The Major Crimes Division (MCD), or "Major Crimes" as it is generally called, is an elite investigative unit of the Los Angeles Police Department which investigates cases that are mostly high-profile in nature.
The Major Crimes Division investigates homicides that involve multiple or high-profile victims and/or high-profile suspects, all cases involving missing, kidnapped or murdered LAPD officers, select rape investigations and kidnappings, and select missing person cases including "critical missing" cases that involve children who are under 14 years old and/or have mental illnesses or disabilities.
The Major Crimes Division was originally called the Priority Homicide Division (PHD), but the name was changed in Season 4 of The Closer after the LAPD came under criticism that it was assigning PHD cases in anticipation of newsworthy crimes, which primarily had victims who were white and/or rich.
The Priority Homicide Division, and later Major Crimes Division, was headed by Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson for seven years and following her retirement from the LAPD, command of the division was assumed by Captain (later Commander) Sharon Raydor. Lieutenant Louie Provenza is the division's senior member and the second-in-command for Johnson and Raydor, which makes him the division's immediate supervisor in standard day-to-day-operations.
The commanding officer of the Major Crimes Division is under the direct command and supervision of the Director of Operations. The Director of Operations can also assign the Major Crimes Division any special investigation that is deemed necessary.
The Major Crimes Division is currently located in the ninth floor of the LAPD's headquarters, the Police Administration Building (PAB), located in downtown Los Angeles, next to the Los Angeles City Hall.
The Priority Homicide Division (and later Major Crimes Division) was originally located in Parker Center which was the LAPD's headquarters until October 2009.
For Major Crimes, Season 5, the MCD received a miniature version of the RACR system used by the LAPD to their office. MCD can be seen using this new room extensively when going through large quantities of video material or when they are watching live-feed from surveillance operations conducted by the division and/or by the Special Investigation Section (SIS).
In Season 5 finale, “Shockwave, Part 2”, the Major Crimes' squad room was the target of a bombing, severely damaging it. In “Sanctuary City, Part 1”, it is shown that the squad room has been repaired since the explosion and upgraded. These upgrades include a sliding wall between the murder room and Electronics instead of a simple door, although it still remains, and a TV connected to Buzz's computer that's used in lieu of the murder board. However, the murder board still exists and can be seen next to the TV. Provenza's printer appears to have survived or been replaced and he continues to use the money jar for it.
Commanding officer Edit
- Commander Sharon Raydor (2012- )
- Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (2005-2012)
- Captain Russell Taylor (2005)
Investigative Personnel Edit
- Lieutenant Louie Provenza (assistant commanding officer) (2005- )
- Lieutenant Andy Flynn (2005- )
- Lieutenant Michael Tao (2005- )
- Detective Julio Sanchez (2005- )
- Detective Amy Sykes (2012- )
- Detective Wes Nolan (2016- )
- Civilian Surveillance Coordinator/Reserve Detective Buzz Watson (2005- )
Former Personnel Edit
- Commander Russell Taylor (liaison to other divisions and the press) (2008-2012)
- Sergeant David Gabriel (2005-2012)
- Detective Irene Daniels (2005-2009)
- Detective Robby Oderno (only temporarily during Det. Sanchez' suspension) (2015)
Support Personnel Edit
- Assistant Chief William Pope is the LAPD's Director of Operations during The Closer and Deputy Chief Johnson's immediate supervisor. Later in the series, he becomes the Interim Chief of Police and is subsequently appointed as the Chief of Police.
- Assistant Chief Russell Taylor is the LAPD's Director of Operations during Major Crimes until Season 5 episode “White Lies, Part 1” when he was murdered in a courtroom shooting. He was Captain Raydor's immediate supervisor when she first assumed command of MCD. The former commanding officer of the Robbery-Homicide Division and later press liaison for the Major Crimes Division, Taylor long felt passed over and unappreciated by Chief Pope and the LAPD upper echelon command.
- Assistant Chief Leo Mason is the LAPD's Director of Operations during Major Crimes from Season 5 finale “Shockwave, Part 2” onward. He is Commander Raydor's immediate supervisor, with ideas about how to improve the Major Crimes Division. He was previously the Commander of the Criminal Intelligence Division.
- Deputy Chief Fritz Howard is the commanding officer of the Special Operations Bureau during Major Crimes (Season 3 episode “Sweet Revenge” onward). During The Closer and the first two and a half seasons of Major Crimes, he was a Special Agent for the FBI and the liaison officer to the LAPD. Chief Howard served as the Acting Assistant Chief of Operations following Chief Taylor's murder (“White Lies, Part 1” to “Shockwave, Part 2”).
