The State Police Detective Unit (SPDU) assigned to the DPPC is comprised of a Detective Lieutenant and four troopers and became fully operational on May 1, 1998. The SPDU provides a statewide mechanism to ensure an effective and rapid response to criminal complaints of abuse and neglect against persons with disabilities by coordinating the efforts of adult protective services (APS), human services, state and local law enforcement and the Commonwealth's District Attorneys' Offices.
The SPDU assigned to DPPC reviews 100% of all abuse reports to DPPC's 24 hour Hotline to determine which ones constitute criminal activity. Reports identified as criminal are referred to the applicable District Attorney's office. As defined in each Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) established in each of the eleven district attorney jurisdictions, the SPDU assigned to DPPC, the state police liaisons within each of the eleven district attorneys' offices and the municipal police are assigned to investigate crimes against persons with disabilities as determined by the district attorney. The SPDU at DPPC tracks the criminal investigation from intake to indictment on a statewide basis and analyzes the types of crimes involved in the abuse reports received by the DPPC Hotline. The information tracked includes, but is not limited to, the type of criminal activity, location of criminal activity, investigating officer and criminal charges brought.
As well as actively investigating criminal complaints against persons with disabilities, the SPDU continues to be involved in training human service agencies staff, law enforcement and other professionals. Training is provided on recognizing and reporting abuse and on what to do and what not to do when a crime is suspected against a person with a disability. Training has been provided at the request of the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) to recruits and seasoned officers throughout the Commonwealth.