Investigations Bureau

Lt. Gary Trost
Lt. Gary Trost

The Investigations Bureau is comprised of 10 detective squads and support units that follow-up felony and misdemeanor crimes reported in the field. They strive to bring reported crimes to a successful conclusion by thorough and diligent investigatory methods and frequent interaction with the Salt Lake City Prosecutor and the Salt Lake County District Attorney.

  • Auto Theft

    The Auto Theft Unit is comprised of a five detectives and a sergeant. They are tasked with the following mission:

    • to investigate and suppress auto theft
    • to reduce auto thefts through education and enforcement
    • to locate and recover stolen vehicles
    • to investigate “chop shops” and career offenders
    • to forge partnerships with the community and outside agencies to create a collaborative approach to combating auto theft

    To accomplish its mission, ATU detectives identify repeat offenders, locate vehicle theft rings, conduct operations in conjunction with other agencies, and utilize high-tech equipment to locate stolen vehicles and apprehend the suspects driving them.

    Auto Theft in 2013:

    • 2,194 vehicles stolen in Salt Lake City
    • 2,444 vehicles recovered in Salt Lake City (1,896 Salt Lake City, 548 outside agencies)
    • 154 auto theft arrests
    • 86% recovery rate

    Visit the special Auto Theft Unit webpage to learn more about protecting your vehicle today.

  • Crime Lab

    The mission of the Salt Lake City Police Crime Lab is to work in partnership with, and give support to, officers and other employees of the Salt Lake City Police Department by providing quality forensic services in the field, in the lab, and in the courtroom.

    Technicians keep abreast of the latest and most up-to-date techniques and advancements in scientific criminal investigation. Areas of expertise include:

    • crime scene processing
    • latent prints
    • AFIS (fingerprint identification)
    • forensic art
    • marijuana testing
    • footwear/tire tread identification
    • serology
    • forensic document examination
    • video enhancement
    • firearms and tool marks identification
    • serial number restoration

    The Crime Lab in 2012:

    • 8,778 field callouts
    • 1,645 photography requests
    • 864 requests for laboratory examinations
  • Domestic Violence

    The mission of the Domestic Violence Unit is to assist victims of domestic violence and to hold domestic violence perpetrators accountable for acts of violence.

    The DVU handles all crimes that by state code qualify as “Domestic Violence.” To be classified as domestic violence, the involved parties have to be related by blood or marriage, have a child in common, or have lived together. This includes roommates, spouses, domestic partners, adult siblings, adult children, parents, etc.

    Besides handling all domestic violence crimes, the DVU also investigates stalking and electronic harassment cases.  In this day and age of Facebook, smart phones and the Internet, electronic harassment cases are an ever-increasing problem. For stalking cases, investigators need two or more documented (reported) stalking incidences before pursuing stalking charges against a suspect. If a person feels they are a victim of stalking, they need to contact the police department and file a police report on every incident. This can also assist them in getting a court order called a “stalking injunction.”

    The Domestic Violence Unit is housed in the Center for Families at 310 E. 300 S. on the campus of the YWCA. Also housed in the Center for Families is the Salt Lake Area Family Justice Center, which is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Some of the services available at the Family Justice Center

    1. Support groups
    2. Temporary shelter (YWCA)
    3. Short-term therapy
    4. Victim advocacy
    5. Employment assistance (Workforce Services)
    6. Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office (meet with an Assistant Prosecutor)
    7. Domestic Violence Unit (file a police report, meet with a detective)
    8. Assistance with obtaining protective orders (Legal Aid)
    9. Sexual assault forensic exams

    The DVU is made up of five detectives and one sergeant.

    In 2012 the DVU was assigned 2,090 active cases, from which officers made 1,166 arrests.

  • Evidence/Property

    The Evidence Unit receives, catalogs, stores and releases property and evidence obtained by officers. The unit is comprised of five full-time civilian technicians and one captain. The unit processes — through intake, release or disposal — nearly 5,000 items of property every month.

    The unit is open for service Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., holidays excluded. The property and evidence room are still located at the previous police building located at 315 E. 200 S. Please refer any questions to the Evidence room at (801) 799-3041 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monthly disposal notices are posted in our online newsroom.

