SACRAMENTO - On January 6, 2023, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Chief Counsel Kasey Clark, Senior Counsel Jim Vitko and Association of Special Agents-Department of Justice (ASA-DOJ) Acting President Ben Greenhagen met with Department of Justice, Office of Human Resources to discuss a proposed pilot program which would add three Special Investigators (SIs) into selected units within DOJ. While the use of SIs and Special Investigator Assistants (SIAs) is not unusual within state agencies, this is the first time this classification has been proposed within DOJ.
According to the proposal, three special investigators would initially be hired into the Civil Rights Enforcement, Workers Rights and Fair Labor and Consumer Protection Units. These special investigators would be embedded into their respective legal teams and used primarily to provide in-house support for deputies attorney general. They would be expected to perform tasks related to investigative support, preparing field reports, performing analytical functions, handling complaints from public agencies and providing testimony when necessary.
CSLEA discussed justification and funding for these positions as well as the potential impact of adding special investigator positions on the recruitment and hiring of special agents. CSLEA was assured that the addition of special investigators would in no way reduce DOJ efforts to hire more special agents/special agent trainees.
CSLEA Counsel also raised concerns with respect to potential safety risks related to field work and discussed limiting special investigator assignments. DOJ Human Resources representatives stated DOJ would be monitoring the use of special investigators overreach and would avoid placing special investigators into situations which would require arrests or other law enforcement actions.
DOJ agreed to consider the concerns raised by CSLEA and to keep CSLEA informed as the pilot program moves forward.