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The Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) is a multi-jurisdictional organization formed to provide investigative and forensic assistance to member police agencies during the investigation of homicides, serial crimes and major criminal events. The Major Case Assistance Team is comprised of police agencies from throughout the northwest suburbs.

MCAT was formed in 1998, following a horrific and puzzling mass murder, which occurred in Palatine, Illinois. This incident underscored the need for an organized, intergovernmental framework through which police departments could undertake the investigation of serious crimes. In response, 13 municipal agencies in the northwest Chicago suburbs, the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department and the Illinois State Police banded together to create MCAT.

MCAT is made up of highly skilled investigators who bring a broad knowledge and expertise base to the team. Members attend regular meetings and training sessions to enhance their abilities and improve their services. Initially, MCAT consisted of a multi-jurisdictional Investigative Team. In 2001, a Forensics Unit of 15 state-certified Evidence Technicians was formed, which can be mobilized in conjunction with the Investigative Team or separately, depending on the needs of the requesting agency. A Surveillance Unit was also formed in 2005. This team is comprised of plain clothes officers that are deployed during investigations to assist investigators in tracking suspects and their movements. The Streamwood Police Department has two bi-lingual investigators assigned to MCAT.  Since its inception, the team has successfully investigated over 100 homicides and major criminal events in the northwest suburbs.