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 sexual assault investigations and kidnappings, and select missing person cases including "critical missing" cases, involving children who are under 14 years old and/or have mental illnesses or disabilities.
The Major Crimes Division started out as the Priority Murder Squad, answering directly to Captain Russell Taylor of the Robbery-Homicide Division. After Capt. Taylor was replaced by Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, the squad was renamed the Priority Homicide Division and placed under the direct supervision of Assistant Chief William Pope. The division was renamed as the Major Crimes Division in "Tijuana Brass" of The Closer, Season 4, after the LAPD came under criticism that it was assigning Priority Homicide cases in anticipation of newsworthy crimes, which primarily had victims who were white and/or rich. This name change also increased Major Crimes' investigative responsibilities to what they are now, rather than just high-profile murders.
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. Following Commander Raydor's death in “Conspiracy Theory, Part 4”, Lieutenant Louie Provenza assumed command of the division.
During The Closer and most of Major Crimes, Lt. Provenza was the division's senior member and the second-in-command for Johnson and Raydor. As the second-in-command, Provenza was the division's immediate supervisor in standard day-to-day operations. After Provenza assumed command of the division, the role of second-in-command was assumed by Lt. Andy Flynn.
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.
In Major Crimes, 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 conjunction with the murder board. Provenza's printer appears to have survived or been replaced and he continues to use the money jar for it.
Commanding Officer Edit
- Lieutenant Louie Provenza (2017- )
- Commander Sharon Raydor (2012-2017, died of natural causes)
- Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (2005-2012, retired)
- Captain Russell Taylor (2005, replaced by Brenda Johnson)
Investigative Personnel Edit
- Lieutenant Andy Flynn, assistant commanding officer (2005- )
- Lieutenant Michael Tao (2005- )
- Detective II Amy Sykes (2012- )
- Detective Wes Nolan (2016- )
- Detective Camila Paige (2017- )
- Detective Buzz Watson (2018- )
Former Investigative Personnel Edit
- Detective Irene Daniels (2005-2009, transferred to the Criminal Intelligence Division)
- Detective II David Gabriel (2005-2012, transferred to the District Attorney's Office)
- Detective Robby Oderno (2015, temporary assignment)
- Detective III Julio Sanchez (2005-2018, promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the Criminal Intelligence Division)
- Lieutenant Louie Provenza, assistant commanding officer (2005-2017, assumed command of the division)
- Civilian Surveillance Coordinator/Reserve Officer/Reserve Detective Buzz Watson (2005-2018, trained in the police academy to become a full-time detective)
|Timeline of Major Crimes Division's assigned personnel|
Support Personnel Edit
- Assistant Chief William Pope is the 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 Director of Operations during Major Crimes until “White Lies, Part 1” of Season 5 when he was killed in the line of duty. He was Captain Raydor's immediate supervisor when she assumed command of MCD. The former commanding officer of the Robbery-Homicide Division and later the Office of Operations' Operations Coordinator, Taylor long felt passed over and unappreciated by Chief Pope and the LAPD upper echelon command.
- Assistant Chief Leo Mason is the Director of Operations during Major Crimes from Season 5 finale “Shockwave, Part 2” onward. He was Commander Raydor's immediate supervisor, with ideas about how to improve the Major Crimes Division. He is currently Lieutenant Provenza's immediate supervisor. Mason 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 from Season 3, “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 of the LAPD. He and his unit has helped the MCD multiple times with surveillance and arrests. He is also dating Major Crimes detective Amy Sykes.
- 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-60 (Heard in “By Any Means, Part 4”.)
- Det. II Amy Sykes: 4-K-65 (Heard in “Bad Blood” & “Shockwave, Part 1”.)
- Det. Camila Paige: 4-K-64 (Heard in “By Any Means, Part 1”.)
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 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, 64, and 65, 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 divisional commanding officers.
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. All other personnel would be identified by 6-K, 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.
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 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.