Forensic Technicians are called upon to process all major crime scenes. This is done by the use of photography, evidence collection, latent print searches, and sketches. At crime scenes, Forensic Technicians conduct the following:
- Photographing the crime scene, which includes tire and shoe impressions for comparison purposes
- Collection of evidence and the packaging of this evidence for laboratory analysis
- Latent print searches
- Operation of electronic equipment for sketches
- Casting of pry marks
- Operation of an alternate light source for the detection and collection of blood, fibers, and biological fluids
- Operation ofUltra-violet light equipment to detect and locate fingerprints
- Conduct and prepare suspect composites
- Determine trajectory angles
- Operate video and digital equipment
- Operate a scent transfer unit in major crimes such as homicides, child abductions, robberies and rapes
- Respond to clandestine lab sites
- Take aerial photographs via a helicopter or airplane
- Attend homicide autopsies for photography and evidence collection purposes
Forensic Technicians are required to prepare detailed reports of all crime scenes they respond to and all evidence that is processed. Technicians are required to download information obtained from the computerized measuring device to the station computer to prepare a crime scene sketch.
Technicians are required to conduct fingerprint comparisons, prepare court exhibits and to testify in court as an expert witness.
Forensic Technicians are required to operate the darkroom mini-lab. Those duties include the developing of film; the printing of photographs and the making of 1-to-1 photographs of tire and shoe impressions.
Forensic Technicians also conduct training classes for Deputy's. They conduct presentations at schools and any other special function.
The Coachella Police Department Investigations section conducts investigations on all cases with evidence possibly leading to the identity of the suspect or named suspects. Historically, Investigations units have been organized into two different divisions- Crimes Against Persons (Homicide, Robbery, Assaults, Sex Crimes, etc) and Crimes Against Property (Burglary, Grand Theft, Fraud and Forgery). In extremely large organizations, this system works well, but can lead to unequal caseloads and reduced effectiveness when a city is being hit hard by a particular crime type.
In 2001, the Sheriff's Department created the Central Homicide Unit. This dramatically increased the number of personnel available to investigate homicides. The Central Homicide Unit consists of 16 Investigators, three Sergeants, a Lieutenant, and a Captain. Their only mission is to conduct homicide and suspicious death investigations. The Coachella Police Dept. Investigators assist the Central Homicide Unit when needed.
The Patrol Division for the Coachella Police Department covers an area of over thirty (30) square miles and serves a population of over 40,000 residents. For the year 2008, the Coachella Police Department responded to over twnety one thousand calls for service, or approximately fifty seven (57) calls for service daily.
The Coachella Police Department Contract consists of 36 sworn officer positions. Twenty four (24) of these positions are dedicated to the patrol division with the remaining officers dedicated to special assignments such as the Community Action Team (C.A.T.), School Resource Officers, along with Gang and Narcotics Enforcement.
Sworn supervision, Investigators and Administration further support the officer positions. Our Community Service Officers assist with the Community Oriented Policing ideology and needs, while supporting field services. Together, they are able to provide professional service to the citizens of Coachella.
Lt. Martello commands the Patrol Division of the Police Department.
Community Oriented Policing
The Coachella Police Department supports and promotes the concept of Community Oriented Policing. The Police Department prides itself in providing state of the art equipment and training to all its personnel so we can provide the best level of service to the citizens of Coachella.
All marked Coachella Police units conduct traffic enforcement as part of their duties.
Baseline services include staff to assist in complicated traffic investigations that occur within the City of Coachella. Depending on the severity, some collisions may be investigated by patrol officers or Community Service Officers (CSO). Major Injury Collisions, Fatal Traffic Collisions, or Injury Collisions with a suspected impaired driver involved often result in a supplemental response with at least one of the responding officers being a traffic accident investigator. They are regularly accompanied by Forensic Technicians. This multi-faceted response often results in the street or intersection where the collision occurred being closed for several hours. Public education is a main stay of the department. Public presentations at schools or community groups and address issues with a strong emphasis on improving traffic safety. We conduct annual public education events (Holiday Safety Program) and participates in regional and state enforcement activities. These includes the Office of Traffic Safety Sobriety/Drivers License Checkpoint and the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement programs, both being zero tolerance approaches to reduce injuries and deaths on our roadways related to traffic accidents.