The General Investigation Section (GIS) investigates a variety of crimes from the seven field offices across the Commonwealth.  These offices are comprised of special agents and supervisors with specialized training that enables them to respond to and handle critical incidents and complex investigations. 

 
In addition to the investigations initiated by the Virginia State Police, a priority of the General Investigation Section (GIS), as a part of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is to provide specialized assistance to local law enforcement agencies.  Special agents regularly assist local agencies as needed for major crime investigations and incidents related to arson/bomb and explosive matters, hostage barricade situations, financial crime matters, public corruption complaints, and violent crime investigations to include homicides and officer-involved shootings.  

Bomb Squad

The Virginia State Police Bomb Squad consists of members assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) – General Investigation Section, within the seven field offices. Each bomb technician is certified through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Each of the seven field offices is equipped with specialized bomb squad equipment and is capable of responding to calls for service including:

  • Bomb threats
  • Military ordnance recovery
  • Investigation of suspicious packages
  • Improvised explosive devices
  • Explosive recoveries
  • Dignitary protection
  • Post-blast crime scene investigations
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) missions

The Virginia State Police Bomb Squad’s mission is to serve the public and assist its local and state partners in all matters related to explosives.

Crisis Negotiation

Virginia State Police Hostage Negotiators are trained communicators who work to find a non-violent resolution to hostage situations and barricaded subjects. Hostage Negotiators attend specialized training and must complete practical exercises to ensure suitability for these positions. Special Agents are assigned throughout the State to respond to incidents when needed.

Fire Investigation

Virginia State Police fire investigators are members assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) – General Investigation Section, within the seven field offices. Each fire investigator is trained to provide comprehensive fire and explosion investigations.

The Code of Virginia requires the Department of State Police to examine, or cause examination to be made, into the origin and circumstances of all fires occurring in the Commonwealth.

Virginia State Police fire investigators are responsible for all aspects of an investigation including examining a scene, collecting evidence, photography, conducting interviews, and effecting an arrest when appropriate.

The Virginia State Police fire investigation program’s mission is to serve the public and assist its local and state partners in all matters related to fire investigation.

Financial Crimes Unit

The Virginia State Police Financial Crimes Unit consists of Special Agent Accountants assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) – General Investigation Section and the Drug Enforcement Section, within the seven field offices. Each Special Agent Accountant possesses either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in accounting or a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in another field with a minimum of 18 credit hours in accounting courses and extensive work experience in financial investigations or audits. Several members of this unit are either Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) or Certified in Financial Forensics (CFFs). Each Special Agent Accountant has been trained in the investigation of the following crimes:

  • Embezzlement – the fraudulent conversion of property received with the owner’s consent
  • Grand Larceny – theft from a state agency in excess of $1,000
  • Financial Fraud – obtaining money by false pretense
  • Money Laundering – knowingly conducting a financial transaction with the proceeds from a felonious act
  • Public Corruption – bribery of public officers, conflicts of interest, and malfeasance
  • Identity Fraud / Identity Theft – obtaining money, goods, or services through the use of another’s identifying information
  • Credit Card Fraud – obtaining money, goods, or services without the consent of the card holder
  • Forgery and Uttering – the making of a false writing and the assertion that a known forgery is good
  • Extortion – the obtaining of money by use of threats or coercion

The Virginia State Police Financial Crimes Unit’s mission is to serve the public and assist local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in all matters where specialized forensic accounting skills are required.

Forensics

Virginia State Police forensic technicians are assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) – General Investigation Section, within the seven field offices. Each forensic technician is a graduate of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy. Forensic technicians receive additional specialized training in a variety of evidence collection techniques to include bloodstain pattern analysis, Leica laser scanning, and panoramic photography. Virginia State Police forensic technicians utilize regionally stationed ANDE Rapid DNA instruments to develop investigative leads as quickly as possible.

Each of the seven field offices is equipped with a crime scene response vehicle capable of responding to calls for service including:

  • Homicide
  • Police officer-involved shootings
  • Firearms-related crime/shootings
  • Burglaries
  • Robberies
  • Aircraft crashes
  • Suicides

The Virginia State Police forensic program’s mission is to serve the public and assist its local and state partners in all matters where specialized forensic technology or skills are required.

Polygraph

The Virginia State Police Polygraph Program meets the strict standards established through the Polygraph Law Enforcement Accreditation (PLEA) program. Each polygraph conducted goes through a secondary review for accuracy in scoring. Polygraph examiners conduct hundreds of exams throughout the state each year. They conduct exams for State Police cases and offer free assistance to other law enforcement agencies in criminal cases. Examiners also support our sworn hiring process through pre-employment testing. Each polygraph examiner is dedicated to determining truthfulness in examinees while providing a fair assessment of each individual case.

Violent Crime Unit

The Virginia State Police Violent Crime Unit consists of members assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) – General Investigation Section, within the seven field offices. Violent Crime Special Agents are highly skilled investigators who are tasked with the investigation of the most heinous crimes against persons. Investigations can include:

  • Homicide
  • Rape
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Malicious wounding
  • Suicide
  • Natural death investigations
  • Police officer-involved shootings
  • Threats against persons

The Violent Crime Unit routinely works with local, state, and federal partner agencies to identify, apprehend, and prosecute violent persons throughout the Commonwealth. Violent Crime Agents receive training in effective interview techniques and the latest investigative methods. The mission of the Violent Crime Unit is to fairly and successfully bring violent criminal investigations to a logical conclusion.

OTHER SECTIONS

In addition to the above, GIS special agents investigate auto theftinsurance fraud, Class 1, 2 & 3 felony crimes, and certain cybercrimes. GIS field offices also respond to requests for investigations from the Governor, Attorney General, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Grand Juries, Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs throughout the Commonwealth.