NYPD working to enhance Special Victims Division, chief of detectives says

The NYPD is looking at
The NYPD is looking at “the entire spectrum” of the Special Victims Division, according to Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea. Photo Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

NYPD officials said on Monday an analyst has been added to the department’s Special Victims Division in an attempt to become more technologically advanced, as the department continues to renovate the unit itself.

The update came as Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea is involved in a review of the unit and weeks after a Department of Investigation report accused the NYPD of understaffing it.

“When we look at broadly the Special Victims Division, there are some cases, I believe, where we . . . could probably make some improvements on how we use technology going forward,” Shea said, speaking after the City Council’s executive budget hearing on public safety. “We certainly work smarter — technology is constantly evolving. It’s really the entire spectrum of Special Victims . . . that’s being looked at.”

The analyst began work at the unit’s division command last week, an official said.

During the hearing, Shea testified that he expected to be able to share his findings “in the near future.”

“It’s not as simple as the number of detectives assigned and the case load,” he said.

Department officials on Monday also said they will move the Manhattan Special Victims Division from its current location in East Harlem to a city-owned office building on Centre Street by the end of the year. The department will also look to make repairs to the Special Victims Division units in other boroughs by the end of the fiscal year, and is working with the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services to find new locations for those in the future as well.

The DOI report, released in March, showed that the NYPD employed 67 detectives in its adult sex crime units despite its 2017 caseload of more than 5,600 cases. It also found the NYPD acknowledged the increasing workloads in the units in 2010 and again in 2011, but that the department didn’t increase the number of qualified investigators.

At the time of the report, NYPD officials called it inaccurate and misleading.