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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 6:54 am | Fair 43º


Santa Barbara Police Department Forms Major Investigation Team

Multidisciplinary group will assist with the investigation of major incidents within the city

The Santa Barbara Police Department recently created the Major Investigation Team, a multidisciplinary cadre of personnel that will assist with the investigation of major incidents within the city.

The Major Investigation Team consists of three supervisors, nine officers and detectives, and one forensic technician that possess specialized training and experience in the areas of homicide investigation, officer involved shooting investigation, crime scene investigation, traffic collision investigation and cold case investigation.

These personnel all have other full-time responsibilities and serve on the Major Investigation Team as a collateral assignment.

The Police Department has long recognized the utility of having a specialized workforce available to assist when major incidents occur; an approach that has been successfully employed by the department’s other specialized teams for many years; the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), Crisis Negotiation Response Team (CNRT), and Collision Reconstruction Team (CRT). Like the members of the aforementioned teams, the personnel assigned to the newly formed Major Investigation Team will benefit from opportunities to receive frequent and advanced training in their areas of expertise.

In addition to providing additional resources on critical investigations, one of the primary responsibilities of the Major Investigation Team will be putting their skills to task investigating and providing oversight on the city’s 23 cold case homicides.  This team strategy will ensure that due diligence is maintained in all cold cases while still enabling the Major Investigation Team members to focus effort, time and resources on cases with current investigative leads.

Managed by the Investigative Division commander, Capt. Alex Altavilla, the Major Investigation Team include sergeants Dave Henderson, Aaron Baker, Todd Stoney and Lorenzo Duarte (in an investigative role), Officer Mark Hunt, detectives Mike Brown, Mike Claytor, Crystal Bedolla, Mark Vierra, Charlie Katsapis, Bryan Jensen and Brian Larson, and forensic technician Mike Ullemeyer.

— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a community and media relations public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.

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