This is the latest in an occasional series on Burbank Police
CIVIC CENTER -- Crystal Ray describes her staff as a group of
As manager of the Burbank Police Department’s Records Bureau, Ray
oversees a staff that handles all paperwork and provides officers
with the data they need to perform their job.
“We find out the details on individuals arrested,” she said.
“We’re experts on how to research them.”
The bureau investigates the criminal history of arrestees,
including whether they have any warrants or if they are convicted sex
offenders. To do that, Ray’s 18-member staff has to be adept at
searching such statewide and nationwide databases as the Department
of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau
The bureau also processes data, and retrieves information for
applicant checks, subpoenas and requests from other agencies ranging
from district attorneys’ offices to the California Department of
Children and Family Services.
“The department needs someone to do this for them because
investigators are investigating leads and the other officers are on
patrol,” said Ray, who has worked for the bureau for eight years.
To accommodate the officers they serve, the bureau has to be
staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The police records
technicians and data entry operators work three 12-hour shifts each
Ray said what makes the Burbank Police Records Bureau different
from most other police departments is that Burbank’s department is
responsible for reporting personal information to officers on patrol.
Most other departments usually have dispatch officers run that data.
“We do it so dispatch is more effective and not bogged down,” Ray
said. “But [dispatch] still does it for vehicles or premises
For Edmund Urquiza, a police records technician, providing that
extra assistance is what makes his job worthwhile.
“We get to have some active involvement with investigation,
although on a more technological level,” Urquiza said. “I enjoy it
because we get to be involved with putting criminals behind bars.”