The Investigations Division consists of four Detectives who are responsible for the follow-up investigation of all the crimes that reach beyond the scope of the patrol personnel. This includes crimes like burglaries, thefts, assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, narcotics investigations and homicides.
The most basic police functions are the protection of lives and property and the maintenance of the peace. Officers assigned to the Patrol Division carry out the bulk of this function. However, there are often times when follow-up investigation is needed after the patrol officers complete their work. This can be due to the lack of available time and resources, difficulty in locating people that need to be interviewed or the need for specialized evidence collection and investigative resources. In these cases, our Detectives continue where the patrol investigation left off and attempt to uncover the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.
Detectives work on both criminal cases and non-criminal cases. Criminal cases are incidents where violations of laws and/or ordinances have occurred. Non-criminal cases include such things as death investigations (e.g. suicides, accidents, etc.) and missing persons cases. The purpose of these investigations is to not only ensure that criminal acts did not occur but also to gain the necessary understanding of the incident for families and other concerned parties.
All of the Detectives at the West Plains Police Department receive specialized training in interview and interrogation, death investigation, crime scene technology, crime scene photography, evidence collection and a variety of other specialized areas. Detectives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for instances when their resources are needed immediately.
Detectives must also maintain a close working relationship with prosecutors at the Howell County Prosecutors Office, probation and parole officers, caseworkers with MO Department Children’s Division and other Law Enforcement Agencies.