The primary responsibility of the Investigative Division is to assist in major investigations and conduct follow up on all original complaints. In addition, the Investigative Division provides support services to various units within the department and throughout the campus community.
The Detective Unit of Michigan State University is composed of 12 Detectives with varying areas of responsibility such as: Court and Prosecutor’s Office duties, maintaining the Evidence Room, conducting Polygraph and Computer Forensic Examinations, Fire Marshal Duties, Crime Scene Investigation, and providing Dignitary Service support.
The Detectives that are assigned follow-up investigations on criminal complaints will follow up with the complainant, interview witnesses, identify and interview suspects, and gather evidence. The unit submits these cases for review to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.
The most common type of complaints handled by this unit are Larceny, Breaking & Entering, Malicious Destruction of Property, Assault & Battery (including Domestic Assaults), Criminal Sexual Conduct (rape), Harassment, and Fraud. Detectives also attend meetings with other area departments to share and disseminate information on possible related crimes.
Computer Forensics Unit
The Computer Forensics Unit conducts investigations involving computers, cellular telephones and other mobile devices, networks, servers, social networking sites, internet service providers, and other forms of digital media. These devices can be used as a tool of the crime or contain evidence of crimes that are investigated every day.
The Computer Forensics Unit provides assistance to Academic Technology Services (ATS), other departments within the University, and other local law enforcement agencies as requested. The unit also contributes to announcements and bulletins reference trends and frauds that are affecting Michigan State University students and staff, and educates the community about computer crimes, internet safety, and social networking sites.
Crime Scene Investigations Unit
The MSU Police Department currently has seven crime scene investigators. In addition to their initial 80 hours of training, investigators participate in specialized and in-service training. MSU Police Crime Scene Investigators have also been crossed trained by the MSU Office of Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Safety (ORCBS), Advanced X-ray Unit to respond and investigate suspicious packages as hazardous material technicians, we have 2 composite artists, 1 video specialist, advanced photographers, and accident investigators. The investigators are on call 24 hours a day for major crime scenes.
The Crime Scene Investigators are responsible for identifying, collecting, preserving, and documenting evidence at a crime scene. Our unit has processed scenes involving homicides, deaths, rapes, stabbings, drive-by shootings, explosive devices, home invasions, breaking & entering, larcenies from vehicles, and vehicle accidents.
Our efforts have resulted in the successful identification, apprehension, and prosecution of criminals.
Special Victims Unit (SVU)
The MSU Police Department Special Victims Unit (SVU) is dedicated to the investigation of:
- Sex Crimes
- Relationship Violence
- Stalking and Harassment
- Child Abuse
- Vulnerable Adult Abuse
- Missing Persons
The SVU consists of:
- Andrea Munford, Detective Lieutenant in the Investigative Division
- Sam Miller, Detective in the Investigations Division
- Dwayne Jones, Detective in the Investigative Division
- Jessica Martin, Patrol Sergeant
- Martha Brushaber, Patrol Officer
- Erin Held, Patrol Officer
- Jamie Izen, Patrol Officer
- Jessica Mitchell, Patrol Officer
- Officer Kim Parviainen, Patrol Officer
The SVU utilizes a victim centered approach, which focuses on the needs and concerns of a victim to:
- prevent retraumatization
- ensure victims experience compassion and sensitivity
- treat victims in a nonjudgmental manner
- support victims’ rights and privacy
The SVU is committed to ensuring that all survivors are treated with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding, and professionalism. The members of the SVU have received specialized training in trauma informed interviewing, including the neurobiology of trauma.
Trauma informed interviewing is important in investigations to acknowledge the trauma that a victim has experienced, and it gives officers the understanding that there is no typical response to trauma, that every victim’s behavior, reaction and memory are different.
By understanding how trauma affects victims, officers can provide an experience that it not re-traumatizing and supports victims’ healing and recovery.
We recognize that a strong community response will have the greatest change in the life of the individual victim. SVU members work together with community partners to continuously address the needs of victims and assist them with resources locally available.
SVU members also participate in community outreach and training to improve the safety of our community and encourage reporting.
Things to know:
When appropriate, SVU members will meet with a victim in a place they feel most comfortable and safe.
A victim may feel more comfortable with an advocate present during the process of reporting and seeking information. We can help contact an advocate if needed.
It is a victim’s choice to report and to continue with an investigation.
It is never too late to report assault or harassment. While laws may prevent prosecution after a certain amount of time has passed, we can still assist with providing resources and support.