Divisions and Units
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer’s office serves the 49 municipalities of Delaware County and its 566,747 residents. The office is located the County courthouse, 201 W. Front Street, Media, PA. With more than 130 employees, including about 50 lawyers, we are a large and busy office. However, we do more than prosecute cases. We work with partners both inside and outside of county government to offer services and programs to serve everyone who comes in contact with the criminal justice system and to educate the public about important crime prevention and safety issues.
Criminal Investigation Division
The Criminal Investigation Division is led by Chief James Nolan and is comprised of detectives, investigators and support staff trained to assist other law enforcement agencies, including municipal police departments, in the investigation of crimes and to support prosecutors in the prosecution of those crimes. Matters are referred to CID for investigation by citizens and/or other law enforcement agencies. These matters are reviewed by detectives and prosecutors to determine an appropriate resolution of the matter. Charges may be filed, the matter may be referred to another law enforcement agency, or another course of action may be taken.
The detectives in CID are organized into three Units: Special Investigations, Homicide and Violent Crime, and the General Investigative Unit.
- The Special Investigations Unit assists prosecutors with investigations into sensitive matters. Examples include:
- political crime/corruption and election fraud;
- accusations against municipal police departments;
- use of force investigations;
- child abuse;
- cybercrimes, including child pornography.
The Homicide and Violent Crime Unit conducts investigations into equivocal death, illegal firearms and other violent crimes. The Unit includes the Crime Scene Investigative Unit, Accident Reconstruction, Fingerprint Identification, and Ballistics.
The General Investigative Unit conducts investigations that are outside the specialization of the other two units. The work of the detectives in this unit includes insurance fraud, embezzlement, elder crimes, vehicle theft, and arson.
The office has ten trial teams, and the lawyers on those teams prosecute any felony case not handled by a specialized task force team, such as Special Victims Unit. This includes, among other cases, homicides, burglaries, robberies, assaults, attempted murders, and drug and weapons possessions. The Trial Teams also handle vehicular cases, including driving while intoxicated felonies, driving with a suspended license felonies, and vehicular assaults.
Narcotics Task Force
The Narcotics Task Force which was created to train and coordinate local police officers to investigate drug trafficking activity in Delaware County. Led by Deputy District Attorney Laurie Moore, the task force is comprised of Assistant District Attorneys, detectives, and officers from several municipal police forces. Investigations have resulted in numerous prosecutions and the seizure of considerable amounts of U.S. currency, assets and other proceeds of illegal drug trafficking activity, as well as the seizure and destruction of firearms and other weapons.
Child Abuse and Exploitation Task Force
The Child Abuse and Exploitation Task Force was created in September 2020 to ensure that all child abuse and child exploitation cases in Delaware County are handled consistently and thoroughly, by detectives, officers and attorneys with the specialized training and resources that such cases require. The Task Force is comprised of Assistant District Attorneys from the District Attorney’s office, detectives from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and officers from municipal police departments throughout the County who have a demonstrated track record with this type of work. The Task Force also collaborates with numerous invaluable community partners such as the Delaware County Victim Assistance Center and Family Support Line.
Gun Violence Task Force
The Gun Violence Task Force is comprised of the District Attorney, a Deputy District Attorney, an Assistant District Attorney, detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division and police officers from the Chester Police Department. The members of the Task Force share intelligence, and hold weekly meetings to review any shootings that have occurred in the prior week. While law enforcement personnel are focused on the “intelligence” aspect of crime reduction, another important element in the Task Force’s work was the creation of the Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods (CSPN). CPSN is staffed by an individual whose role is to assist individuals identified by the Task Force obtain the resources they need – whether it is counseling, housing , job training, or bus fare. By focusing on the individuals who are most likely to shoot or to be shot, it is hoped that the cycle of violence that has plagued Chester can be interrupted.
