SHERIFF LOUIS ACKAL

BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION

Bureau of Investigations Division The following divisions make up the Bureau of Investigations Division that employs 60 people. The following divisions make up the Bureau of Investigations Division that employs 60 people.

> DETECTIVES — ADULT AND PROPERTY CRIMES
> JUVENILE — ANY CRIME INVOLVING A JUVENILE
> CYBER UNIT / SEX CRIMES
> TACTICAL SURVEILLANCE UNIT
> ELDERLY ABUSE/FARM AGRICULTURAL INVESTIGATOR
> CRIME SCENE
> EVIDENCE CUSTODIAN

The Bureau of Investigations Division is the largest within the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. The Detective Division consists of 9 detectives . The Division is supervised by two Sergeants, one Lieutenant and one Captain.

CYBER UNIT

The Cyber Unit is a sub unit of Sex Crimes. Investigators who comprise the Cyber Unit excel at technology with its use, implementation and ultimately investigating its misuse. They receive specialized training including classes at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy (FLETC) in Glynco, Ga. Their training is aimed at forensically retrieving information from cellular devices, tablets and computers. The Sheriff’s Office has outfitted a sophisticated lab with an array of hardware and software solutions to enable investigators to forensically retrieve vital information in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity.

The Cyber Unit works closely with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crime Unit and is an affiliate member of Louisiana’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The unit initiates and participates in ICAC Internet investigations involving all segments of child exploitation from those who would manufacture, distribute and download child pornography to investigations into the seedier corners of the ‘Dark Web’. The unit also responds to Cyber tips generated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in conjunction with other local, State and Federal agencies.

DETECTIVES

The Detective Division is the largest within the Bureau of Investigations. The Detective Division consists of 9 detectives, 7 assigned to days, three assigned to nights. The Division is supervised by two Sergeants, two Lieutenants and one Captain. Since taking office in 2008 violent crime is down over 24% according to the FBI’s annual Uniformed Crime Reports. Sheriff Louis Ackal has accomplished this by more than doubling the manpower within the division and has provided detectives with the equipment and skills necessary to properly investigate evolving crime trends in Iberia Parish.

Detectives are responsible for investigating a wide variety of crimes including identity thefts, property crimes, financial crimes, cyber crimes, sexual assaults, domestic violence, burglaries, armed robberies, home invasions and homicides. Detectives duties are to conduct follow-up investigations generated by the Patrol Division as well as self-initiated investigations.

Sheriff Ackal encourages detectives to take a pro-active approach against crime and participate in special operations throughout the year. Working closely with the juvenile detectives and outside agencies, detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce help locate and arrest those persons who prey on the innocence of children. Being a detective requires a special set of skills which are necessary to investigate such a wide variety of crimes. Detectives attend training courses throughout the country where they learn skills to better investigate both violent and property crimes.

In 2012, detectives recovered over one-million dollars worth of stolen property and returned over $300, 000 initially related to financial crimes. In the years to come, the Detective Division will continue to use modern technology, intelligence and traditional practices to identify, locate and arrest those who participate in criminal activity in Iberia Parish.

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION UNIT (SIU)

The Iberia Parish Sheriffs Office’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) is made up of four full time and one reserve deputy. While this unit’s primary focus is on narcotic enforcement and investigation, Deputies assigned to SIU are highly trained and skilled in numerous aspects of law enforcement. 

In addition to narcotics investigations SIU deputies also specialize in highway interdiction, high-risk warrant service, undercover operations, and proactive criminal patrol. Each deputy within this unit is chosen based on their knowledge and skills in multiple areas including investigation procedures, interview and interrogation, criminal patrol, and tactical proficiency. SIU Deputies work routinely with local, state, and federal agencies including Customs and Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency, United States Marshals Office, Louisiana State Police, and numerous local agencies throughout the state.

Beyond their normal duties, members of the Special Investigation Unit are also members of the Iberia Parish Water Patrol and stand ready at a moment’s notice to provide rapid response within the waterways of the parish.

DIRECTED PATROLS – SURVEILLANCE UNIT

The Directed Patrol Unit was conceived by Sheriff Louis M. Ackal to supplement the uniform patrol division. Its primary function was to work the areas of the city of New Iberia and the parish of Iberia where there was occurring a large number of burglaries, thefts and criminal damage to property. The program has been so successful that it has been incorporated into the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Bureau of Investigations. Not only does it supplement the patrol division, but also narcotics, detectives and sex offender registry where surveillance is required releasing the members of the other sections to continued with other investigations. The Directed Patrol Section uses unmarked vehicles and all terrain vehicles for their patrols. They do surveillance on an area that is suffering from thieves and burglars. They will also work areas like schools, parks, farms, and neighborhoods where prowlers and vandals take advantage of lightly populated areas to commit crimes.

Directed Patrol is made up of four team members and a sergeant. The sergeant is responsible for insuring that reports and paperwork are completed in a timely manner, that all equipment is maintained. Further, the sergeant receives and distributes assignments from the other areas of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. The sergeant answers directly to and receives assignments from the lieutenant of detectives. To date, this team is responsible for nine burglary arrests. Most of them were in progress calls, and numerous others were on view arrests; where a marked patrol unit would have been spotted before it arrived or the criminal wouldn’t have committed the criminal act had a marked patrol unit been in the area.

JUVENILE DIVISION

The Juvenile Detectives Section is made up of one sergeant and six investigators. The sergeant makes case assignments to all other detectives under his command and also handles walk in complaints involving juveniles and supplements the other detectives when assistance is needed. He maintains the case logs and proof reads all reports and case files prior to them being submitted for prosecution.

