Sex crimes are considered to be some of the most serious offenses under New York law, so it is imperative that any investigation into alleged sex offenses be conducted by qualified professionals who exercise the utmost of caution. Those who are accused of sex offenses also need to ensure they do everything possible to protect themselves, which can mean working with an Albany sex crimes attorney to raise defenses or negotiate a plea agreement.
Unfortunately, reports suggest that there’s reason to believe that the New York Police Department may not have the necessary staff to conduct the type of thorough sex crimes investigation that is so important to ensuring the right defendant is identified when a crime is committed.
As the New York Post explains, the NYPD is actually too understaffed to properly investigate sex offenses, according to a 163-page report that was recently made public.
Report Reveals NYPD is Too Understaffed to Investigate Sex Crimes
Within the New York Police Department, there is a special division that is supposed to be dedicated to the investigation of sexually-based offenses. This division is called the Special Victims Division. SVD has a special victim’s squad tasked with investigation of sexual offenses involving adults within each of the five boroughs of New York.
There were a total of 67 detectives who were a part of the Special Victims Division over the course of 2017, and these detectives handled a total of 5,661 cases over the course of that year. Just five of those 67 detectives were considered to be “first-grade” detectives.
The inadequacy of the number of detectives in charge of investigating sex offenses is further revealed by a comparison to the number of detectives who investigate homicides. While there were just 282 homicides in the five boroughs of New York in 2017 that were under investigation, a total of 101 detectives were assigned to look into these murders.
Because there are far too few detectives conducting an investigation into sex crimes, things fall by the wayside and some investigations never even take place. In fact, the New York Post indicates that in 2011, the leadership of the New York Police Department told the Special Victims Division to discontinue investigations into misdemeanor sexual assault offenses. However, the 163-page report highlighting the understaffing problem indicates that the detectives working in SVD did not actually follow the instructions to stop investigating misdemeanor offenses.
The Special Victims Division also gained only four new investigators in the course of 2017, all of whom had only provisionally ranked as detectives. There were no new experienced investigators who were appointed in 2017 specifically to handle sex crime investigations.
When there are two few investigators, and when those who are doing the investigating lack experience, this sets up a situation where serious mistakes could be made. If you are accused of a sex offense or if you come under an investigation into the potential for alleged sexual misconduct, you should talk with an Albany sex crimes attorney as soon as possible to get help protecting yourself during the entire process of the investigation and any resulting criminal proceedings.