    FAQ on Evidence/Property

  • Financial Crimes

    The Financial Crimes Unit consists of six full-time detectives and one sergeant. The unit investigates the following crimes:

    • embezzlement
    • credit card fraud
    • financial elder abuse
    • forgery
    • bad checks
    • identity theft
    • counterfeiting
    • wire fraud
    • swindles

    Squad numbers for 2012:

    • 1,633 cases assigned
    • 649 cases cleared
    • 172 arrests made

    The Financial Crimes Unit works closely with the United States Secret Service on counterfeiting cases, as well as the National White Collar Crime Center on most of the other fraud cases.

    FAQ on Identity Theft

  • Homicide

    The Homicide Unit is responsible for conducting all investigations related to deaths, homicides, Cold Case homicides, officer-involved shootings, missing persons, suicides, and reviewing all ambulance calls.

    There are six detectives and one sergeant assigned to this unit. In 2012 they investigated approximately 610 cases, of which they cleared 573 and made arrests in 33. The unit investigated six homicides in 2012, and members continue to work approximately 30 “cold” homicide and missing person cases.

    The Homicide Unit works closely with the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office and the Utah State Crime Lab in the course of its investigations.

  • Property Crimes

    The Property Crimes Unit — comprised of 12 detectives, two pawn technicians, and two sergeants — works closely with other agencies within the Salt Lake City-area. A monthly meeting provides SLCPD and fellow law enforcement agencies a venue to share information and collaborate in solving property crimes. The PCU is also actively involved with businesses and the public to identify, educate and offer solutions to prevent and reduce crimes against property.

    The Property Crimes Unit investigates the following crimes:

    • burglary
    • vehicle burglary
    • vehicle vandalisms
    • all thefts from yards, buildings, retailers (shoplifts) and metals thefts

    The PCU also maintains law-enforcement oversight of the city’s pawn and second-hand retailers by identifying stolen property through the Utah State Pawn Database and ensuring pawn shop compliance with state law.

    During 2012 the Property Crimes unit handled 17,155 cases, with a clearance rate of 20% and a total of 2,592 arrests:

    • 10,617: theft cases
    • 1,795: burglary cases
    • 4,743: damaged property/vandalism cases
  • Robbery/Aggravated Assault

    This unit is currently comprised of one sergeant and six detectives, with a seventh detective assigned to the FBI Safe Streets Violent Crimes Task Force. This unit’s investigative responsibilities can be separated into three main categories:


    • robbery of businesses
    • robbery of financial institutions
    • street robberies
    • home invasion (non-gang related)
    • extortions
    • impersonating a police officer

    Aggravated Assaults

    • aggravated assaults (non-gang and non-family-related)
    • threats (in person or written)
    • kidnapping (adult, non-sexually-related)
    • product tampering

    Offenses Against an Officer

    • obstruction
    • resisting
    • interference
    • false information
    • assault on a police officer

    The Robbery/Aggravated Assault Unit works closely with the FBI through the Safe Streets Task Force and hosts a Salt Lake Valley Robbery Detective Meeting weekly.  The weekly meeting provides SLCPD and agencies throughout the valley a venue to share information and collaborate in solving crime.

    The Robbery/ Aggravated Assault Unit in 2012:

    • 1,547 combined cases
      • 341 robberies
      • 544 aggravated assaults
      • 662 offenses against an officer
    • 67% clearance rate
    • 773 arrests

  • Special Victims

    The SVU is comprised of five detectives and one sergeant. Together they are responsible for conducting investigations related to the following crimes:

    • rape
    • sexual assault
    • obscene conduct
    • elder abuse
    • youth-related crimes involving sexual and/or physical abuse of children, child kidnapping, missing children, and runaways

    Some of the agencies SVU works closely with include Division of Child and Family Services, Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center, Sex Assault Nurse Examiners, Primary Children’s Center for Safe and Healthy Families, and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.  An additional detective in the unit manages the Sex Offender Registry, which includes registering and monitoring the compliance of sex offenders in Salt Lake City.

    SVU in 2012:

    • 1,197 cases investigated
    • 1,048 cases cleared
    • 218 cases with arrests

    FAQ on Date RapeSex Offender Registration Rules

  • Victim Advocates

    Salt Lake City’s Victim Advocate Program has been developed to address the immediate needs of victims of violent crimes. The Victim Advocate Program is dedicated to assist, support and provide information about available resources to the victims of crime.


    The Victim Advocate Program offers support, referral and direct services. All services are free.

