Using a victim-centered approach, crimes will be investigated thoroughly and promptly with professionalism and tenacity, helping to enhance the quality of life for citizens and visitors in the Town of Newton.
The Newton Police Detective Bureau will practice the values described above by identifying, selecting and training quality personnel who will carry out the many specialized duties of the assignment as a Detective. Through the use of traditional investigative methods as well as the latest technological resources, Detectives primarily conduct investigations into all major crimes that are committed in the Town of Newton.
In support of this primary investigative function, Detectives also develop and maintain criminal intelligence information and records of Registered Sex Offenders. In addition, Detectives frequently assist other area law enforcement agencies forming positive relationships that help lead toward the common goal of suppression of criminal activity in the Town of Newton and surrounding communities.
Currently, there are three officers assigned to the Detective Bureau; Detective Sergeant Thomas Muller, Detective Steve VanNieuwland and Detective Joseph D'Annibale. The Detective Bureau falls under the Support Services Division and is supervised by Det. Sgt. Thomas Muller.
Investigative Division Operations and Responsibilities
Detectives conduct investigations dealing with all major crimes, often including:
- Sexual Assaults
- Aggravated Assaults
- Bias crimes
- Child Abuse allegations
- Fire Investigations
- White collar crimes
- Missing persons
- Computer-related crimes
- Suspicious deaths
- Illegal narcotics activity
Additionally, the Detective Sergeant is responsible for the review, oversight and management of all other criminal investigations. From this oversight, he can provide analysis of criminal activity and coordinate with the Patrol Division to respond to specific problems and crime trends that are observed.
Crime Scene Investigation
Detectives process all crime scenes for forensic evidence and photograph the scene for future reference in Court proceedings. In the course of an investigation, Detectives regularly prepare, apply for and execute search warrants. They also take video and audio taped interviews from victims, witnesses and suspects. Subject to immediate recall to duty, a member of the Detective Bureau is always available to respond within a short time period.
Background investigations to determine the suitability for employment within the Police Department are also conducted by Detectives as well as any other additional special investigations as assigned by the Chief of Police.
Liquor Licensing Investigations
Detectives are responsible for background investigations of persons attempting to obtain or transfer liquor licenses to ensure that the applicant is qualified to be licensed according to New Jersey State Statutes. These investigations include background inquires, fingerprinting and obtaining documents and completed applications for final review by the Newton Town Council. Members of the Investigative Division maintain records for all licensed establishments with the Town and conduct inspections and enforcement to ensure conformity with Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations and Town Ordinances.
Monitoring of Megan's Law Registrants
Detectives also maintains records and identification information on all of the Megan's Law registrants that reside, attend College or are employed within the Town of Newton. The Detectives routinely perform checks on registrants to verify that their address of record is where they are actually residing and will investigate any violations of Megan's Law.
Evidence and Property Control
The Investigative Division maintains control and safekeeping of all property and evidence. This includes items that are lost and found, recovered stolen property and items that are seized as evidence of a criminal offense. Detectives submit evidence to the New Jersey State Police laboratories for examination such as toxicology, presence of narcotics and DNA comparison. Latent fingerprints are submitted to the NJ State Police AFIS Unit for comparison. Evidence and property are disposed of in strict accordance with applicable NJ State Laws and Attorney General Guidelines.
William G. Geffken Detective of the Year Award
Several Newton Police Detectives have been recipients of the William G. Geffken Detective of the Year award which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in investigative police work. Det. Kenneth Armstrong received the award in 2000, Chief Michael Richards received it in 2008, and DSG. Thomas Muller received it in 2011.