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The Criminal Interdiction Unit (CIU)

With a significant shift in violent crimes over the past 10 years in the District, the Metropolitan Police Department is adjusting its approach to the way we fight crime. Not only have the types of crimes changed, the manner in which they are carried out has transformed as well.

The Criminal Interdiction Unit uniform

While most of our specialized units and tactics were focused on the violent crime associated with hundreds of open-air drug markets through the late 1990s, the violent crime today is driven by a very different criminal enterprise. This new enterprise is savvy at using evolving technology, social media, and the Internet to facilitate sprees of violent commercial and street robberies — and to carry out violent assaults against their rivals.

The illegal drug trade has evolved as well with major shifts in the criminal drug industry. Two of these changes include more widely available synthetic drugs and street drug markets becoming more high tech.

As a result of these changes, we put together a team of officers, detectives and officials to develop a strategy that would address the changing culture of our violent criminals and the evolving modern drug trade. After more than eight months of research, and hard work, we are ready to roll out our newly-developed, modern crime fighting strategy, which will have a significant impact on violent crime in our city.

Over the next couple of weeks, two new units will begin operations using the strategies and tactics developed by the team. The first will be a shift from seven individual vice units to a citywide drug unit under our Narcotics and Special Investigations Division. This centralization will allow us to disrupt the drug trade at multiple levels using a team that has advanced training and experience, supported by research, analysis and cutting edge technology.

The second big change is the creation of the new Criminal Interdiction Unit (CIU). The CIU is comprised of highly trained and professional members of the Department that are committed to targeting crime patterns as they emerge.

Behind the newly-rolled-out black and tan uniforms exists a true cross section of the Department, with members who have experience in virtually all areas of criminal investigations. In addition to the experience they already bring to the table, these members have spent the last several weeks in advanced training, further preparing them for their new assignment.

Rest assured, these new units will be at the forefront on how law enforcement identifies and abates crime patterns, removes dangerous offenders, drugs, and illegal weapons from our neighborhoods, and drives down crime in our city.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     What does CIU stand for?

CIU stands for the Criminal Interdiction Unit. The Criminal Interdiction Unit is part of the Narcotics and Special Investigation Division.

2.     How did the CIU come about?

While most of our specialized units and tactics were focused on the violent crime associated with hundreds of open air drug markets through the late 1990s; the violent crime today is driven by a very different criminal enterprise.  This new enterprise is savvy at using evolving technology, social media, and the internet to facilitate sprees of violent crimes.


The illegal drug trade has evolved as well with major shifts in the criminal drug industry.  Two of these changes include more widely available synthetic drugs and street drug markets becoming more high tech.

As a result of these changes, we put together a team of officers, detectives and officials, to develop a strategy that would address the changing culture of our violent crime and the evolving modern drug trade.

As a result of this teams work, two major changes are being implemented:
(1)   Consolidate drug operations under the Narcotics Special Investigation Division (NSID), using highly trained and centrally managed personnel, to ensure consistency and integrity of operations.
(2)   Create the CIU to focus on the prevention, enforcement, and suppression of organized pattern crimes and repeat violent offenders.

3.     How will CIU officers differ in appearance from traditional MPD members?

Members of the CIU wear a professional non-traditional uniform that consists of a clearly identifiable CIU black polo shirt, tan pants, and tan boots. Each polo shirt will display an MPD badge, name of the officer, and their CIU designation.

4.     What is the basic mission of the CIU?

The members of the CIU recognize their responsibility to the community they serve and will diligently strive to forge strong community partnerships, through positive citizen interaction, communication, and education.

The CIU is an intelligence-based unit that will focus on the prevention, enforcement, and suppression of organized pattern crimes and repeat violent offenders.

The CIU will utilize investigative technology, intelligence, best practices, problem solving, and community-oriented crime prevention strategies to accomplish their mission.

5.     Where do these officers come from and how were they chosen to be part of CIU?

All of these officers, supervisors, and managers come from different backgrounds and levels of experience. The members are mostly from the patrol districts, but encompass other segments of the Department. Each officer has been vetted through a rigorous application process and interviewed prior to being selected.

6.     What kind of training have CIU members received?

Both the officers and supervisors have received several weeks of highly intensive training to include, but not be limited to, community policing, forensic crime analysis and technology, social media investigations, advanced criminal investigations, tactical training, pawn database investigations, officer safety training, cognitive interviewing, and crime prevention training.

7.     What types of assignments will the CIU handle?

The CIU will primarily focus on targeting organized patterns of crime, repeat offenders, and other assignments as necessary.

8.     What will determine CIU daily deployments?

Many factors will determine how and when CIU members will deploy to different parts of the city. Obviously, the violent crime trends will play a major role in such deployments, but so will intelligence and crime analysis. CIU will be deployed citywide, seven days a week, covering a variety of tours of duty

9.     Is the CIU’s primary focus drug enforcement?

The CIU’s primary focus is not drug enforcement; however, drug operations will be conducted if it is a byproduct of other assignments.

10.  Are there any more vice units that work out of the patrol district? If the CIU does not focus on drugs, who is going to service our drug complaints?

There are no more vice units that work out of the patrol districts. The decision was made to centralize drug operations under one unit — Narcotics and Special Investigations Division (NSID) — to address the changing environment and times. This centralization will lead to more uniformity and accountability.  Uniformed patrol members and Crime Suppression Team members will receive training in handling drug complaints and will respond to all calls for service related to drug complaints.

Patrol districts will forward drug complaints that stem from private businesses, residences, and/or chronic street level drug sales locations to NSID and these will be handled by members of the NSID’s Major Case Unit.


11.  What impact will the CIU have on the community?

The CIU will be visible and active in the community. CIU units will create stronger community partnerships by attending community meetings, seeking assistance from the community, and addressing crime and disorder issues as prioritized by the community. The CIU will focus on reducing violent crimes and violent offenders to make the community feel safer, using a community-based approach.

12.   When will CIU be deployed?

The CIU will be deployed before the end of June 2015.