The Toledo police department is reorganizing its investigation bureau, but citizens shouldn't notice many changes, police Chief Mike Navarre said.
Detectives now are at the department's three district stations to investigate property crimes and crimes against people.
Beginning in April, the detectives investigating property crimes will be together in one building. Those handling crimes against people, which include homicides and robberies, will be in another building.
It has not been determined where the officers will be stationed, including other squads such as auto theft or sex crimes, but all the buildings will have detectives in some capacity, the chief said.
“The public's not going to notice any change at all and that's the key. They will still know their detectives,” the chief said.
There will be detectives at each district station. And even though, for example, property detectives at the Northwest station may be relocated, they still may concentrate on cases from the Northwest area because they already have experience in those communities.
“A lot of the detectives think going back together is going to be much better. A lot of them suggested that even after [former police Chief Gerald Galvin] left,” said Gregg Harris, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.
He said the benefits of such a move include improved information flow and - for the street officers and the public - knowing there will be detectives and supervisors working the afternoon and midnight shifts and on the weekends.
Mr. Harris said this often isn't the case now.
He said he hasn't received many complaints about the changes. But detectives have been concerned about issues such as their response times to scenes and how the street officers will handle transporting suspects to investigation bureaus situated outside their beats.
He said he also hopes residents won't be sent from station to station just to get in touch with the right detective.
Chief Navarre said residents will continue to make reports at their district stations. In the long run, he said the changes will improve community service because crimes, such as burglaries, cross district station boundaries.
“If we try it and it doesn't work, we can go back to the way we do it now,” the chief said.
The changes will not affect manpower nor cost the city any additional money.
Another change in the reorganization includes forming one team of officers to investigate incidents in which officers fire their service weapons. Now, there is one team at each district station.
A new computer crimes unit will be developed as part of the changes. That unit will investigate crimes that occur via computer, such as theft of identity and pedophile cases in which child pornography is stored on computers.
Deputy Chief Linda Mason will oversee the administrative and support services bureau, which includes communications and records.
Deputy Chief Nate Ford will keep his role over the operations bureau, which will include the new aviation unit.
Deputy Chief Michael Schroeder will be in charge of the investigation services bureau, which includes investigations and special enforcement.
The captain who will oversee the detectives and their supervisors will be named next week.