A vice squad is a police division that investigates crimes that are considered vices.

A vice is defined as practice or behavior that is considered immoral, taboo, or sinful according to generally accepted social norms. These crimes are things like prostitution, drugs, and gambling. Selling alcohol to minors and participating in unregulated gambling are a couple of specific examples. Vice squads do not concentrate on crimes like fraud and assault unless they are related to a vice.

Vice officers usually monitor criminal organizations and their related businesses. This might require an officer to participate in extended surveillance or going undercover. Following an investigation and subsequent arrest, a vice officer fills out reports and is often required to testify in court. More experienced vice officers also commonly act as mentors, advisors, and educators to more junior ones.

When a crime spans across multiple jurisdictions, it’s not uncommon for vice officers to serve as a liaison between other local, federal, and sometimes even international agencies.

  1. Before being sent to prison in 1934, Al Capone made over 100 million dollars as the head of a vice crime syndicate.
  2. Vice squads were created during the prohibition era to tackle the increasing number of mobster related vice crimes taking place in large cities such as Chicago and New York.
  3. Miami Vice was a top-rated TV show that ran from 1984 to 1989.


  1. Chron.com – What Does Vice in the Police Force Mean?
  2. Wikipedia.org – Vice
  3. Wikipedia.org – Miami Vice

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