Crimes Against Persons
The Crimes Against Persons unit is responsible for investigating all crimes committed within the City of Westminster where the intended victim is a person. The unit consists of three major components: Family Protection Unit; Robbery / Homicide; and the T.A.R.G.E.T Gang unit. The unit is also staffed with a police service officer, a police intern and one Sergeant. The unit is housed together in one office to facilitate the flow of information and foster teamwork. During major investigations, such as a murder or kidnapping, all components of the unit come together and function as one team bringing collective experience of all the members into the investigation. The Crimes Against Persons unit is the largest investigative unit within the department. The bureau is lead by Commander Cameron Knauerhaze at 714-548-3791.
The Family Protection Unit (FPU) is charged with investigating all domestic violence, sex crimes and elder abuse. FPU was designed and implemented by former Chief Andy Hall. FPU is designed to consist of two detectives, a victim’s advocate from the Women’s Transitional Living Center, a social worker from the County of Orange, a police service officer and a Deputy District Attorney (DDA). This unit carries the largest caseload and is ever vigilant in the protection of family, especially children. FPU was recently recognized for their years of partnership and dedication to the Child Abuse Services Team.
The Robbery/Homicide unit consists of two detectives. This unit does not exclusively investigate robberies and homicides. Other than their regular caseload, these detectives investigate all assaults, criminal threats, and any other crimes that are not domestic or gang related. These detectives are highly skilled and must be able to adapt to a dynamic caseload. The most seasoned detectives are assigned to this unit because of the expertise needed to handle complex investigations.
The Tri-Agency Resource Gang Enforcement Team (TARGET) is comprised of two detectives, a Deputy District Attorney (DDA), a District Attorney Investigator and a Deputy Probation Officer (DPO). The mission of the TARGET unit is to reduce gang influenced anti-social behavior by targeting the most active, hard-core gang members in Westminster. When a gang member is arrested and he/she has been identified as a target through reliable intelligence, that person is prosecuted by the DDA assigned to our unit. All targeted gang members who are on probation are supervised by the DPO assigned to the unit and their activities are closely monitored. The unit is also charged with gang suppression and they are regularly called upon to testify in other jurisdictions as gang experts. Our TARGET unit was the first of its kind in the nation and has been replicated by several agencies across the Country.