The Criminal Division represents the investigative section, which provides follow-up, preparation and presentation of evidence for cases presented to the County Grand Jury and later to the court or jury. This division is actively involved in several state task forces. The division is equipped with a Mobile Crime Scene Unit, as well as our crime lab within the facility. This division is responsible for the collection of evidence, processing and storage.
All divisions, especially the Patrol Division, work with the Detectives. The Detective Bureau conducts investigations on all crime reports, and documents each case progress.
The detectives work closely with the Pickaway County Prosecutor to insure legal technicalities are met. The Detective Bureau collects, preserves, and processes evidence involved with investigations of all different types. Examples of a few of the evidence types are; DNA, Fingerprint, Trace, Gunshot Residue, handwriting, victim and eye witness statements. Detectives must stay current on methods of collection and preservation for different types of evidence. Detectives work with B.C.I. & I. laboratory and field agents to insure evidence is maintained in suitable condition for lab analysis and to maintain a strict chain of custody. The “Chain of Custody” insures evidence has not presented an opportunity for tampering.
The Detectives must also be able to document and testify as to the relevance of each evidence item to the case. The Detectives and Prosecutor must meet the high standards of “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, when the case is presented to the Court or Jury.
Crime prevention is not a division all of its own. Crime prevention is a responsibility taken seriously by every officer working for the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office. There are specialized units aimed at prevention which are under the Special Operations. These sections consist of the following.
» Drug Task Force activities allows us to work with other agencies to stem the flow of drugs into our community.
» Bike Unit is geared to work closer with neighborhoods and housing areas. Bike Unit strives to gain community support for preventing crimes of all types. Bike patrol also has a great success with youth and makes officers accessible to all age groups.
» K-9 Units a drug interdiction tool, used to deter drug activities. K-9 Unit is especially dedicated to detection of drugs being transported by our mobile society. Our K-9 officers also assume a roll of regular patrol duties, and respond to the same type of calls for service as regular patrol officers.
» Marine Unit is dedicated to enforcement and water safety efforts on Deer Creek Lake.
» S.R.T. (Special Response Team)
Some of these special programs have one thing in common and that is that they are all dedicated officers working above and beyond the normal work hours as “extra duty”. There is large numbers of hours volunteered by the Sheriff’s Auxiliary. The success of these programs is the fact our officers firmly believe the best crime is the one that was prevented.
DRUG TASK FORCE
The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office is part of the US23 Pipeline Drug Task Force. The Task force is dedicated to stem the flow of drugs into and through Member Jurisdictions. The joint effort of agencies involved has helped to erase jurisdictional boundaries which in the past have hampered agencies operating alone. Pickaway County Investigators team up with investigators from other agencies to follow cases and suspects.
The Task force has been highly successful. In Pickaway County the Task force was responsible for taking down multiple methamphetamine labs and culminated in the arrests of over 24 persons associated with the drug activities of those labs.
The Detective Bureau is essentially the Criminal Division of Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office. Acting as the investigative arm, all detectives work closely with the Pickaway County Prosecutor. This close working relationship often allows cases to take a positive direction at a faster pace.
Detectives are responsible to file a prosecutor report of crime, fully outlining all details of the crime and evidence. This is done for each case presented to the grand jury. All follow-up or additional investigations required by the Prosecutor are completed by the lead detective managing the particular case. Case investigations often lead detectives out of Pickaway County into other Counties, and upon occasion other states.
LT. DETECTIVE PARISH
Lt. Dale E. Parish started serving in 1975 and is in charge of the Detective Bureau. He is responsible to monitor case progress and to keep Sheriff Radcliff appraised of new developments in all major cases. He handles cases of his own and assists in other cases and reviews all new reports filed. He is in charge of the evidence room and responsible to oversee the chain of custody on all physical evidence.
SGT. DETECTIVE CROOKS
Started in 1962 in Fayette County and was former Sheriff of Fayette County. He started serving Pickaway County in 1997 and brought with him an abundance of experience. He is a supervisor in the Detective Bureau and handles a full case load of his own. Sgt. Crooks is responsible for assignment of cases to himself and the other detectives. Sgt. Crooks conducts Detectives Roll-call every morning going over case assignments and case progress. All incoming cases are discussed as well as potential leads in those cases.
Detective Emrick started in 1976 and is responsible for follow-up investigations on cases assigned. Detective Emrick works closely with Pickaway County Children’s Services and is on the Pickaway County Task Force against child abuse. Having a family background in Case tractors, he has developed an expertise in the identification of stolen heavy equipment.
Detective John Strawser started with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office in 2003 as a Corrections Officer. In 2005 he completed the basic peace officers training academy at the Ohio University Chillicothe. In 2006 Detective Strawser was promoted to the road patrol division. Detective Strawser was appointed to the Detective Bureau in May of 2008. Detective Strawser is assigned follow up on criminal cases on a daily basis and is responsible for following the cases in which he is assigned through the court system.
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