Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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The mission of the Bureau of Investigation is to support the prosecutorial efforts of the District Attorney's Office and to promote cooperation between the District Attorney's Office and all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The District Attorney's investigative authority is the broadest of all local law enforcement agencies. The investigative functions of the District Attorney extend from the traditional support of prosecuting attorneys in hearings and trials to complex and specialized investigations not routinely handled by the detectives in traditional sheriff's and police agencies. The District Attorney's Bureau of Investigations' primary role is to provide prosecutorial support to its Deputy District Attorneys. In addition to these duties, the Bureau of Investigations oversees officer-involved shooting investigations, completes criminal investigations, assists in grand jury investigations, and conducts public integrity investigations.
The District Attorney has a staff of sworn peace officers and civilian personnel who perform a wide variety of tasks. The monumental task of providing trial support to "the people’s" prosecutors falls largely on the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. Although all cases merit investigative support, staffing levels permit only a few individual cases (or in some cases particular programs augmented by grant funding) to receive extensive investigative attention based in large measure on the case’s size, potential impact or sensitivity. Investigations are conducted utilizing a wide range of techniques and resources ranging from traditional detective work to undercover operations and the utilization of specialized weapons and modern electronic equipment.
D.A Investigators work with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), California Department of Insurance, and local automotive insurance companies to combat insurance fraud and theft.
Background Investigations involve the investigation of applicants for various employment positions with the District Attorney as well as assistance with background investigations for applicants to sensitive financial positions who will exercise a position of public trust with other county departments.
The Child Abduction Unit of the Kern County District Attorney's Office assists in the enforcement of court orders awarding child custody, including custody orders issued by courts in other California counties, states and foreign countries. To report a missing child please contact the agency of jurisdiction in your area or call 911. If you need investigative assistance with a Child Abduction between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm you can reach our Child Abduction Unit at
Download Child Abduction Unit Good Cause Form (PDF)
The investigation and litigation of business regulatory violations requires specialized training and
experience. The Civil Enforcement Unit handles a wide variety of civil and criminal cases, including:
The Consumer Enforcement Unit is a sub-unit of the White Collar Crime Section. The unit is composed of Deputy District Attorneys, Investigators and Paralegals dedicated to protecting consumers and law-abiding businesses from fraudulent or unfair business practices.
When a complaint is filed with the Consumer Enforcement Unit, our first priority will be to refer the complaint to the appropriate investigative agency. You may save time by directing your complaint to the appropriate agency rather than filing it with the Consumer Enforcement Unit.
The District Attorney’s Office is first and foremost a prosecutorial agency. This means most of our resources go into prosecuting cases that are investigated by investigative agencies. We cannot give legal advice. Please contact the Kern County Bar Association for referral to an attorney if you need legal advice.
When appropriate, the Consumer Enforcement Unit will investigate consumer complaints. These complaints typically involve businesses within Kern County that are involved in unfair or illegal practices. Public safety is always a priority however, and if you are aware of a dangerous practice taking place within the County, we encourage you to file a consumer fraud complaint against a company or an individual please follow these instructions:
1. Download and complete the form below
2. Print the form
3. Sign and date the form
4. Mail the form to the following address:
Kern County District Attorney
Consumer Fraud Unit
1215 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, California 93301
5. Download Consumer Complaint Form (PDF)
Digital Imaging has become a powerful and cost effective alternative to more traditional methods of court presentation. Photographs and documents can now be scanned and written to Photo Compact Disks and displayed in the court room. Only a few years ago charts were hand prepared and photographs duplicated and enlarged for jury trials, now these services are provided by the Digital Imaging Unit with the assistance of computers and digital imaging processes. Other services are also provided such as surveillance, aerial photography, crimes scene documentation and graphic arts applications for the District Attorney’s Office as well as other allied agencies.
D.A. Investigators may be called upon to assist other agencies in the investigation of threats made to prosecutors, judges, elected officials and other staff members of criminal justice and legislative bodies. The Protective Services Detail is comprised of Investigators and Investigative Aides. The detail is responsible for witness protection to and from court proceedings, elected official protection during public events, and conducting threat assessments upon request. The Investigators and Investigative Aides assigned to this detail receive specialized training in a multitude of areas. These individuals are also designated terrorism liaisons with state and federal agencies.
Elections Code violations are another area where D.A. investigators are called upon to conduct investigations or coordinate with state agencies in cases related to the sanctity of the ballot box and the elections process. D.A. investigators receive notification from the Kern County Elections Office when voter fraud is suspected. Often times these cases stem from a single person voting more than once or a person voting with a fake identity.
Environmental Crimes are among the many highly specialized and technical investigative arenas where D.A. investigators assist local regulatory agencies in pollution related crimes that can affect our very survival. Midnight dumpers, clandestine narcotics labs and rogue business ventures make quick profits only to leave a huge legacy of contamination and very expensive clean-ups to be paid for by property owners or taxpayers.
Examples of past actions handled by the Kern County District Attorney’s Office:
KCDA Press Release re Tropicana (PDF)
KCDA Press Release re Michael McWilliams and Ally Senior Care (PDF)
KCDA Press Release re Dollar General (PDF)
Gang Prosecutions are aided by D.A. investigators who work with the prosecutor, special gang detectives, and officers from the local Police or Sheriff’s Department to help coordinate the cases. Investigators also work to secure the cooperation of witnesses and make victims and witnesses more comfortable with the criminal justice system. In special cases, investigators will assist with the relocation of witnesses who may have been the target of threats of violence.
