Law Enforcement Services Bureau
The Law Enforcement Services Bureau serves nearly 900,000
individuals who live in the county’s unincorporated communities or in
one of the nine contract cities which contract our services. The bureau
also coordinates and oversees many regional services, including our
Crime Lab, Aviation Unit, Bomb-Arson Unit, and Search and Rescue Unit.
The budget for fiscal year 2008-09 is $188,927,981. Some highlights from
the past year include:
East County Regional Gang Task Force:
- The mission of the East County Regional Gang Task Force (ECRGTF) is to
jointly identify, disrupt and dismantle existing and emerging violent
criminal enterprises operating in eastern and southern San Diego County.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the East County
Regional Gang Task Force (ECRGTF) as part of a Safe Streets Initiative
Task Force, targeting criminal activity related to drug and weapons
trafficking, homicides, and all other related violent crimes associated
with the street gangs and other violent criminal enterprises.
- The Safe Streets Task Force concept expands cooperation and
communication among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies,
increasing productivity and avoiding duplication of investigative
- These task forces pursue violent gangs through sustained, proactive,
coordinated investigations to obtain prosecutions under the U.S. Code,
Titles 18 and 21, including violations such as racketeering, drug
conspiracy, and firearms violations.
- The ECRGTF received a Project Safe Neighborhoods grant and has
implemented gun buy and sweep operations to reduce violence in San Diego
Crime Analysis Unit
- The Crime Analysis Unit leveraged the new NetRMS records system to
increase the timeliness of crime data for decision making from three
weeks to three days. Analysis reports now improve operational decisions
with data that not only describe current crimes and arrests, but will
forecast "red flag" issues two weeks in advance. Those flagged issues
are those that show a marked increase over previous trends and allow for
command decisions to deploy resources for positive effect.
- Traffic issues are a consistent concern across our communities. Without
additional cost, Crime Analysis created, and then improved, a monthly
map-based report that focuses on those locations in each of our contract
cities where repeat collisions occur. The report also demonstrates the
alignment between where those collisions occur and enforcement action is
- Project TKO, "Tracking Known Offenders," was launched by the Crime
Analysis Unit to bring a focus on known offenders using existing
technology and available data. Computer mapping is used to evaluate
current crime locations with addresses known to be used by parolees,
probationers, registrants, and other known criminals. Collaboration with
Probation and Parole is a key component of this initiative. Under
Project TKO, Crime Analyst capabilities have grown with training and
access to Parole's GPS sex offender tracking system.
Law Enforcement Coordination Center:
- The long-awaited Law Enforcement Coordination Center (LECC) opened in
2008. The LECC is an information and intelligence “fusion center”
involving every level and discipline of government including federal,
state, local, and tribal authorities.
- The three core components are:
- The Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) led by the FBI.
- The Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center- coordinated by the
- The Criminal Intelligence Teams consisting of the Narcotics Team, Gang
Team, Border and Financial Crimes Team and the Organized Crime Team.
- The LECC collects information using an “All Crimes” approach. The
information is then analyzed and converted into “actionable
intelligence” which is then disseminated to the appropriate partners.
The result is an enhanced ability to prevent terrorist attacks and to
combat traditional crime.
- The LECC provides an effective and efficient mechanism to exchange
information and intelligence, maximize resources, streamline operations,
and improve the ability of law enforcement to fight crime and terrorism.
- Simply put, the LECC brings local, state, federal and tribal partners
together to help ensure public safety by preventing and combating both
traditional crime and terrorist threats.
License & Registration Division:
This division handles the regulatory licensing and enforcement of 32
police regulated businesses and occupations including the licensing of
all concealed weapon licenses for the entire county. This division is
also responsible for the registering of convicted criminal offenders
e.g., sex offenders, narcotic offenders, arsonists, and registered gang
- Graffiti, gang activity and property vandalism is an ongoing problem in
many communities. Graffiti is a blight on our communities and sends the
message that criminal activity is tolerated.
- The Sheriff’s Department has contracted with Graffiti Tracker to combat
graffiti in all nine contract cities and the unincorporated areas of the
County. Graffiti Tracker is a private company with a proven record of
success in significantly reducing graffiti in the communities it serves.
- Graffiti Tracker utilizes GPS enabled cameras to record graffiti
vandalism. The photos are uploaded to an Internet-based website and then
analyzed by experts.
- Graffiti Tracker is a web-based analysis and intelligence sharing
service. The information will be shared countywide with all law
enforcement agencies to enhance identification and prosecution wherever
the vandalism occurs.
- Graffiti Tracker provides analysis on both tagger vandalism and gang
graffiti. The information on gang activity allows law enforcement to be
proactive in combating gang violence and other unlawful actions.
- Escondido and Oceanside currently utilize Graffiti Tracker. The District
Attorney’s Office has many successful prosecutions based on the system
and strongly supports Graffiti Tracker.
- The Sheriff’s Department’s use of Graffiti Tracker will increase the
coverage throughout the region and help move one step closer to the goal
of having all law enforcement adopt a standardized approach to combating
graffiti in San Diego County.
- In communities throughout the area where Graffiti Tracker is employed,
there have been significant reductions in graffiti vandalism, reduced
costs in painting over the vandalism, enhanced convictions of offenders
and significant increases in restitution orders.
- Graffiti vandalism will no longer be tolerated and offenders will be
identified, arrested, prosecuted and forced to pay restitution upon
- The introduction of a countywide program to combat graffiti will enhance
the quality of life in our communities and make for safe and livable
San Diego Sheriff’s Regional Crime Laboratory:
The Board of Supervisors has made a major investment in forensic science
in San Diego County.
