The investigation of a criminal offense is one of the most critical police functions. The detective’s main objective is to gather information that will successfully identify, apprehend, and prosecute a criminal offender. The detective has to work closely with the patrol division and other agencies in order to be successful. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Section is tasked with this duty.
The Criminal Investigative Section of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is comprised of nine sworn Detectives who are professional and dedicated investigators. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Section is responsible for investigating both misdemeanor and felony offenses. In most instances, incidents of crime are reported to the Road Patrol Division, where an incident report is completed. These reports are then reviewed by the Chief of Detectives, and if the incident warrants such, it is then assigned to a Detective. Each case is thoroughly investigated until the crime is solved or all leads are exhausted.
Detectives are available twenty-four hours a day to support the Road Patrol Division and to respond to all major crime scenes. Detectives also perform such duties as surveillance of individuals and places, intelligence gathering, undercover operations, and other specialized activities.
Detectives’ duties also include the processing and collection of evidence at crime scenes. Complementing the Criminal Investigative Section are two civilians – one investigator and one crime scene technician. In order to provide quality law enforcement services to the citizens of Kanawha County, a forensic laboratory was established at the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. The laboratory includes special chambers, lighting, and devices. Also, we have a garage bay for processing involved vehicles. The Crime Scene Technician analyzes evidence collected from crime scenes and then determines whether further testing of the evidence is necessary.
In 2007, the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation was formed. The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation investigates major crimes committed in Kanawha County. This unit is comprised of Detectives from the municipalities within Kanawha County and Detectives of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. By forming this investigative unit, personnel, resources, and equipment were combined. By combining resources and manpower, investigative costs are lowered, and more manpower is focused on solving crimes. The formation of this unit creates better communication between participating Law Enforcement agencies and thus increases the chance that crimes are solved, better serving the citizens of Kanawha County.
Recently, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office developed a digital forensics laboratory. The unit processes all digital evidence that may be collected at a crime scene from many types of crimes, and has assisted in processing digital evidence for numerous agencies throughout the state. Our digital forensics lab works hand in hand with West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children and the FBI/WV Cyber Crimes Task Force.
Through diligent, well planned investigative techniques, Detectives gather, process, analyze, and preserve evidence in the best attempts to solve crimes. Detectives of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office/Kanawha Bureau of Investigation work hard to resolve each crime and make the best efforts possible to prepare each case for prosecution in order to secure and protect the citizens and property in Kanawha County.