Grand Jury indictments may be presented to the Grand Jury by the District Attorney’s Office in cases involving complex or sensitive crimes. In addition, D.A. investigators assist when the Grand Jury's own investigative function uncovers evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Health Care Fraud can involve millions of dollars in losses. A special grant program comprised of investigators and prosecuting attorneys helps combat this to help curb the rising cost of health insurance premiums due to fraudulent claims.
D.A Investigators work with Kern County Aging and Adult Services to investigate and prevent fraudulent claims by caregivers and/or recipients of IHSS. These cases can be reported directly to Aging and Adult Services or the D.A's office. Once a case is referred to the D.A's office, Investigators often find timesheet fraud by the provider and/or recipient. Another common crime is a caregiver reporting time when a patient has been hospitalized or even after a patient has passed away. These cases can result in jail time as well as repayment of the stolen funds.
Internal Affairs is a sensitive area where D.A. investigators are relied upon to investigate complaints concerning the conduct of D.A. staff and occasionally other county departments. Findings are reported to upper management and when substantiated can result in discipline up to and including termination under civil service rules.
Local Law Enforcement is assisted by D.A. investigators through help in complex investigations, cooperative training, and occasional legislative matters. In addition, District Attorney Investigators coordinate with the State of California to administer the California Witness Relocation and Assistance Program (Cal-Wrap).
The District Attorney provides 24 hour on-call coverage to local law enforcement agencies for assistance investigating officer involved shootings. D.A. Investigators work with local agencies and criminalists to secure evidence, take statements, and perform other functions requiring specialized training. The District Attorney provides full investigation services, for critical incidents, to all outlying agencies in Kern County including but not limited to; Shafter Police Department, Arvin Police Department, Delano Police Department, Ridgecrest Police Department, Tehachapi Police Department, and Taft Police Department. The District Attorney also participates in and reviews uses of deadly force and in-custody deaths for the Kern County Sheriff's Office and Bakersfield Police Department.
Prison Crimes are inmate vs. inmate and inmate vs. staff crimes that occur inside the walls of any one of the prisons or return to custody facilities located in Kern County. Kern County currently has five prisons; Wasco, North Kern, Kern Valley, Tehachapi, and California City. It also has two Modified Community Correctional Facilities in Shafter and McFarland. The state reimburses for investigation and prosecution of these crimes, helping to insure a safer, more secure atmosphere for the inmates, staff and the public who live in communities just outside the prison walls.
D.A. Investigators and Investigative Aides work with the California Department of Human Services to prevent and prosecute cases of benefit abuse and under reporting. Investigative Aides provide informational meetings with clients to inform them of ways to avoid committing Public Assistance Fraud. Investigators work with the Department of Human Services to identify cases where clients fail to report everyone in the home, fail to report income, or neglect to notify their worker they no longer reside in Kern County. If you suspect public benefits fraud, you can report it by emailing us
Investigation@kernda.org at or calling the Department of Human Services Fraud Hotline at 661-633-7283.
Public Corruption and the theft of public funds from county departments are among the unique types of crimes that D.A. investigators are called upon to investigate. D.A. investigators work with department heads to identify and prosecute violations of the public trust.
D.A Investigators work with the California Department of Insurance, California Association of Realtors, California Department of Real Estate, and other state and local agencies to prevent and prosecute cases of fraud.
Reports of crime should be made directly to law enforcement. If you suspect real estate fraud, you can complete the form for review.
Violent Crimes and Career Criminals are often the subject of special prosecutions resulting in a sentence of life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. D.A. investigators work with agency detectives and prosecuting attorneys to handle the huge volume of trial support matters associated with these cases.
Workers Compensation Fraud is another specialized problem area because of the millions of dollars that are passed on to California businesses in the form of increased Workers Compensation insurance rates needed to cover the industry losses to fraud. A special grant program comprised of investigators and prosecuting attorneys helps combat this problem. If you suspect Workers Compensation fraud you can anonymously report information to the Kern County District Attorney’s Fraud Hotline at 800-619-3039.
The District Attorney's Office also works with the California State Licensing Board (CSLB) to conduct enforcement action on unlicensed contractors. If you have questions about a contractor or if you would like to check the status of a license you can do so at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/. You may also file complaints with the CSLB at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/Filing_A_Complaint/
Subpoena Service is a function done each day by civilian investigative assistants, assigned to the Locate Unit. The Locate Unit receives special training in searching for and locating witnesses in law enforcement databases. These witnesses are needed for the many cases being prosecuted in the Kern County Superior Courts each day. In addition, The Locate Unit is responsible for serving subpoenas issued by the Grand Jury and serving motions on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office.
Notification to witnesses who may not have a phone or have moved since the initial case occurred are also made by the Locate Unit.
If you have questions about a subpoena you received please call 661-868-2062.
Every citizen has the right to make a complaint against any employee of the Kern County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation. More Information (PDF)
Personnel Complaint Form (PDF)
Personnel Complaint Form - Spanish (PDF)
Do you think one of our employees did an especially good job? If so, please let us know by filling out the form linked below.
Personnel Commendation Form (PDF)
How to Submit Completed Forms
After printing and signing the completed form, either:
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