The Special Operations Bureau (SOB) provides the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) specialized tactical resources in support of daily field activities, unusual occurrences, and during serious disturbances and elevated threat conditions.

SOB also provides line supervision over all of the department's gang and narcotics enforcement strategies as well as geographical area Gang Impact Teams.

Main offices of SOB are located in the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center, Piper Tech for short, in downtown Los Angeles, next to Union Station and about one mile away from LAPD Headquarters. In real life, Piper Tech is the home base for the Air Support Division, storing all of the department's helicopters. Piper Tech also houses the City's archives and a garage where all official vehicles are maintained.

Command Edit

Commanding Officer Edit


Chief Howard

The commanding officer of the Special Operations Bureau is Deputy Chief Fritz Howard.

Chief Howard is also the LAPD's Gang Coordinator, responsible for developing policies and procedures for gang and narcotics enforcement strategies as well as providing citywide oversight of geographical area Gang Impact Teams and geographical bureau Gang Coordinators.

Chief Howard was assigned as the SOB commanding officer at the end of “Sweet Revenge”​​ of Major Crimes, Season 3. This is also the same time he was hired by the LAPD and appointed as a Deputy Chief, having previously been employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

  • Based on episode dialogue, the position of SOB commanding officer was left vacant by the beginning of Major Crimes, Season 3, for unknown reasons. It is not currently known who was the commanding officer during The Closer or Major Crimes, Seasons 1 and 2.

Assistant Commanding Officer Edit


Cmdr. McGinnis

The assistant commanding officer of the Special Operations Bureau is Commander Ann McGinnis.

Cmdr. McGinnis assists the Deputy Chief in coordinating the bureau's activities and will act as the commanding officer during the Chief's absence.

  • Between the events of “Flight Risk” and “Sweet Revenge”, Cmdr. McGinnis was the acting commanding officer of SOB after the post was left vacant by the previous commanding officer. Based on episode dialogue, McGinnis has been the SOB assistant commanding officer for the entire duration of Major Crimes.

Divisions, Sections, and Platoons of SOB Edit

Special Investigation Section Edit

The Special Investigation Section (SIS) is the LAPD's elite tactical surveillance unit. The primary mission of SIS is to determine if the suspects under surveillance are connected to the crimes under investigation, and, if needed, to locate and arrest the suspects. Although SIS is assigned to the Special Operations Bureau, its resources are available to any division seeking surveillance on active criminals or crimes.

SIS is also responsible for all of the LAPD's kidnap-ransom exchanges as well as providing necessary surveillance support to all kidnapping investigations even if ransom demand has not been made.

SIS also provides undercover security details on subjects if protection is required and has detectives working undercover in organized criminal organizations (all other organized crime related investigations/operations are conducted by the Criminal Intelligence Division).

  • NOTE: In the Major Crimes Universe, SIS appears to have much more investigative and operational responsibilities than in the real LAPD. Also, in the real LAPD, SIS is usually comprised of approximately 20 detectives who have attained the highest level of performance in their detective divisions before being selected to serve in SIS. The SIS featured in the Major Crimes Universe has a lot more detectives than 20, some of who are extremely inexperienced in undercover work, making it nearly impossible for them to be assigned to SIS in the real LAPD.

Known Personnel Edit

Air Support Division Edit


ASD logo

The Air Support Division (ASD) is the airborne unit for the LAPD. It is the largest municipal airborne unit in the United States, consisting of 88 sworn personnel and 19 helicopters. ASD operates out of the LAPD Hooper Heliport, located on the roof of the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center.

ASD's missions fall into two operational areas, Air Support to Regular Operations (ASTRO) and Special Flights Section (SFS). ASTRO makes up for approximately 80% of the division’s total flight time, responding to calls and giving information to the officers on the ground. The Special Flights Section provides surveillance and support for detectives and undercover operations.

Known Personnel Edit

  • During The Closer and Major Crimes, a real life LAPD Officer, Sergeant Steve Roussell, is featured in his role as a ASD Tactical Flight Officer. He also consults with the production team on all aspects of filming which require the use of LAPD helicopters.

Metropolitan Division Edit


Metro Division logo

The primary responsibility of the Metro Division is to provide support to the Department’s community-based policing efforts by deploying additional crime suppression resources throughout the City. These assignments include uniformed crime suppression details, as well as responding to high-risk barricaded situations, stakeouts, security details, warrant service, and assisting investigators in solving major crimes.

A, B, C, and G Platoons: Crime Suppression Edit


Metro Division patch

A, B, C, and G platoons are usually tasked with crime suppression as well as selective enforcement details in high frequency crime areas and targeting repeat offenders and criminal predators. They often serve high risk search warrants as well and during protection details and high profile events within the city, they deploy heavily armed tactical units for added security.

D Platoon: SWAT Edit


SWAT team patch

D Platoon is the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team of the LAPD. They provide the department with 24-hour coverage necessary for immediate response to barricaded suspects, snipers, crisis and hostage negotiations, potential suicide-related situations, and other high-risk incidents.

E Platoon: Mounted Unit Edit

E Platoon serves as the LAPD's mounted police unit and the reserve unit of the Special Operations Bureau. The platoon currently has 32 horses which deploy to the City streets or during special events to add to the Department’s professional image.

H Platoon: Municipal Executives Protection Detail Edit

H Platoon is responsible for the security teams that protect the Mayor, Chief of Police and City Attorney as well as other dignitaries if needed.

Canine (K-9) Platoon Edit


K-9 Platoon patch

The K-9 Platoon deploys highly trained dog handlers and their canine partners to conduct searches and apprehend felony suspects throughout the Los Angeles area.

