Sheriff’s column November 2014

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2014

As an update to my last column on our K-9 unit, I want to thank everyone for their support and donations. As a result of your donations we were able to acquire 2 canines to complete our unit.

In this column, I want to give some insight into our Investigations Division. This division is made up of two elements, criminal (or general) investigations and narcotics investigations. We have 6 criminal investigators and 3 narcotics investigators. In this column, I will discuss the criminal investigators.

The criminal investigators are assigned all felony reports that are generated in Pearl River County. These felony crimes range from larceny, malicious mischief, burglary, child molestation, sexual assaults and murder to name a few. Each investigator has approximately 40-50 cases open at any given time. With that in mind, they must prioritize their case load. “Solvability factors” play a large role regarding prioritizing. Solvability factors are; listed suspect, witnesses, serial numbers, physical evidence, video/photos, etc. The more solvability factors that exist, the more likely the crime can be solved. The nature of the crime is also a determining factor in prioritizing. Crimes that involve children, armed robberies, sexual crimes and murder would all be considered high priority because they are a threat to our safety and security.

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Our investigators carry a great deal of responsibility. They manage case loads, process crime scenes, process evidence, interview victims and witnesses, interrogate suspects, prepare case files, analyze records, testify in court and much more. They are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. They also ensure sex offenders are registered and track domestic violence cases. Investigators attend various training throughout each year to keep current with new developments and crime trends.

In spite of the pressure of the job, each investigator takes pride in solving cases. What I would like the reader to understand is that unlike some television shows, no agency can solve every case. We do make every effort, unfortunately, the fewer solvability factors that exist; the more difficult it is to solve the case. You can help with this by recording serial numbers, securing valuables, know your neighbors, be aware of out of place or suspicious people and vehicles in your neighborhood, and keep photographs of expensive items.

I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of our investigation division. My hope and prayer is that YOU will never need to meet them. In the event that you do, I know you are in capable hands.

By Sheriff David Allison