    Support services include providing technical assistance by assisting victims with court documents and police procedures, as well as advocacy through the criminal justice system.

    Referral services include providing information and referrals pertaining to a victim’s rights, support groups, translation, counseling centers, and monetary support agencies.

    Direct services include providing transportation from our office to court and attending court with victims in a support capacity.

    The program also offers the following services to the public free of charge:

    • Court advocacy for victims involved in the judicial process. Advocates are available to attend court hearings pertaining to their cases.
    • Assistance with protective orders in domestic violence cases. Advocates will be available to answer questions regarding protective orders, as well as direct victims where to go to file the necessary documents.
    • Community education provided to community and/or business groups on issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, homicide, child abuse, elder abuse, and stalking.
    • On-scene crisis intervention.

    The purpose of the safety plan is to think ahead so that when the situation becomes dangerous you can escape the situation faster and with more options.

    • Always keep some money hidden.
    • Have an extra set of keys for the house and car.
    • Establish a “code” with family and friends to notify them that you have left to seek safety.
    • Do not hesitate to contact the police!
    • Notify neighbors to be alert for strange or loud noises. Additionally, have them watch for any events at home that have changed. (e.g., mail or newspapers left unattended). Instruct them to contact the police if they are unsure.
    • Ask friends and co-workers to contact the police for any unexplained changes in your routine (e.g., unexplained lateness or absences to planned events).
    • Remove all weapons in the house.
    • Contact Victims’ Advocate Program, (801) 799-3756, for additional assistance and support. We are here to help ensure your safety.

    Salt Lake City Victim Advocate Program Lethality Assessment

    By Dan Greene, L.C.S.W. and the Treatment Sub Committee of the SLADVC Victim Advocacy Office

    Assessment of lethality in domestic violence cases is a difficult and uncertain task and no clinician can infallibly predict that a domestic violence perpetrator will or will not seriously harm or kill his/her partner or others.

    The lethality assessment and evaluation process assist the clinician in determining a comprehensive diagnostic profile. Moreover, clinicians should continuously monitor lethality factors throughout the course of treatment to detect changes that may occur in any critical indicators.

    Yes=1 No=0

    1. Has the perpetrator verbally threatened to kill or harm the victim, children or others?
    2. Has the perpetrator threatened to harm or kill himself/herself, the victim or others, or has he/she exhibited fantasies or detailed plans of suicide and/or homicide?
    3. Does the perpetrator possess weapons and has he/she threatened the victim or actually used them in abusing the victim or others?
    4. Has the perpetrator injured the victim, children or others seriously enough to require medical treatment?
    5. Does the perpetrator have a criminal history of violence?
    6. Is the perpetrator intoxicated on a daily basis or does he/she heavily or regularly use amphetamines, heroin or other street drugs? Does the perpetrator become violent when abusing substances?
    7. Has the perpetrator broken a protective order or restraining order in the past?
    8. Has the domestic violence increased in severity and scope over the past year?
    9. Does the perpetrator have a history of stalking behaviors?
    10. Has the perpetrator threatened or abused children?
    11. Has the perpetrator forced sexual activities upon spouse or children?
    12. Has the perpetrator ever prevented the victim or children from leaving by threatening physical harm to self or others if left?
    13. Does the perpetrator have a physical or medical condition that contributes to violence?
    14. Has the victim recently separated from or terminated the relationship with the perpetrator?
    15. Has the perpetrator harmed or killed family pets or threatened to do so?
    16. Does the perpetrator have a history of violence in his/her family of origin?
    17. Has the perpetrator destroyed the victim’s personal property?
    18. Has the perpetrator dropped out of treatment or been non-compliant in a domestic violence treatment program?
    19. Does the perpetrator have chronic, severe mental health problems?
    20. Does the perpetrator exhibit excessive jealousy?

    Even one “yes” indicates the possibility of continued threat of harm and interventions should be employed to protect the victim.

    0-5 low
    6-10 moderate
    11-15 high
    16-20 severe

    Contacts and Resources

    • Crisis/Information Line: (801) 580-7969
    • State Domestic Violence Info Line: 1 (800) 897-5465
    • Information Line: (801) 580-7969
    • Mobile Response Team available after office hours as well as regular hours

    Additional Information and Resource Centers

    Emergency Shelters

    Protective Orders and Stalking Injunctions

    Offender Information

    General Victim Resources