Luzerne County covers 907 square miles, making it the largest county in northeast Pennsylvania and the ninth largest county in Pennsylvania as a whole. Within the County, there are seventy-six (76) municipalities with forty-eight (48) local law enforcement agencies and two (2) state police headquarters with one (1) state police substation located in Hazleton, Wyoming and Shickshinny to assist the local agencies in combating crime.
When District Attorney Salavantis took office, she organized the legal division of 25 Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) into specialized units so the nearly 5,000 cases being prosecuted by the office were handled more expeditiously, but methodically. The units consist of (1) Special Victims, (2) Vice, (3) Major Crimes, (4) Juvenile, (5) Driving Under the Influence (DUI), (6) Homicide by Motor Vehicle and (7) Appeals.
The prosecutors are responsible for reviewing investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies and determining whether there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges or proceed with the charges already filed.
The prosecutors assigned to specialized units are also assigned to respective regions throughout the County in order to build a good raport with law enforcement who investigate the criminal activity.
Luzerne County Detectives
The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office maintains a staff of 10 sworn peace officers known as Luzerne County Detectives. They conduct investigations into some of the most unique, sensitive, and complicated cases in Luzerne County.
The County Detectives function primarily to provide support to the Assistant District Attorney’s handling the cases. They also act as liaison between federal, state and local law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office.
In addition to handling cases of extreme violence and requests for assistance from municipalities throughout Luzerne County, District Attorney Salavantis created a Computer Crimes Unit, an Elder Abuse Unit and a White Collar Crime Unit to provide additional resources to our communities combating these issues. Moreover, we were one of the first County Detectives Division in the Commonwealth to have a Child Abuse Unit and a Domestic Violence Unit.