This week in Council, we celebrated the 50th anniversary since the establishment of the Robbery-Homicide Division of LAPD. The need for a specialized unit within LAPD to handle major crimes was first recognized in the wake of the assassination of Robert Kennedy and year-long investigation that followed. This unit would bring together investigative resources so that LAPD could better address high profile crimes. Over the years, Robbery-Homicide has become known as "the Elite" detective unit in LAPD and one of the most well-known in the world as the subject of many books and movies.
Upon its founding, Robbery-Homicide Division comprised of 24 detectives. In the intervening years, it has expanded to 75 investigators and 9 civilian staff while taking on new responsibilities including specialized details to investigate rape and serial sexual assault, cold case homicides, and the Special Investigation Section tactical surveillance unit. Their performance in addressing each of these areas has made Robbery-Homicide division world renowned for the development of innovative strategies in crime-scene management and interrogation techniques.
The history of the Robbery-Homicide division is full of landmark investigations including the Tate-LaBianca murders, the SLA Shootout, the Hillside Strangler, the Night Stalker, the murder of pro-basketball player Jack Molinas, the Salomon Family disappearance, the Robert Durst investigation, the Western Bandit series, and many more. It has also hosted famous and seasoned detectives such as Homicide Detective "Jigsaw John" St. John and Robbery Detective Jack Giroud each having served the LAPD for more than 51 years.
It is with distinct pleasure and great honor that we celebrate this important milestone for this legendary LAPD division and with great anticipation that we look forward to the next 50 years.