The Major Crimes Unit (MCU) investigates homicides, other suspicious deaths, serious assaults (including but not limited to, shootings and stabbings), robberies and other major felonies perpetrated upon an individual. Investigations in the Major Crimes Unit can become complex and quality, not quantity, is stressed. Trials in the Major Crimes Unit are long, complex, and highly publicized. Major Crimes investigators, in many instances, are the voice of the victim.
SPD Major Crimes Detectives are skilled investigators who strive to gather the majority of information within the first 24 hours of an investigation. MCU works high profile and time sensitive cases and are often rapidly chasing leads and may not be accessible to media. Having a media plan is recognized by the incident commander. Media requests will be handled by the scene supervisor or PIO. Available information will be released as it pertains to the safety of the community. The first priority is scene preservation and apprehension of suspects. Detectives understand and may utilize media resources to further their investigation.
If an area is safe for the media, it must also be safe for the public. However, in some cases, media may be allowed into a restricted area for better access. SPD asks media cooperation in working with officers at a crime scene before the perimeter is set. Allowance into a restricted area will be on a case by case basis and may be limited to one pool cameraman/reporter and media credentials would be required. A media area will be established during significant events. In this scenario, media will be given frequent updates at this single predetermined location.