Criminal Investigators also known as Detectives, perform a variety of law enforcement duties. Visiting crime scenes, processing and protecting evidence, interviewing witnesses and suspects, and documenting cases make up a large part of the duties of a Detective. Detectives use the latest technology to investigate criminal cases. Additionally, Detectives issue warrants on their cases, prepare the cases for court, and testify in courtroom proceedings.
The Travis County Sheriff's Office has dedicated a detective to the full time investigation of Animal Cruelty. This officer investigates cases in violation of Penal Code: 42.09 and sub chapters. Penal Code 42.09 covers cruelty to livestock, attacks on assistance animals and cruelty to non livestock animals. The public generally sees these as Animal Abusers, abusive animal breeders and animal hoarders who fail to take care of their pets. His area of investigation is those areas inside Travis County but outside all Municipal Entities(Cities). This Detective does Not investigate Dangerous Animals, Animals at Large, Nuisance Animals and Animal bites. Those events are handled by Animal Control and Estray Officers.
The Travis County Environmental Crimes Detective position has been in existence for over 15 years. The unit is unique as it is the sole Law Enforcement Detective position in all of Travis County, to include municipalities, devoted to environmental crimes. TCSO currently investigates everything from Illegal Dumping to corporations disposing of hazardous waste.