The Kern County Sheriff’s Office Robbery/Homicide Unit consists of eight senior deputies and one sergeant. They are supported by two Sheriff’s Support Technicians. The robbery/homicide unit investigates “crimes against persons” such as assault and battery, elder physical abuse, hate crimes, missing persons, annoying phone calls, robbery, criminal threats, violation of restraining orders, officer involved shootings and homicides. These investigations can vary from being very basic in nature to those that can become very complex, with multiple leads to be followed up, extensive travel, and several man-hours involved.
The unit is divided into four two-person teams assigned to work the cases. The detectives assigned to the unit are on an on-call rotation in which there is a “team” ready to respond 24 hours a day if the need arises. In 2014, the homicide unit handled over thirty homicides and had over sixty call outs. Detectives also work with members of the Sheriff’s Coroner Section in that they attend autopsies to assist in determining the cause and manner of death in potential homicide cases.
Detectives assigned to the robbery/homicide unit also work closely with the Sheriff’s Gang Suppression Section with the investigation of crimes against persons when suspected gang members are involved.
Detectives assigned to the robbery/homicide unit receive extensive training in the investigation of homicides and other violent crimes. Detectives assigned to the unit also work closely with members of the District Attorney’s Office to ensure investigations are as complete as possible and ready for trial.