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Specialized Investigations

The Investigations Division is made up of different units, with investigators who specialize in the type of cases where their expertise is most beneficial. Learn more about these different specialized investigations units.

The Investigations Division is organized into three work groups: Violent Crimes, Property Crimes, and the Special Investigations Unit. Additionally, the Investigations Commander has command oversight of an interagency investigative team - the Westside Interagency Narcotics (WIN) team. Sheriff’s Office investigators also collaborate with federal law enforcement task forces such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshal Service, and Homeland Security Investigations. 

Sheriff’s Office detectives investigate the most serious or complex criminal cases. These detailed investigations can last weeks, months, or years depending on the type and quality of evidence, the identification and location of suspects, and the cases’ overall complexity. Learn more about how detectives in each unit investigate crimes and support community safety.

Violent Crimes Unit

Investigating violent crime

The Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) focuses on incidents where the suspect’s actions are violent, threatening, or potentially harmful to the victim. These incidents include assaults with a weapon, robbery, homicide, extortion, kidnapping, stalking, sex crimes, and child abuse. 

Detectives assigned to this unit receive extensive training to perform this highly detailed work. Some of the topics of training include death investigation, forensic pathology, sexual assaults, evidence collection and preservation, criminal profiling, personality disorders, serology and DNA collection, blood stain interpretation, and scene reconstruction.

Some VCU Detective are also members of the interagency Washington County Major Crimes Team (MCT), responding to violent person crimes (primarily homicides) throughout the County. Recognizing the first 72-96 hours of a significant criminal investigation is critical; agencies combine their collective investigative expertise and resources to accomplish numerous vital and time-sensitive tasks. The team investigates homicides, suspicious deaths, serious assaults, and similar severe people-crimes. This team also deploys on all officer-involved shootings.

Property Crimes Unit

packages on a doorstep

Detectives in the Property Crimes Unit work the most severe felony property cases of burglary, arson, auto theft, financial elder abuse, embezzlement, fraud, and larceny. They monitor pawnshop records and online transactions for the sale of illegal goods. 

By leveraging technology, public service campaigns, and proactive programs, detectives routinely update strategies to deter and reduce property crimes based on criminal trends. Their proactive programs include the “bait” program where tracking devices are placed in property left at locations where communities experience increased property crimes.

The Patrol Division’s quick response when a bait package is activated is vital to the program’s success and builds on a close working relationship between patrol deputies and detectives. This program is one of the numerous examples of our continuous evaluation about where, when, and how we deploy our resources to maximize public safety for our community.

Special Investigations Unit

Special Investigations Unit

Our Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is dedicated to investigating and solving crimes with the use of technology. SIU investigators use digital evidence to identify communication patterns, criminal associates and other types of evidence while ensuring compliance with legal requirements involving search and seizure.

Criminal intelligence experts use historic data to identify opportunities for proactive patrols and increase chances to prevent criminal activity.

Responsible for intelligence gathering and information dissemination related to: 

  • Narcotics 
  • Gangs 
  • Organized Crime 
  • Domestic and International Terrorism 

Maintaining effective operations is essential as society and technology are ever-changing. We strive to find innovative ways to adapt and excel within our role in public safety which includes the formation of our Digital Forensics Lab (DFL). The DFL is a unique undertaking that utilizes highly technological skill sets to help aide in criminal investigations. The demand for this specialized investigation has increased over the last few years and operates in partnership with Washington County District Attorney’s Office (DA). 

 Almost every single case today has a digital fingerprint in some manner, and it’s essential to have trained investigators working this angle to help solve and prosecute criminal cases. The DFL focuses solely on criminal cases and assists with investigations countywide, proving instrumental in deriving prosecutable evidence for murder, physical and sexual assault, and even child abuse cases.  

Westside Interagency Narcotics Team

Drug investigators

The Westside Interagency Narcotics (WIN) Team is a task force comprised of personnel from the Beaverton and Hillsboro Police Departments, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Oregon National Guard Counter-Drug Program, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The WIN Team was formed in 1993, recognizing the need for a cooperative effort in the investigation and enforcement of drug laws. The team’s mission is to target all drug traffickers in and around the Washington County area and provide continued training in the areas of illegal drug laboratory activity and recognition, basic drug identification, and the symptoms of its use. 

Those assigned to the WIN team endeavor to continually enhance technology and knowledge base to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the clandestine drug marketplace.