Investigative and Forensic Services Division is comprised of multiple units that possess specific areas of expertise.
This division consists of a full service crime lab, multi-agency auto theft unit, fugitive apprehension team, computer crimes unit, fire investigation unit, narcotics enforcement team, warrants unit, special investigations unit, and the multi-agency crime suppression task force.
The Units are also cross-trained, which enables them to play a support role for each other as well as other law enforcement agencies throughout the County, State and Nation. A complete list of individual units is below, click one for more information
Auto Theft Unit
Cold Cases Unit
Computer Crimes Unit
Crime Scene Processing Unit
Fire Investigations and Arson Unit
Forensic Sciences Unit
Fugitive Apprehension Unit
Friend of the Court Enforcement Unit
Narcotics Enforcement Unit
Special Investigations Unit
The Oakland County Sheriff's Auto Theft Unit is a multi-jurisdictional task force with the Sheriff's Office acting as the project director, and specializes in investigating all auto theft related crimes. Since the Unit began its work in 1986, the auto theft rate has dropped 79%. Between 2009 and 2010, Oakland County's auto theft rate dropped 18%, which has resulted in an estimated average of $51 annual savings on personal auto insurance rates.
Subsequently, this unit was recognized by the Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) as one of the best in the State of Michigan. Funding for this Unit is also provided, in part, by the ATPA. Auto Theft responds to any law enforcement agency in need of expert assistance in automobile theft.
In 2015, the Auto Theft Unit recovered 366 stolen vehicles with a value of $3,325,071.
HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) is Michigan's statewide auto theft prevention program that coordinates citizen action with law enforcement agencies through a confidential toll-free tip line for reporting information on stolen vehicles, chop shops, and suspected auto theft activities including insurance fraud, identity theft and carjackings. Call 1-800-242-HEAT 24 hours a day to report auto theft!
The Cold Case Unit is comprised of retired, seasoned veteran detectives who are willing to volunteer their experience and time in order to solve criminal cases that have gone cold. The main objective of this group is to review and investigate homicides and other major cases that were violent in nature, and through modern technology, establish leads that can help solve and close the case. Interested persons may contact the Sheriff's Investigative and Forensic Services Division (IFS) Cold Case Unit at (248) 858-7155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information
The Computer Crimes Unit has a flood of cases that demand attention because computer crimes are one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation.
During 2015, the Computer Crimes Unit conducted 269 computer forensic examinations. It takes approximately 2-3 weeks to complete one exam because the hard drives in computers have dramatically increased in size in recent years. The Computer Crimes Unit also conducts internet child safety presentations to community groups around the county.
Since its inception, the Computer Crimes Unit has an exemplary conviction rate. The Unit is recognized for their expertise by police departments, as well as state and federal agencies.
See also: Oakland County Sheriff's Office Child Internet Safety Program
Detective Sergeant Darren Ofiara
Office Phone: (248) 858-4942
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Corps serves as a resource to OCSO Deputies and civilian staff, their families, and the victims and families of crime in the Oakland County community. They are an active group of experienced chaplains who are on-call 24/7, able to respond immediately to emergency or non-emergency situations that require some form of counseling or spiritual or emotional guidance. They provide pastoral counseling services and interact with the Sheriff’s Office and the community in a constructive and compassionate manner in times of tragedy or conflict.
The Forensic Science Laboratory provides professional forensic analysis of physical evidence on a 24-hour, seven-day a week basis. To assist in making this possible, the laboratory operates a mobile crime laboratory that will respond to any crime scene. The crime scene technicians collect and tag evidence, photograph or video tape crime scenes, and analyze evidence.
In addition to processing the scene of the crime, the crime scene technicians can also provide assistance in crime scene reconstruction and blood splatter interpretation.
The Sheriff’s Laboratory provides crime scene analysis to any requesting agency in the county.
The Fire Investigations Unit is recognized as one of the best fire investigation units in the country. In 2015, the Sheriff's Fire Investigations Unit conducted 180 fire investigations, of which 48 were determined to be arson.
