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Criminal Investigations

Criminal Investigations Bureau
The Criminal Investigations Bureau consists of five separate Units: Criminal Investigations Unit, Street Crimes Unit, School Resource Detectives, the Identification Section, and the Property and Evidence Section.  The Bureau is managed by a Lieutenant and two Sergeants with support from an Investigative Assistant and an Administrative Secretary.

Criminal Investigations Unit
The Criminal Investigations Unit is supervised by a Sergeant and Detectives within this Unit are assigned to conduct follow up on the more complex investigations.  Detectives are assigned cases for follow up and completion that have been initiated by Patrol Officers.  Once the investigation is complete, Detectives work closely with City Prosecutors and Maricopa County Attorney’s to ensure successful prosecution.  The Investigative Assistant and Administrative Secretary assigned to the Bureau also assist Detectives in case preparations and managing their cases.

Within the Criminal Investigations Unit Detectives receive specialized training in such areas as death investigations, robberies, sex crimes, fraud, identity theft, and property crimes.   The Avondale Police Department is dedicated to working closely with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to ensure that all Registered Sex Offenders living in the City of Avondale comply with state law.  If a Registered Sex Offender is living in your neighborhood you will be notified.  The information on these notifications is not intended to increase fear.  The notification is intended to make our community a more informed community and therefore a safer community.  Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate, or harass sex offenders will not be tolerated.  The Avondale Police Department has joined the Community Notification Program that offers free public information on Registered Sex Offenders within the City, please visit Offender Watch to search for registered sex offenders in Avondale.

Street Crimes Unit
The Street Crimes Unit is composed of a Sergeant and two Detectives.  These Detectives are responsible for investigating illegal drug complaints, crimes associated with illegal drugs, handling asset forfeiture requests, and investigating neighborhood complaints about suspected drug locations.

The Street Crimes Unit works closely with other areas of the Department in developing intelligence and information on illegal drug organizations operating in and around the City of Avondale.  They also work in conjunction with several Federal agencies in prosecuting violent criminals within the community.

School Resource Detectives
The Avondale Police Department has School Resource Detectives (SRD) assigned as a liaison for the police department to the following schools: 

Westview High School

Ofc. Dennis Mercado


La Joya High School

Ofc. Deborah Beard


Agua Fria High School

Ofc. Chris Medaglia


These officers are certified by NASRO (National Association of School Resource Officers). SROs teach in the classrooms, conduct investigations on campus, and interact with the teachers, students and staff.  

Identification Unit
The Avondale Police Department currently has one full time civilian Identification Technician who supports the Department by responding to requests for the processing of evidence at crime scenes. Besides processing crime scenes, the Identification Technician also handles latent print processing and comparisons, digital photography processing, collection of trace evidence, and the preservation and processing of evidence.

The Identification Technician uses the latest technology and equipment in ensuring all evidence is collect and preserved properly for further use in the criminal justice process.  The Identification Technician also provides expert courtroom testimony in relation to evidence and evidence collection on cases investigated by the Avondale Police Department.

Property and Evidence Section
The Property and Evidence Section is staffed by two full time civilian custodians who manage the property and evidence collected by employees of the Department.  The Property and Evidence Custodians are  responsible for ensuring property and evidence is properly marked and packaged as it is turned into the Department.  The classifying, cataloging, and storing of evidence is critical to any criminal investigation.  The Property and Evidence Custodians also handles the disposal, destruction, and release of property to its lawful owners.

The Property and Evidence Custodians work closely with the Identification Technician and Detectives to ensure evidence is properly stored upon receiving the items.  The Property and Evidence Custodians also manage the transportation of evidence to State labs for processing.

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