Bureau of Investigation

The Bureau of Investigation is the law enforcement component of the District Attorney’s Office. The Bureau’s 114 District Attorney Investigators (DAIs), 41 Public Assistance Fraud Investigators (PAFIs), 14 process servers, 7 paralegals, and 10 technicians are assigned to eight divisions in the DA’s Office. Under the direction of Chief Paula Robinson, Assistant Chief Carlos Gonzalez, and Deputy Chief Butch Etheridge, the Bureau of Investigation continued to be aggressive in efforts to support the prosecutorial mission.

In 2011, Bureau investigators handled more than 5,000 cases that required completing investigative service requests that resulted with the service of 432 search warrants, and the arrests of 100 defendants. District Attorney Investigators were also involved in:

The Bureau’s Child Abduction Unit (CAU) conducted 150 investigations and was successful in the recovery of 74 abducted children from around the country. In addition, CAU was involved in 27 cases involving children being abducted from, or taken to other countries, including, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Columbia, and Dominica. In 2011 the CAU ‘Visitation Reporting System’ which is accessible via the D.A.’s website 2,096 violations reported on this site to date.

In 2011, Bureau investigators were involved in the investigation of 15 officer-involved shootings.


Awards to the Bureau and its DAIs during the year included:


The Bureau’s Public Assistance Fraud Division handled over 26,000 cases in the anti fraud unit, Early Fraud. This resulted in an annual savings of $5.6 million; with “Projected Savings” of $74 million since 2001. The full field units, which include investigative support for child care and the in-home supportive services program (IHSS), closed 287 investigations and identified overpayments totaling $1.4 million. The division’s paralegals responded to 7,176 Child Protective Services requests for criminal history checks prior to placement and have reviewed and closed 4,678 requests in response to the Fleeing Felon program and the nationwide prisoner and decease person matches.

Bureau Paralegals

In 2011, the Bureau Paralegal Program was started and seven paralegals were integrated into various divisions within the bureau. The idea of integrating paralegals into the bureau was to assist or relieve DAI’s of various tasks that they had traditionally done but were not necessarily statutorily or otherwise required to be done by an investigator. This allows a more efficient use of DAI’s time to complete tasks that are required to be done by a DA investigator.

The Bureau Paralegal Program had immediate success and has continued to grow and improve over the year as each division has continued to identify division-specific tasks that their bureau paralegal can assist with. The tasks that the bureau paralegals are assisting with vary and many are division specific including the following:

Subpoena Witness Coordination Center

Two years ago, the Subpoena Witness Coordination Center (SWCC) was started so that our process server resources could be consolidated and managed more effectively. Prior to the SWCC being formed, the process servers working out of the Hall of Justice were assigned to individual divisions. There was little communication between divisions when it came to the process servers and it was not uncommon for process servers from multiple divisions to end up at the same location on any given day serving subpoenas for their division.

By consolidating and centralizing our process servers under the SWCC umbrella, we have been able to virtually eliminate, within our own ranks, the duplication of efforts. Centralizing our efforts through the SWCC has also allowed us to more effectively shift our resources throughout the county and branches when personnel and workload issue arise.

The SWCC is continually working to find ways to improve on the process of serving subpoenas. In 2012, we will be working with our ITD department to develop a subpoena module in CMS that will be geared toward those subpoenas that are currently served by the Sheriff’s Department. Our goal is to create a mailing system that can be tracked in CMS, giving us more internal control and improving on the communication flow. This would also allow us to remove the Sheriff’s Department from the process as much as possible.

SWCC will also be working with ITD to evaluate the feasibility of creating a web based system for Law Enforcement subpoenas that would be developed and maintained by our office. We currently use the County’s mainframe to deliver our Law Enforcement subpoenas, which comes with yearly maintenance fees and a lack of control when problems arise or improvements are needed.

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