Captain Karen A. Ruff
Division Commander (262) 548-7142
Lieutenant Brian Larson
The main contact number for the Detective Bureau is (262) 548-7127 or (262) 548-7128
Detective Bureau clerks monitor the phones from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Friday
The Detective Bureau is responsible for and committed to providing the most efficient and thorough investigative assistance to the citizens of Waukesha County. Our goals are to apprehend those responsible for committing crimes, recover property and put together comprehensive reports to assist the District Attorney’s Office in successful prosecutions. The Detective Bureau also provides education in the prevention and detection of crime to enable citizens to become stakeholders in maintaining the integrity of our communities.
The Detective Bureau also oversees the Identification Division. The Identification Division is responsible for maintaining all property that is seized by the Sheriff’s Department, collection and processing of all evidence and photographing evidence and crime scenes. The two detectives assigned to this division are trained in the technical aspects of crime scene forensics. Technology in this area changes rapidly and the detectives are sent to specialized training to help them keep up with all the most recent advancements. Some of the training they receive includes fingerprint comparison, DNA, bloodstain interpretation and exhuming buried bodies and skeletal remains.
The two detectives and two identification technicians are responsible for quality control of fingerprints and mugshots, face to face registration of sex offenders, services for citizens that need to be fingerprinted for various jobs, return of property and ensuring that criminal records from our arrests are forwarded and updated accurately to the State of Wisconsin. For information on our auctions, costs for pictures, tapes and other services please go toID information.
Although all detectives are trained in general investigative follow-up, we assign them to specialty units to utilize their expertise and training, to give the best possible service to our community. Some of the specialty areas include:
One of the tools that we can use is a 911 Reverse system that is provided by an organization called, “A child is missing”. If we know a general area of where the person may be we can send out a message to hundreds of people by phone in a short period of time asking them to watch for our missing person. It can also be used to warn neighborhoods about fugitives or dangerous situations. If you have a cell phone instead of hard-line phone you can sign-up your cell phone by going to their website and go to WEB SERVICES.
How to protect yourself - Tips
Help us fight crime with Crime Stoppers
Consider starting a Neighborhood Watch in your community
Contact Detective Steve Pederson at (262) 896-8137
This can include battery to person, telephone complaints, harassment
This can include sexual assaults and child abuse
The Waukesha Women’s Center is a wonderful agency that provides support to women and their families.
We also have a wonderful new resource in Waukesha County called the C.A.R.E. Center, which provides forensic interviewing, medical evaluations, therapeutic intervention and support. For more information visit their website:
Protecting your child on-line - Tips
Websites to educate yourself regarding on-line predators
Sexual Offender Registry
Fraud / White Collar Crime / Identity Theft
Protecting yourself from fraud including on-line crime
Wisconsin Circuit Court Access – Check civil and criminal records
Follow-up on serious or fatal accidents
The Waukesha Sheriff’s Department Computer Forensics Unit is one of the most respected in the State of Wisconsin. We are proud to have two very educated and knowledgeable detectives that specialize in the area of forensic computer examination.
With the advancement of technology, computers are becoming a tool utilized in almost every crime we investigate. Dealing with property crimes, suspects are selling stolen property on-line; in sensitive crimes, we are finding pornography on computers; fraud cases can deal with emails or stolen identities; and harassment can include posting items on websites. Our detectives stay current with all the new trends and equipment. They are also part of the Federal Computer Task Force.
Public Assistance Fraud
We currently have one full time detective who investigates all forms of Public Assistance Fraud (formerly known as Welfare Fraud). This type of fraud includes food stamps, childcare, W-2 and medical assistance.
We can develop a presentation around any subject that concerns you. Please call and let us know what type of presentation your group would like.
If you would like to set up a neighborhood watch to organize your own neighborhood we can get you started. Neighborhood Watch teaches you how to; recognize suspicious activity, reduce the chances of being a victim and how to protect yourself and your neighbors.
If you would like a business watch presentation for all the businesses in your community, we can assist you in training your employees in safety concerns.
Contact us at (262) 548-7126
Performs all pre-employment background investigations for the Sheriff’s Department and other County Divisions, when requested. Completes security clearances as required for all individuals who have access to Waukesha County Divisions. The investigator also maintains background investigation files and assists law enforcement agencies throughout the state with related investigations.
Death Investigation - Cold Cases
Cold case investigation is very difficult. Witnesses’ memories or perceptions of what occurred change or witnesses are no longer available. Police reports or evidence can be lost or misplaced. Some of the officers who worked the case are no longer accessible. Finding time to work on old cases is also difficult due to the increasing demand for attention on fresh cases.
As resources permit, we do actively work on cold cases. In 1982, a young woman and her unborn child were killed in the Town of Vernon, but a suspect was never charged. In 1992 the case was re-opened, which ultimately resulted in the conviction of the person who shot her.
Please take a look at some of our other open cases and contact us if you have any information. Go to Cold Cases.
The Detective Division is the primary investigative unit responsible for investigating any type of internal incidents or integrity issues for the Sheriff’s Department and other agencies as requested.
We currently have three trained fire investigators. They work very closely with the area fire departments and the State Fire Marshal. Some of these same detectives are assigned to secondary responsibilities, such as:
Polygraphs – This unit has two detectives that are trained in polygraph examinations.
Alcohol Procurement – This unit is responsible for monitoring establishments that sell alcohol to prevent sales to underage persons.
EM Checks – Checking on inmates released on electronic monitoring.
Protecting Children On Line
This unit is responsible for proactively working on-line in an undercover capacity in an attempt to stop on-line preators from luring underage kids.
Protecting your child on-line - Tips
Websites to educate yourself regarding on-line predators.
There is also one detective assigned to the US Marshal’s Fugitive Taskforce, one detective assigned to the Waukesha County.
District Attorney’s Office and one detective assigned on a limited basis to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.