M Platoon: Command, Administration, and Support Edit

The M platoon serves as the command and administrative section and also provides the support function for the division. In addition to the administrative duties, they coordinate Metro's many tactical firearms training programs and ensures compliance with state-mandated training. Additionally, this platoon is in charge of the armory that maintains all of Metro’s equipment. This includes the specialized vehicles, weapons, ammunition and other specialized tools used by the division.

Underwater Dive Unit Edit

The Underwater Dive Unit is responsible for investigating underwater crime scenes, search and rescue of property and evidence, and body recovery.

Special Operations Support Division Edit

The Special Operations Support Division is responsible for providing investigative support, expertise, and training to Department and community entities, and providing administrative support to the SOB Commanding Officer in exercising functional supervision over Gang Impact Teams.

Gang Support Section Edit

Mission of the Gang Support Section (GSS) is:

  • Identify and cause the arrest of active, violence-prone career criminal gang members
  • Provide oversight and coordination of geographical area Gang Impact Teams (GIT), and
  • Develop and maintain an automated system to identify and track career criminals

GSS is comprised of the Asian Crime Unit, the Gang Field Unit, the Administrative Unit and the LA CLEAR Coordinator.

In addition to field operations on career criminals, GSS also maintains LAPD’s Outlaw Motorcycle Gang files and interacts daily with other agencies monitoring these organizations.

GSS is also responsible for updating the citywide gang database, monitoring and disseminating gang-related criminal statistics, developing an active parolee database, and serving as an liaison to the California Youth Authority and Los Angeles County Probation Department.

The Asian Crime Unit is responsible for investigating crimes involving Asian suspects and/or victims, where Asian language and/or cultural expertise is required; investigating Asian gang-related crimes; providing investigating officers to assist in vice, narcotics and other specialized investigations where Asian language and/or cultural expertise may significantly benefit the investigations; and assisting other units in assessing and developing information pertaining to Asian criminals and criminal organizations.

The Gang Field Unit is responsible for investigating, locating, and apprehending wanted gang members and associates who have taken extreme measures to avoid apprehension; assisting Area detectives in conducting follow-up investigations involving violent gangs; providing expert gang knowledge; and monitoring outlaw motorcycle gangs.

In the Major Crimes Universe, a fictional Gang Intelligence Unit also exist and is confirmed to be a part of SOB by Cmdr. McGinnis (“Zoo Story”). The unit is most likely responsible for receiving, developing, processing and assessing gang intelligence. In the real LAPD, these operations are conducted by the Gang Field Unit. The unit is most likely under the control of the Gang Support Section.

Traffic Coordination Section Edit

The Traffic Coordination Section (TCS) is responsible for providing support and administrative services related to traffic issues, providing the Office of Support Services with information that will support driver training, assigning traffic personnel as escorts, compiling a list of motor officer (motorcycle officer) candidates, certifying officers who demonstrate the ability to safely ride a motorcycle, and assigning motorcycles.

The Traffic Coordination Section is composed of the Traffic Support Unit, Drug Recognition Expert Unit, Photo Red Light Coordinator, Patrol Support Unit, Specialized Enforcement Unit, and the Traffic Court Liaison and Vehicle Forfeiture Unit.

The Traffic Support Unit is composed of the Traffic Analytical Detail, Traffic Education Detail, Traffic Planning Detail, Specialized Collision Investigation Detail, and the Department Radar Coordinator. The Traffic Analytical Detail is responsible for conducting traffic related research, analyzing traffic legislation and court decisions as well as proposing additions and amendments to the California Vehicle Code. The Specialized Collision Investigation Detail responds to complicated collision scenes throughout the entire Los Angeles area, and completes traffic collision reconstructions for traffic division detectives and the District and City Attorney's offices.

The Patrol Support Unit is composed of the Bicycle Coordination Detail and the Noise Enforcement Team. The Bicycle Coordination Detail provides Bicycle Officers certified training in pursuit bicycle handling, bicycle safety, night patrol techniques, shooting, and maintenance. The Noise Enforcement Team is responsible for the enforcement of Los Angeles Municipal Code sections of the Noise Ordinance violations involving people generated or controlled noises.

Proposed SOB Spin-Off Edit

During Major Crimes, Seasons 3 and 4, there was a possibility that SOB was going to be getting it's own show. While SOB was not officially piloted, the characters that would have appeared in the spin-off were introduced in the Season 3 episode “Two Options”​​​​​.

Some of the old (and new) cast the new show would have featured would have been Jon Tenney as SOB Commanding Officer Deputy Chief Fritz Howard, Laurie Holden as SOB Assistant Commanding Officer Commander Ann McGinnis, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner as SIS Officer-in-Charge Lt. Chuck Cooper. Hampton Fluker and Brock Harris, who were introduced in “Two Options”​​​​​, would have also returned as SWAT officers Jamey Perez and Chad Stuart, respectively.

The spin-off had been proposed under Michael Wright, the President of TNT & TBS and Chief Creative Officer of Turner Broadcasting, but after Kevin Reilly was appointed to replace him, he did not want another procedural show and the show was scrapped.

See also Edit

Major Crimes Universe
Los Angeles Police Department
General Information: Organizational chart Ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department Awards of the Los Angeles Police Department
Office of the Chief of Police: Professional Standards Bureau Force Investigation Division
Office of Operations: Major Crimes Division Counter-Terrorism Division Criminal Intelligence Division
Detective Bureau Special Operations Bureau
Office of Support Services