Investigations Bureau

The Investigations Bureau, under the command of Deputy Chief Enrique Esparza, is comprised of several units addressing crimes against persons and property crimes in the City of Santa Ana.  The bureau includes detectives, civilian investigators, and forensics personnel.  The Bureau is comprised of the following units: Homicide, Gangs, Sexual Assaults, Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Robbery, Burglary, Economic Crimes, Prosecution Unit and Forensics.  Crimes assigned to the Bureau are investigated thoroughly until all leads are exhausted.  Investigations that identify a suspect are prepared for filing with the District Attorney’s Office.

The mission of the Investigations Bureau is to provide prompt, professional, and effective investigative services to solve crimes and reduce the risk of future crimes. Our mission is accomplished through a comprehensive problem solving strategy - employing a variety of apprehension, suppression, and prevention techniques.

Bureau Command Staff

Metropolitan Division (MET, Gang Unit and Court Liaison)

Gang Unit

The Santa Ana Police Department's Gangs Section is composed of experienced detectives dedicated to preventing and suppressing gang activity throughout the city.
The Gang Section has developed a departmental gang strategy that incorporates a multidimensional approach using the interactive components of:

  • Enforcement
  • Suppression
  • Prevention
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Reintegration

The Santa Ana Police Department's Gang Unit is part of a Tri-Agency Resource / Gang Enforcement Team (T.A.R.G.E.T.) that is composed of Santa Ana Police Detectives, Orange County Gang Probation Officers, and prosecutors from the Orange County District Attorney's Office.  The TARGET concept is a highly specialized team approach focusing on the most hardcore, violent, repeat gang offenders.

How to tell if your child is in a gang, “A Parent Quick Reference Guide”

One of the most effective means of curbing gang violence is to keep potential gang recruits from joining a gang in the first place. For information on how to discourage children from joining gangs, read this guide.

If you have information to report regarding gang activity, call (714) 245-8648.

Court Liaison

The Court Liaison Unit acts as the conduit between the department and the judicial component of the criminal justice system. Members of the Court Liaison Unit process subpoenas, deliver case filings to the district attorney, and handle discovery requests.


Crimes Against Persons / Special Investigations Division

The mission of the Crimes Against Persons Division is to build partnerships and work in collaboration to protect the community through the effective investigation of crimes, apprehension of criminals, and providing assistance to crime victims and their families.
The CAP Division is organized into two separate, yet harmonious, sections:


  • Enforcement
  • Gang-related assaults
  • Gang-related homicide

Do you have information on a suspect involved in a gang homicide or felony gang assault?  The Santa Ana Police Department is offering rewards from $100 to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of gang homicide or felony gang assault suspects. If you have information about gang homicide or felony gang assault suspects, please call (714) 245-8390.


  • Homicide investigations
  • Felonious assaults
  • Kidnapping / abductions
  • Weapons violations

Criminal Investigations Division

The mission of the District Investigations Division is the apprehension and successful prosecution of criminals, the recovery and return of stolen property and continued positive communication with our citizens and all elements of the Santa Ana Police Department in an on-going effort to impact the crime rate.

Property crime investigations

  • Robbery, carjacking, and misdemeanor assaults
  • Burglary and grand theft
  • Vehicle crimes, including vehicle theft and vehicle burglary
  • Miscellaneous crimes, including vandalism, petty theft, and fraud
  • Criminal Prosecution
  • Economic Crimes
    • Economic fraud
    • Identity theft
    • Check fraud

Family crimes

  • Child abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Elder abuse
  • Missing persons
  • Registration and monitoring of sex offenders (Megan's Law)
  • Sexual assaults

Investigations Support Services

Forensic Services

The Santa Ana Police Department Forensic Services Section counts on a close-knit team of experts trained in evidence identification, documentation, collection and preservation. The team includes experienced and highly motivated crime scene, firearms, tool mark impression, fingerprint, and photography specialists. Together, they respond to and process evidence collected from crime scenes throughout the city.

Crime Scene Investigations works 24-hours per-day, seven days-per-week, responding to calls for service ranging from burglary to homicide. Responsibilities include examining crime scenes, scene photography, latent fingerprint processing, trajectory analysis, blood stain pattern interpretation, evidence collection and preservation; shoe and tire print impression documentation and casting, and expert court room testimony.

The Santa Ana Police Department Forensic Services Firearms Unit has consistently been ranked in the top ten in nation for ballistic “cold hits;” confirmed firearms links between cases that were previously not known to be related. With one of the few Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms sponsored IBIS (Integrated Ballistics Identification System) stations within the county, Santa Ana Police Department Forensic Services Firearms Unit has had tremendous success in linking crime scene evidence between cases within the city and state. The police department utilizes one full-time examiner, several part-time specialists, and our crime scene investigators that are cross-trained in this specialty in order to work cases quickly and efficiently.

Thanks in part to their professionalism and expertise, the reputation of the Forensic Services Section extends far beyond the borders of Santa Ana. Consequently, our Forensic Services personnel routinely perform evidence examinations for numerous local, state and federal agencies.


Additional information

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