- Lieutenant Chuck Cooper is the officer-in-charge of the Special Investigation Section (SIS) of the LAPD. He and his unit has helped the MCD multiple times with surveillance and arrests.
- Dr. Fernando Morales: Los Angeles County Deputy Medical Examiner (2007- )
- Kendall: Los Angeles County Coroner's Investigator (2008- )
- Dr. Crippen: Los Angeles County Deputy Medical Examiner (2005-2007)
- Terrence Hynes: Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Forensics Technician (2006-2008) / Deputy Medical Examiner Intern (2009)
- Deputy District Attorney Martin Garnett
- Deputy District Attorney Claire Baldwin
- Deputy District Attorney Ozzy Michaels
- Deputy District Attorney Janet Powell
Superior Court of California Edit
MCD Trivia Edit
Call signs Edit
Sometimes when MCD personnel use their police radios to call for back-up or other support, they can be heard using some of the following call signs:
- Cmdr. Sharon Raydor: 4-K-60 (Heard in “Heart Failure”.)
- Lt. Louie Provenza: 4-K-61 (Presumed. Not heard on screen.)
- Lt. Andy Flynn: 4-K-62 (Presumed. Not heard on screen. For some reason, 4-K-62 was also used by Deputy Chief Howard during “Foreign Affairs”.)
- Lt. Mike Tao: 4-K-63 (Presumed. Not heard on screen.)
- Det. Julio Sanchez: 4-K-64 (Presumed. Not heard on screen.)
- Det. Amy Sykes: 4-K-65 (Heard in “Bad Blood” & “Shockwave, Part 1”.)
- Det. Wes Nolan: 4-K-66 (Presumed. Not heard on screen.)
In the Major Crimes Universe, the Major Crimes Division appears to have the call signs of the 4-K-6 -series.
In the real LAPD, the call sign for the Major Crimes Division is 6-K (King). Major Crimes Division commanding officer would be identified by the word Commander followed by 6-K (King). All other personnel would be identified by 6-K (King), followed by the numerical designation assigned by the commanding officer. Call signs ending in the number 0 would be used by supervisory officers. This change can be explained by the fact that the real MCD is a lot larger than the division featured in the shows and having an entire call sign dedicated to a small division could be considered a waste.
In the real LAPD, the call sign 4-K, or King as it is known in the LAPD's phonetic alphabet, is assigned to the Robbery-Homicide Division. The numerical designation, in this case 60 to 66, would be assigned by the RHD commanding officer to a member of his/her division. Call signs ending in the number 0 are used by supervisory officers, although that usually means sergeants or supervisory detectives, not division commanding officers.
Here is what the MCD call signs should be:
- Cmdr. Sharon Raydor: Commander 6-K (Division commanding officer)
- Lt. Louie Provenza: 6-K-10 (Team supervisor)
- Lt. Andy Flynn: 6-K-11
- Lt. Mike Tao: 6-K-12
- Det. Julio Sanchez: 6-K-13
- Det. Amy Sykes: 6-K-14
- Det. Wes Nolan: 6-K-15
Major Crimes Division in the Real World Edit
The commanding officer of Major Crimes Division is Captain Robert Long.
In the real LAPD, the Major Crimes Division is under the command of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau and their job differs from the work depicted in the series. In real life, the primary objective of the division is the prevention of terrorist attacks or possible riots that can cause major damage to property and the loss of life in Los Angeles as well as preventing individuals or groups from harassing or harming others on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.
Real life MCD is comprised of the Administrative Section, Anti-Terrorist Intelligence Section, Organized Crime Investigation Section, Joint Regional Intelligence Center, Surveillance Support Section, Criminal Conspiracy Section, and the Criminal Investigation Section.
Real MCD also houses the Archangel Section, also known as "Operation Archangel". Operation Archangel is a project developed by the LAPD to identify and protect critical infrastructure and key resources in the L.A. metropolitan area. Its purpose is to defend likely targets against terrorist attacks. Archangel is based upon the guiding principle that local agencies are most knowledgeable about their own critical assets. It is also partnered with the City and County of Los Angeles, the California State Office of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In the Major Crimes Universe, it is presumed that the fictional Counter-Terrorism Division and the fictional Criminal Intelligence Division are handling different parts of the real Major Crimes Division's investigative responsibilities.
In the real LAPD, high-profile investigations are conducted by the different sections within the Robbery-Homicide Division.
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Major Crimes Division • Detective Bureau • Special Operations Bureau • Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Division • RACR Division