This is the seventh full year an accelerant detection dog has worked with the Unit and the dog has had extensive training, indicating the exact location of a fire's origin. Also, the dog is able to identify and track residue on fire starting materials and on suspects.
The Oakland County Forensic Science Lab is an accredited laboratory. The laboratory is committed to providing our clients with quality services. The laboratory understands the importance of timely, courteous, and professional service to meet our clients’ needs. We consistently strive to provide relevant, accurate, and thorough service using scientifically valid procedures under the direction of accreditation, statutory, and regulatory requirements.
To this end, our mission is to provide our clients, the criminal justice system, and the individuals in the communities where we serve, the highest quality forensic services. This mission is accomplished through the timely collection and examination of evidence using established methods and procedures resulting in clear and objective interpretations of analytical findings. Our staff is dedicated to the professionalism, integrity, and ethics required to deliver reliable conclusions.
The laboratory is composed of the following sections, each section committed to the laboratory’s mission:
As a solution to providing police agencies in our community with timely DNA testing services, Sheriff Michael Bouchard decided to enhance the capabilities of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Laboratory. He has embarked on an aggressive plan to build a state-of-the-art DNA laboratory. To ensure his success, Sheriff Bouchard sought out the extensive experience and resources of the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC). NFSTC is a nationally recognized leader in forensic science development services. NFSTC delivered a comprehensive DNA needs assessment and developed a strategic plan for implementing the DNA lab.
The project site consisted of a four thousand square foot section of existing office space within the Sheriff’s Office. Lab personnel in conjunction with County engineers developed laboratory construction plans. The building of the structure was managed by Auch Construction.
The Sheriff’s DNA lab acquired advanced statistical and sample tracking software that will expand testing capabilities and reduce processing time. The lab completed DNA testing validation studies, a major milestone, and anticipates applying for accreditation early 2016.
Check out a tour of our DNA Laboratory and Forensic Science Team below:
The primary function of this unit is to target serious offenders and career offenders who are wanted for arraignment on a warrant for trial. Experience and specialized skill are crucial requirements for investigators performing this function due to the violent individuals that are targeted and confronted regularly.
This Unit is also responsible for the 24-hour tip line. Anyone who has a tip, which could lead to the arrest of someone wanted by the law is encouraged to call the Tip Line at 1-888-Turn1in (1-888-887-6146)
In 2015, the Fugitive Team opened 529 complaints. Total arrests for 2015 were 822 - including 296 arrests with the U.S. Marshal Task Force. The team is responsible for completing all extraditions, and in 201, a total of 38 extraditions were processed. Because of their professionalism and success, the Fugitive Apprehension Team continues to be called upon by other agencies for assistance.
The Friend of the Court Enforcement Unit enforces 6000+ arrest warrants issued annually. They travel throughout the state to transport individuals arrested by other law enforcement agencies on Oakland County Friend of the Court warrants. F.O.C. consists of a Sergeant, six Investigators and 3 part-time Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) Clerks.
The Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team is a multi-jurisdictional task force which is designed to integrate federal and local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of identifying, investigating, and prosecuting violators of state and federal narcotic laws.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is the Major Crimes and Professional Standards unit of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. SIU is comprised of six detective sergeants with significant experience and expertise in the investigation, supervision, administration and prosecution of complex criminal cases at both the state and federal levels.
SIU provides investigative support to all divisions of the Sheriff’s Office as well as to a wide variety of other law enforcement agencies, including local, state and federal agencies as well as the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. SIU provides investigative assistance on major crimes; including homicides, sexual assaults, robbery, serial crimes of violence and financial crimes.
The Special Investigations Unit is a highly trained, multi-functional, county-wide investigative unit that:
- Provides inter-county agency assists
- Investigates county complex crimes and complaints
- Responds to outside agency requests for assistance
- Conducts departmental internal investigations
- Responds to all major crime investigations including rapes, homicides and armed robberies
The unit is also responsible for investigating jail disturbances, escapes and criminal complaints arising in corrections. The Special Investigations Unit (S.I.U.) provides investigative support to all divisions of the OCSO, the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, as well as to all 42 Oakland County police departments, and county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.