The Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD) of the Los Angeles Police Department is tasked with investigating and/or providing surveillance support for a wide variety of select crimes that are often high-profile in nature, including incidents that result in injury or death to an officer, and threats against officers.
RHD is comprised of approximately 110 sworn and civilian personnel and it has command of five sections, each under the supervision of a lieutenant. These sections also serve as liaisons between other divisions to ensure that major investigations are shared across geographic boundaries if it is needed for investigative purposes.
The commanding officer of the Robbery-Homicide Division is Captain William Hayes.
Sections of the Robbery-Homicide Division Edit
Robbery Special Section Edit
The Robbery Special Section (RSS) is responsible for investigating the following on a City-wide basis:
- Extortions or threats of extortion when:
- a prolonged investigation is required, and
- the extortion does not involve a juvenile as the suspect or victim, and
- the suspect has threatened to do unlawful injury to the person or property of another;
- Extortions by any means, including explosives, involving an adult or juvenile victim or suspect and the extortion is directed against a bank, bank employee, bank messenger, federally insured credit union, savings and loan institution, or armored car facility;
- Kidnappings when:
- There is the potential for serious bodily injury or death, or
- The facts indicate a connection to a major Citywide problem, or
- A prolonged investigation is required, or
- The investigative resources required exceed geographic Area detective division capabilities, or
- A ransom demand is anticipated or has been made
- Incidents involving human trafficking;
- Incidents involving smuggled, undocumented persons when kidnaps and extortions are involved;
- Selected robberies where a prolonged investigation is required or the investigative personnel required exceed geographic Area detective divisions resources;
- Robberies of banks, bank employees, customers followed from banks, bank messengers, credit unions, savings and loan institutions, or armored car facility and the investigation of ATM Robberies;
- The Robbery Special Section also coordinates all live line-ups.
Homicide Special Section Edit
The Homicide Special Section (HSS) is responsible for investigating the following on a City-wide basis:
- Threats against sworn employees resulting from the course and scope of their duties.
- Homicides involving:
- Multiple victims (generally three or more) in one incident
- Serial killers
- Intense media coverage or high profile
- Arson as the manner of death
- Assaults against on-duty police officers in the City limits wherein:
- Serious bodily injury or death results
- Officers are shot at and do not return fire
- The criminal aspect of an Officer-Involved-Shooting requiring a prolonged, complex investigation.
- Incidents involving death or serious injury to a Department employee that are:
- Non traffic related and officer involved
- The result of suicide or an attempted suicide
- Outside law enforcement agency shootings that occur on and off duty, in the City limits.
- Solicitation, extortion or conspiracy to commit murder.
- Illegal abortions.
- Any special investigation assigned by the Chief of Detectives.
- Requests for assistance from area detectives.
- Requests from outside law enforcement agencies.
- The Gang Homicide Unit (GHU) targets specific gangs and their involvement in criminal activity including, but not limited to, murder and other associated gang related crimes.
Special Assault Section Edit
The Special Assault Section (SAS) is notified when any of the following crimes are committed in the City, but only assumes command at the discretion of the RHD Commanding Officer.
- Sexual assault related homicides.
- Sexual assaults during:
- Hot prowl burglary
- Business burglary
- Home invasion robbery
- Sexual assaults committed by a stranger when a firearm is seen.
- Sexual assaults committed by a stranger where the victim is admitted to a hospital due to injuries sustained during the assault.
- Sexual assaults committed by a stranger where the victim is kidnapped by being forced into a vehicle and transported to a secondary location.
- Sexual assaults where the identity of the victim or suspect is of a high profile nature.
- Serial sexual assaults.
- “Cold case” sexual assaults.
Cold Case Homicide Special Section Edit
A “cold case” homicide is defined as any unsolved homicide in the City that was committed more than five years ago, and has no significant leads, and is no longer being actively investigated by area detectives based on a lack of solvability factors and/or workload.
Special Investigation Section Edit
The Special Investigation Section is the LAPD's tactical surveillance unit. The primary mission of SIS is to determine if the suspects under surveillance are connected to the crimes under investigation, and, if needed, to locate and arrest the suspects. SIS also handles all of the LAPD's kidnap-ransom exchanges.
Although SIS is assigned to the Robbery-Homicide Division, its resources are available to any division seeking surveillance on active criminals or crimes.
Robbery-Homicide Division in the Major Crimes Universe Edit
At the end of Season 1 of The Closer, Captain Russell Taylor is promoted to the rank of Commander by Assistant Chief Pope and becomes the head of the Robbery-Homicide Division, after his predecessor, Commander Scott, retires. Before his promotion to Commander, Taylor was assigned to RHD, most likely as the assistant commanding officer. In “Hindsight, Part 1”, Taylor mentions that he was the Captain of Robbery-Homicide in 2004 during the Reese Murders when Mark Hickman was fired for his perjury.
Special Investigation Section Edit
In the Major Crimes Universe, SIS appears to be under the command of the Special Operations Bureau rather than RHD as seen on their business cards. Reportedly, their offices are also located within the Special Operations Bureau, further corroborating the info visible on their business cards.
In the Major Crimes Universe, SIS also appears to provide undercover security details for civilians when protection is required and it also has detectives working undercover in criminal organizations.
In the Major Crimes Universe, most of the high-profile investigations that would be conducted by the Homicide Special Section (HSS) are handled by the Major Crimes Division. It's not known if the existence of the Major Crimes Division has made the Homicide Special Section obsolete, or if it still remains with reduced investigative responsibilities.
It is also possible that HSS exists in its original form, handling cases that cross divisional lines or are higher profile than usual, but not high-profile enough to be handled by Major Crimes.
At times over the series, Major Crimes is mentioned asking for information on open cases from Robbery-Homicide and then effectively taking them over due to the cases tying into their own case in some manner. During season 5 of Major Crimes, Lieutenant Provenza gets Buzz Watson the Robbery-Homicide case files on the unsolved murders of his father and uncle so that he can finally get justice.
In the five part "Hindsight" arc, its revealed that in 2004, Michael Tao, Stephanie Dunn and Mark Hickman were all detectives working for Robbery-Homicide when Officer Malcolm Reese was murdered by Daniel Price. The three investigated the case, but after Hickman's perjury cost the LAPD the case and the murders of DDA Rachel Gray and her bodyguard Eric Dunn, Hickman was fired. Stephanie subsequently transferred to Narcotics.