The duties and responsibilities of the Identification Bureau concern the processing of major crime scenes such as homicides, sexual assaults, burglaries, robberies, and arsons. These duties include photography, videotape, recovery of latent prints, taking measurements, and the collection, preservation and examination of physical evidence. Members of the bureau also package and deliver evidence to laboratories such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rhode Island Crime Lab and the R.I. Department of Health. The Bureau also assists the R.I. State Medical Examiners office in the identification of victims in any death investigation.
All sworn personnel assigned to the Identification Bureau are on a rotating twenty-four (24) hour call back schedule. The schedule consists of one member being readily available for call out, one week at a time, every three weeks for serious crimes and motor vehicle accidents.
While at crime scenes the Identification Bureau employ the most modern techniques of crime scene preservation, crime scene search, and the collection, preservation, and transmission of physical evidence. The Bureau's emphasis is on forensic photography, lifting and classification of latent fingerprints, and report writing.
When items of evidence are biological in nature they are submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health. Forensic Sciences administers CODIS - (the F.B.I.'s searchable DNA database for all law enforcement agencies). This system enables law enforcement agencies to compare submitted evidence collected from various crimes to be compared to thousands of convicted felons in the system. With this information the Identification Bureau has the opportunity to conclusively identify those suspected of having committed crimes.
The Identification Bureau is also responsible for the expungement of arrest records. This requires the removal of fingerprints from the system along with the records which must be deleted from the police database. Upon completion, the arrest record is then permanently sealed or destroyed.
The personnel of the Identification Bureau are responsible for classifying all fingerprints which are taken utilizing the Henry fingerprint classification system and to maintain an up to date adult arrest file system.
The Identification Bureau is also responsible for issuing departmental identification cards for all active and retired police personnel. The Bureau also assists in memorializing, through photography, all special or historical events within City Hall.
The Identification Bureau performs Sexual Offender Registration which is mandated by R.I.G.L. 11-37.1-1 for all offenders living within the City of Pawtucket. It is the Identification Bureau's responsibility for the fingerprinting and photographing of these offenders.
The Identification Bureau is also responsible for maintaining offender information and updating their registration forms within separate files and our department computer system. The Bureau works closely with the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, the Sex Offender Community Notification Unit, and other city and state agencies.
The Identification Bureau provides the National Background checks which require the fingerprinting of civilians for specific types of employment. The national background checks are conducted on Wednesday's between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. by appointment only. Please call (401) 727-9100 Extension 884 to make an appointment. The National Background checks and fingerprinting are done for many different reasons such as: adoption, firearms permits, child care, foster care, and for the Board of Education.
The National Background checks are sent to the F.B.I. who in return then send the results to the Pawtucket Police Department Identification Bureau and the employers who requested the check.
The Identification Bureau also performs Criminal Records checks for the City Clerks Office for people who apply for licenses to run businesses and for the Personnel Department for people who are seeking employment with the City.
In addition to National Background checks, State Criminal checks are also performed for people seeking employment which do not require National Background checks. The Identification Bureau also conducts hundreds of Criminal Records checks for the Pawtucket School Department, Pawtucket Housing Authority, and numerous other employing agencies within the City.