-related investigations due to their proficiency in mapping and large-scale diagraming.

DUI Enforcement Unit

The DUI Unit enforces all State traffic laws focusing on detecting and removing impaired drivers from Palm Beach County roadways.  The unit initiates and participates in traffic enforcement initiatives and assists other agencies with DUI patrols throughout the county. The unit also investigates DUI-related traffic crashes, including DUI-related serious bodily injury crashes when necessary.

South Florida Multi-Agency Burglary and Auto Theft Task Force

The South Florida Multi-Agency Burglary and Auto Theft Task Force is a specialized multi-agency burglary and auto theft suppression unit. It is authorized by a mutual aid agreement between participating agencies throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The mission of the Task Force is to conduct operations and long-term investigations across jurisdictional boundaries to identify and apprehend serial burglary and auto theft suspects.

Drug Overdose Prevention Initiative

The Drug Overdose Prevention Initiative offers a comprehensive and multi-dimensional approach to the complex problem of drug overdose deaths. The project combines the efforts of several PBSO divisions and comprises three separate, but related components:

1) Law Enforcement / Investigative – Applies all relevant criminal statutes to those individuals found criminally liable for the death of another person because of a drug overdose.

2) Public Awareness / Education – Raises public consciousness for the overdose epidemic by offering educational programs and establishing strategic community alliances.

3) Quantitative Research – We recognize that we must first thoroughly understand the problem before we can positively impact an issue as complex as the drug overdose epidemic.

Contacts

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