Special Investigations Unit
The Special Investigations Unit investigates and prosecutes cases of white collar crime, financial fraud, computer-related crimes, illegal gambling, public corruption, and related offenses. With a team of lawyers and investigators, they have successfully prosecuted cases ranging from identity theft to worker misclassification to embezzlement. In January 2021, this Unit prosecuted one of the first worker misclassification cases in the Commonwealth. By shining a light on the actions of unscrupulous contractors, the Office strives to protect law-abiding contractors, employees, and the Commonwealth, which loses much-needed revenue when workers are misclassified. Within the Special Investigations Unit, District Attorney Stollsteimer has also created a specialized Environmental Crimes Unit, the only one of its kind in the Commonwealth. This Unit collaborates with the Department of Emergency Services, County Council, and other county offices to investigate environmental hazards that threaten the health and safety of Delaware County residents. The Special Investigations Unit is also responsible for investigating crimes against senior citizens. Prosecutors and victim advocates know the importance of investigating and trying these cases in such a way as to maintain the dignity of the victims while ensuring that offenders are held accountable for their crimes.
The Juvenile Division handles cases in which the offender is age 17 or younger. Because these cases often involve a young victim as well, Juvenile Division staff members are skilled at communicating with young people and answering their families’ questions. The juvenile justice system is slightly different from the one that adjudicates adults, and its prosecutors work to balance the factors of punishment, deterrence, and rehabilitation effectively to serve the victim and the common good.
Special Victims Unit
The Special Victims Unit investigates and prosecutes some of the most challenging cases handled by the office, and members of this unit are committed to resolving them with discretion and compassion for the victims. Prosecutors, advocates, and investigators assigned to the Special Victims Unit know it is often difficult for victims to report intimate partner violence or child abuse, and they are dedicated to making the process as safe and streamlined as possible for those who have been victimized. While individual crimes may occur against a child or family member, our office strives to aid in the well-being of the entire family by providing services to everyone affected by physical and sexual violence. Members of the Special Victims Unit have fostered important relationships and partnerships with outside agencies and providers, in an effort to get victims and their families all of the assistance they may need.
Law and Appeals Unit
The Law and Appeals Unit works to ensure the integrity of criminal convictions in Delaware County. This team litigates appeals which challenge judicial error and seek to develop and clarify case law; handles complex or cutting-edge pre-trial and post-conviction motions in the trial courts; and helps to draft legislation. The Law and Appeals Unit also works side-by-side with the attorneys in the office to address any questions of law, procedure, and precedent that may arise — from the investigative stage all the way through trial.
District Court Unit
The District Court Unit is responsible for handling cases at the Magisterial District Court level. Delaware County has 30 Magisterial District Courts, which handle summary offenses, violations of municipal ordinances, and preliminary hearings and arraignments.
Diversion Program Unit
The Diversion Program Unit is tasked with identifying cases where offenders can be held accountable for their actions through participation in non-trial programming focused on preventing future criminal justice involvement. The programs underneath the Diversion Programs umbrella require offenders to meet a variety of court supervised requirements, including community service, educational and therapeutic programming, and specialized treatment focused on addressing substance abuse and mental health issues. Diversion helps reduce the collateral consequences many offenders face, while also lowering recidivism rates and saving prosecutorial and judicial resources that may then be concentrated on more serious and violent crime in Delaware County. The Diversion Programs Unit is committed to seeking just resolutions to cases while ensuring that victim rights are protected and that efforts are made to repair the harm imposed on the affected communities. More information
Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC)
The Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) was created to help Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. The Program is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Pennsylvania’s ICAC Task Force has been administered through the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Investigation Division since its inception in 2000.
The ICAC Task Force program helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This help encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education.
Internet crimes against children include possession, distribution and manufacturing of child pornography images on a computer/smartphone/tablet and/or using the Internet to entice children for sexual or indecent purposes. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provides the Pennsylvania ICAC with Cybertip leads that are filed out on-line by citizens and by Internet Service Providers. More information about ICAC can be found at https://onlinesafety.com/
DIVISIONS AND UNITS