Investigations

The primary responsibility of the Investigative Division is to assist in major investigations and conduct follow up on all original complaints. In addition, the Investigative Division provides support services to various units within the department and throughout the campus community.

Detective Unit

The Detective Unit of Michigan State University is composed of 12 Detectives with varying areas of responsibility such as: Court and Prosecutor’s Office duties, maintaining the Evidence Room, conducting Polygraph and Computer Forensic Examinations, Fire Marshal Duties, Crime Scene Investigation, and providing Dignitary Service support.

The Detectives that are assigned follow-up investigations on criminal complaints will follow up with the complainant, interview witnesses, identify and interview suspects, and gather evidence. The unit submits these cases for review to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

The most common type of complaints handled by this unit are Larceny, Breaking & Entering, Malicious Destruction of Property, Assault & Battery (including Domestic Assaults), Criminal Sexual Conduct (rape), Harassment, and Fraud. Detectives also attend meetings with other area departments to share and disseminate information on possible related crimes.

Computer Forensics Unit

The Computer Forensics Unit conducts investigations involving computers, cellular telephones and other mobile devices, networks, servers, social networking sites, internet service providers, and other forms of digital media.  These devices can be used as a tool of the crime or contain evidence of crimes that are investigated every day.

The Computer Forensics Unit provides assistance to Academic Technology Services (ATS), other departments within the University, and other local law enforcement agencies as requested. The unit also contributes to announcements and bulletins reference trends and frauds that are affecting Michigan State University students and staff, and educates the community about computer crimes, internet safety, and social networking sites.

Crime Scene Investigations Unit

The MSU Police Department currently has seven crime scene investigators. In addition to their initial 80 hours of training, investigators participate in specialized and in-service training. MSU Police Crime Scene Investigators have also been crossed trained by the MSU Office of Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Safety (ORCBS), Advanced X-ray Unit to respond and investigate suspicious packages as hazardous material technicians, we have 2 composite artists, 1 video specialist, advanced photographers, and accident investigators. The investigators are on call 24 hours a day for major crime scenes.

The Crime Scene Investigators are responsible for identifying, collecting, preserving, and documenting evidence at a crime scene. Our unit has processed scenes involving homicides, deaths, rapes, stabbings, drive-by shootings, explosive devices, home invasions, breaking & entering, larcenies from vehicles, and vehicle accidents.

Our efforts have resulted in the successful identification, apprehension, and prosecution of criminals.

Polygraph Unit

The Polygraph Unit conducts polygraph examinations involving crimes committed on campus and in surrounding communities.

Polygraph examinations are valuable investigative aids used in conjunction with thorough criminal investigations.

Polygraph examinations may assist with the identification or elimination of suspects, verification or reconciliation of witness statements, confirm or disprove allegation(s) that cannot be verified by other evidence, and establish probable cause to seek a search warrant.

Fire Marshal Unit

Michigan State University follows the codes developed by the National Fire Protection Association. In some areas these codes have been adopted by law, in others they are advisory.

MSU Police currently have two officers assigned to this unit. They are charged with all aspects of fire safety for Michigan State University except the suppression of active fires. The East Lansing Fire Department is responsible for the suppression of active fires.

The duties of this office include fire safety inspections, plan review and consultation, special event fire safety (pyrotechnic approval), bonfire permits, arson and fire investigations.