When it comes to consumer protection efforts at the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the Division of Investigation (DOI) works every day to protect Californians by enforcing laws, regulations, and professional standards.
DOI began its role in consumer protection when it was created in 1961. Today, DOI is now a team of 200 highly skilled sworn and non-sworn investigators, consultants, and support staff charged with protecting California consumers and are experts in conducting specialized investigations with an emphasis on violations of the Business and Professions Code, laws that govern most DCA professional licenses. DOI investigators, some who are sworn peace officers who perform a full range of peace officer duties and responsibilities, protect consumers by conducting criminal and administrative investigations involving prescription/medical narcotics enforcement, illegal practice of medicine, wrongful death, patient abuse, identity theft, sexual misconduct, unlicensed activity, false advertising, incompetence, fraud, underground, economy, and assault.
“The mission of DOI is to provide law enforcement investigative services, in order to protect California consumers and licensees by effectively and efficiently enforcing laws, regulations, and professional standards,” DOI Chief Kathleen Nicholls said. “Our investigators and support staff take their role of consumer protection very seriously.”
DOI has three units: the Health Quality Investigation Unit (HQIU), Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU), and Special Operations Unit (SOU). The HQIU provides investigative services to the Medical Board of California (MBC), the Physician Assistant Board (PAB), the Podiatric Medical Board of California (PMBC), and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMBC). The IEU provides investigative services for all the other boards and bureaus within DCA. The SOU is a specialized law enforcement unit within DOI that provides investigative services, training, and program management services for DOI and DCA. SOU conducts internal affairs investigations on behalf of DCA, background investigations of board, bureau, DOI, and DCA staff, investigations pursuant to DCA’s Workplace Violence Prevention Policy, and provides oversight of the Infraction Citation Authority Program and the Criminal Offender Record Information clearance system for positions that require fingerprint clearance. The vast majority of DOI works in the HQIU and IEU.
DOI is headquartered in Sacramento, but has field offices across the state, including the Bay Area, the Central Valley and Southern California.
There are many opportunities to serve California and join the consumer protection mission. To explore working for the Department of Investigation, visit www.calcareers.ca.gov and search for “Division of Investigation”. DOI offers Specialized Training, Specialized Assignments, Compact Work Weeks, Comprehensive Benefits, Education Incentive, Longevity Pay, Peace Officer Safety Retirement, Career Advancement to its employees, and is a great second career for retired law enforcement officials.
Consumers who have a concern or issue are encouraged to file a complaint online by visiting DCA’s consumer complaint page which will guide you to the specific Board or Bureau you wish to file the complaint with.