SBI Continues Training Series for Sex Crimes Investigators
SBI continued its yearlong series of trainings for sex crimes investigators, with classes in June and July.
At the class in June, officers from multiple agencies, including the newly formed Riverton Police Department, received information from Matt Janzen, main Special Victims’ Unit (SVU) supervisor for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and Langdon Fisher, the West Jordan SVU supervisor.
An important part of Janzen and Fisher’s presentation was a legislative update, as there were several changes implemented in the 2019 legislative session that directly impact the investigation and prosecution of sex crimes in Utah.
“Our goal is to work together to bring justice to this population of victims.”Salt Lake County Assistant District Attorney Matt Janzen
The two prosecutors also discussed the philosophy they have when screening cases, the Brady-Giglio issue, the team effort it takes to develop trust with victims, and what District Attorney’s Office investigators can and can’t do.
July’s training brought Nicole Nielsen from the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to present to the investigators. She discussed how DCFS and the investigators can work together toward DCFS’ mission of keeping kids safe from abuse and neglect and providing domestic violence services by strengthening families and working with communities.
Tragically, over half the time sex crimes investigations involved people under the age of 18. Therefore, sex crimes investigators will work with DCFS on a regular basis.
The goal of this training was to open and strengthen lines of communication between DCFS and sex crimes investigators. As SBI Agent Steve O’Camb, who is part of the team who coordinates the training session, put it, “Successful and efficient investigations require collaboration across all agencies.”
Following the training, Agent O’Camb shared an updated contact list for DCFS and Child Protective Services from the Salt Lake Children’s Justice Center. The list includes not only contacts for intake and investigation teams at CPS and local law enforcement agencies, but also resources such as the Guardian Ad Litem, other children’s justice centers and Primary Children’s Hospital.
Agent O’Camb stated how important the network of contacts is for the sex crimes investigators, noting that “without that network, investigations are much more difficult.”
SBI will continue to host the trainings with the goal of strengthening and expanding those networks for sex crimes investigators in order to help bring justice to victims of sex crimes.