Criminal Investigation Division

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The Sarasota Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division has four Investigative Sections; General Crimes, Crimes Against Children, White Collar & Narcotics. Each section consists of specialized units that investigate crimes related to their expertise. Personnel assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division include sworn detectives, civilian employees, and volunteer professionals from the community. This Division has two support units: Criminalistics & Victim Advocate.

The primary function of the Criminal Investigation Division is to conduct follow-up investigations of reported crimes. These investigations consist of interviewing suspects, victims, and witnesses; analyzing information for validity, reliability, and accuracy; and compiling a comprehensive and factual case file to be presented in court.

Specially trained civilian staff conduct crime analysis, investigative support duties, and victim assistance. Detectives are selected through a formal process and receive additional investigative training as part of their assignment.



The General Crimes Unit is responsible for the follow-up of the following crimes: Homicides, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault, Sexual Battery, Robbery, Home Invasion, Kidnapping, Burglaries and Grand Thefts. This unit also monitors pawns, secondhand dealers, and scrap metal recyclers.

The Crimes Against Children Unit has three detectives and a part-time civilian investigator assigned to investigate all crimes against children under the age of 18 to include locating runaways and sexual offenders/predators in the city limits.

The Economic Crimes Unit has two detectives that are assigned to investigate crimes ranging from organized check fraud to multi-million dollar fraud cases and a part-time civilian investigator assigned to white collar crimes. 

These three units are managed by two detective sergeants.


This unit is responsible for collecting, processing, and analyzing all evidence and crime scenes. Their responsibilities include responding to various crime scenes, photography, collecting and preserving evidence, collecting video, processing items for latent prints and comparing latent prints. Their casework includes written and photo documentation, latent print evaluation and comparison, preparing and transporting items for outside lab submissions, writing detailed reports and testifying in legal proceedings.

The Criminalistics Unit is supervised by Manager Kari McVaugh and has four Criminalistics Technicians.


The primary responsibility of this unit is to investigate street level narcotics sales, high level interstate smuggling, and trafficking cases.  Detectives of this unit also investigate other vice related crimes (prostitution, gambling, and human trafficking).

The goals of this unit are to:

  • Reduce street level drug sales within the City of Sarasota
  • Address citizen complaints received from the Drug Tip Line, other phone calls, or direct tips
  • Identify and apprehend drug dealers through various investigative techniques
  • Enhance the quality of life through drug investigation by maintaining safe and livable neighborhoods for the citizens within the City of Sarasota.

The Narcotics Unit consists of one detective sergeant, six detectives and one civilian investigator and is under the command of a lieutenant. The Narcotics Unit Commander provides planning for both tactical and strategic narcotics investigations to include organizing, budgeting, allocating resources, and general management of investigations. The Narcotics Commander also serves as a facilitator in obtaining personnel and resources from other divisions and agencies to assist in narcotics investigations.

Citizens can anonymously report suspicious narcotics activity by calling the CRIMESTOPPERS TIP LINE 941-366-8477 or submit a tip online at


The Victim Advocate Program (VAP) provides services to the victims of serious crimes. The Victim Advocates serve as liaisons between the Police Department, State Attorney, and various community groups dedicated to helping preserve the rights of crime victims. The program is directly supervised by a Detective Sergeant.

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