The juvenile detectives are the busiest of all the sections that make up the Bureau of Investigations. They not only handle crimes committed against juveniles but crimes committed by juveniles. The sergeant maintains the case logs and proof reads all reports and case files prior to them being submitted for prosecution. The detectives also supplement the other sections when needed. Two members of this section are trained in child porn investigations. This division maintains records on juveniles until they reach the age of seventeen. To date there have been over 500 investigations involving juveniles since the start of 2010.

SEX CRIMES DIVISION

The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office is responsible for maintaining the registration of sex offenders and child predators who reside within the limits of the parish, including offenders that live within the city limits.  It is the Sex Crimes Unit that all convicted sex offenders must personally appear to handle all matters of their registration.   Upon receipt of registration information, the Sheriff’s Office forwards the information to the State Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry, which is operated by the Louisiana State Police.

Every convicted sex offender signs their State of Louisiana Sex Offender Registration Form. It contains all of their registration information and the laws governing convicted sex offenders.  It is ultimately the instrument by which the Sex Crimes Unit uses to ensure the fullest compliance of the law.

Registered convicted sex offenders are required by law to keep current a wide variety of information.  This includes but is not limited to periodic renewal of their registration, current address, temporary lodging, employment, every motorized vehicle registered to or operated by the offender, phone numbers, physical characteristics, tattoos, online identifiers and other information.  They must report all of this information within 3 business days of a change with the exception of vehicles which must be registered prior to operation.  They also must carry at all times their state issued Louisiana identification card and/or driver’s license identifying them as sex offenders.

Detectives from the Sex Crimes Unit are constantly in the field checking on convicted sex offenders to make certain they are in compliance with their sex offender registration, notification requirements and verify registration information of the offenders.   Any convicted sex offenders who are in violation of the rules are subject to an investigation to determine the facts of the matter.  If an offender has violated the laws governing convicted sex offenders and child predators, they are subject to arrest by the unit. All members of the Sex Crimes Unit work closely with the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office to ensure the successful investigation, submittal and prosecution of cases.

The Sex Crimes Unit keeps close communication with our Patrol Division, Probation & Parole, United States Marshal Service, Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office and all other agencies necessary for keeping track of these offenders and the investigation of other crimes.

Approximately 262 offenders are active at this time. The status of offenders changes daily due to arrests, prison stays and changing of addresses.

> Of these, 70 are incarcerated.
> Currently there are 84 offenders residing in the city limits of New Iberia.
> The remainder, 108 live in other areas of the parish.
> Ultimately there are approximately 402 convicted sex offenders registered with the Iberia Parish Sheriff Office. 

In addition to the current active offenders there are a large number of inactive offenders for different reasons.  Some have moved out of state, some are deceased while others have had their registration period expire.

The unit is also charged with investigating all manner of sexually based offenses involving an adult perpetrator where the victim is an adult.  These crimes by nature are violent, extraordinarily complex and are investigated to the fullest extent.  All resources available are utilized to resolve the case.  Our investigators work tirelessly to identify every possible bit of potential evidence to close the case and bring it to a successful prosecution.  The mandate of the Sex Crimes Unit is to keep the citizens of Iberia Parish safe. This is accomplished by keeping the public well informed about convicted sex offenders registered in the boundaries of Iberia Parish, by aggressively enforcing the laws governing the same and to show the utmost diligence when investigating the violent sexual crimes they are assigned.

Citizens can assist us in this matter by either contacting the Sheriff’s Office directly or submitting tips online using our website.

CRIME SCENE & EVIDENCE

After taking office in 2008, one of the many changes that Sheriff Louis Ackal made was the addition of the Bureau of Investigations, Crime Scene Division. Including the Sergeant, there are currently three Crime Scene Technicians working in this division. These individuals work very closely with the Patrol and Detectives divisions, along with the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office to investigate all death calls and violent crimes. Crime Scene Technicians are called out to all major crime scenes to reconstruct and document the scene by note-taking, sketches, photography, videography and thorough report writing.

Technicians are responsible for recognizing and collecting any and all relevant physical evidence to properly package and preserve for future testing. In addition to collecting evidence on scene, Technicians are able to lift latent fingerprints, swab for contact DNA, field test for marijuana and cocaine and lift shoe cast impressions when possible. In 2014, Crime Scene Technicians responded to the following calls:

Evidence Custodian

The Evidence Custodian has one of the most important jobs in the department. They are responsible for picking up, logging in, cataloging and preserving all evidence collected along with transporting evidence to and from the Crime Lab for testing. They also provide the court system with evidence needed for trials and maintain written and electronic records of where each and every piece of evidence is located. Currently, there is one Evidence Custodian working in this division. Below are the numbers of the pieces of evidence collected in 2014:

Along with the evidence processed for 2014, 30 Blood Alcohol kits were mailed to Louisiana State Police for processing. 130 firearms were submitted into evidence and all 130 firearms were e-traced through the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Note: The e-trace reports the original purchaser and original location from which the firearm was purchased. 2, 361 items of evidence were submitted to the Acadiana Crime Lab for analysis. In addition to the incoming evidence, 109 items were released back to owners.

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Contact Info

Administration:
337-369-3714

Communications:
337-369-3711

Iberia Parish Jail:
337-369-2485

300 Iberia Street
Suite 120
New Iberia, LA 70560