San Diego County has also launched a first-of-its-kind effort in
California. The Board authorized our department to create a Rapid
Response DNA Team. DNA evidence has been very effective in solving
serious, violent crime: homicides and sex crimes. More recently, we have
proposed a major new deployment of DNA technology: to target street
crimes—robberies and burglaries and auto thefts. The Board of
Supervisors authorized creating a new team of DNA criminalists at the
Crime Lab to do just that. The Lab is still hiring and training some of
the team, but already this year over 200 criminals were identified
through cold DNA hits—meaning there was no suspect but DNA identified
who they were from a database of known criminals. This is an effort that
will directly translate into safer and more livable neighborhoods.
- The Board has funded a partnership between our Sheriff’s Crime Lab and
the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) to track and solve
crimes committed with guns throughout the San Diego region. The Crime
Lab now has in place IBIS (the Integrated Ballistic Information System).
IBIS allows forensic professionals at the lab to enter firearms’ casings
and bullets from crime scenes into its system to see if the firearms’
evidence connects to other crimes. Originally, the department initiated
this program with federal grant money. However, we’ve been able to keep
it going and it’s paying off: our lab professionals enter over 95 cases
a month in the system and then report back to investigators when the
same gun was used in another crime.
- This technology has been particularly effective in targeting gang
crimes and is being used regularly by investigators with the East County
Regional Gang Task Force (ECRGTF) and North County Regional Gang Task
- Mexican Mafia. A Mexican mafia hit man shot an East Side gang member
but there was nothing to link him to the crime until the Lab using IBIS
connected a shell casing found in his attic to the shell casing from the
shooting scene. The North County Regional Gang Task Force put the case
together and the suspect was convicted and is currently incarcerated.
- Deep Valley Bloods. Forensic professionals, using IBIS, were able to
link an armed robbery series committed in 2004 and 2005 and connect them
to the Deep Valley Bloods (a gang that operates around Camp Pendleton). In
more than one crime, shots were fired at robbery victims. This enabled
the lab to connect the shootings to guns and ultimately to suspects who
were arrested and behind bars.
- Skyline Piru. In 2006 police began an investigation of a home invasion
robbery of a family in Chula Vista. One suspect shot and stabbed the
husband in front of the wife and daughter. With IBIS technology
investigators were able to identify a Skyline Piru gangster as the
shooter. He was prosecuted and convicted.
In 2008, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department applied for, and
received several grants. As noted below, these funds were applied to
several important programs, with significant results.
In October 2008, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department was awarded a
$1.1 million Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Grant to provide DUI
enforcement throughout the County of San Diego. This funding provides
money to the local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement
operations to target DUI offenders. Unfortunately due to a delay with
OTS, the MOA's have not yet been completed and multi-agency operations
have been delayed. The Sheriff's Department has completed in house only
operations at this time (Ocotillo Wells and two saturation patrols). It
is anticipated that Avoid Grant operations with our law enforcement
partners will commence within the next month.
- In the fall of 2008, San Diego County received 5.5 million dollars from
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Operation Stonegarden
- The Sheriff’s Department is the fiduciary agent and the grant
- However, Operation Stonegarden is a true regional effort with federal,
state and local law enforcement working together to maximize our
resources and optimize the results.
- The Stonegarden Grant’s focus is crime prevention, detection and
suppression in areas impacted along the Mexico, U.S. border.
- Stonegarden does provide additional resources to local law enforcement
so they can more effectively prevent and suppress border-related crimes.
- The focus is on reducing border-related crimes and on helping secure our
borders by a strong, visible, proactive presence in local communities
impacted by the border.
- In the first twelve weeks of the grant, over 2,112 traffic stops were
conducted, 843 citations were written, 73 arrests were made, 16 seizures
of contraband, mostly illegal drugs, occurred and nearly $50,000 were
The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grant:
The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grant in the amount of $983,723,
funded through the U.S. Department of Justice Program's Bureau of
Justice Assistance, was awarded to the San Diego County Sheriff's
Department in October of 2007.
- Byrne Grants are designed to help local communities improve the capacity
of local justice systems. The primary goal for this funding was to
enhance communication and coordination of multi-agency,
multi-jurisdictional partnerships and to target and reduce violent crime
and gang violence in the North San Diego County area.
- The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, through the Vista Station is
the lead agency and fiscal agent for the program. The police departments
of Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Escondido have all committed to
participating in this initiative. In addition, the California Highway
Patrol, the Probation Department, County of San Diego Child Welfare
Services, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and the
District Attorney’s Office have been active participants. The federal
partners are the U. S. Attorney’s Office and Immigration and Customs
- The enhancement of communications and coordination of this multi-agency,
multi-jurisdictional partnership has exceeded all expectations.
Perceived jurisdictional boundaries have essentially been lifted and
partnering agency personnel now feel more comfortable contacting each
other directly to share information openly and in a timely manner.
- There has been an increase in the latest information technology
available to frontline officers. Specifically, law enforcement partners
received the Byrne Grant funded hand-held PCs and participated in
training on their use. These hand-held PCs have been utilized during
operations to increase sharing of information. They have also been
helpful in non-Byrne Grant field patrols.
- The grant funding pays for a minimum of twenty-four suppression
operations targeting violent and gang-related crime. Each month
partnering law enforcement agencies provide cooperative support for
suppression actions in one or two cities. Each city will receive two
operations over the twelve month period.
Human Trafficking Grant:
During the last year, the San Diego Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force
has investigated 130 incidents of trafficking. These investigations have
revealed 140 victims, or potential victims of trafficking. Of these 140,
22 were minors. A potential victim is defined as a person who has been
exploited in the past (either adult or minor) and claims to be working
independently. All of these victims and potential victims were provided
various services to assist them in escaping the crime of human
trafficking/sexual exploitation. Additionally, 55 human trafficking
suspects were identified and investigated. A total of 13 have been
arrested and formally charged.