This week’s topics have to do with the Investigative/Administrative Services Division of the Troy Police Department. We started out with a welcome from Captain Keith Frye. He gave us a breakdown of the topics of the night and who would be presenting them.
We first heard from Officer Krissy Shuler about concerns juveniles may create in the city. The police department uses prevention and early involvement to let students know what could happen if they break the law. The resource officers that used to be attached directly with schools were a product of budget cuts.
There are officers on call 24/7 to handle any concerns that may arise involving juveniles. State laws dictate how a juvenile is detained and questioned. Who could be considered as a juvenile? 16 years of age and under, 17 to 19 years of age AND students of Troy Schools are all considered juveniles. There are five school districts in Troy. Juveniles can be offenders, victims or status offenders. Status offender is an event that is not a crime as an adult. Examples are incorrigibility, and home and school truancy.
Each situation is different and their goal is to be a learning experience instead of a punishment or arrest. The police spend a lot of time investigating why the concern occurred and has many people involved in how this concern can be taken care of in a positive way. This may mean a diversion to a community program instead of prosecution or referral to a Juvenile Court for serious or repeat offenders. Some offenders may need a nudge to get back on track without having a record that could affect the rest of their life.
Next, Lieutenant Stout went over the Investigative Services Division. He stated that solving crimes is nothing like what is seen on television where within one hour they go to the scene, collect hours of evidence and solve the crime. The investigation takes lots of man-hours including examining the smallest of details. No detail is shelved or not looked at as it may be the key to solving the case. Not all cases are investigated. An example of this would be someone taking garden tools from a garage. They are probably unsolvable. All cases are put into a priority by solvability. Solvability factors include, but are not limited to, a reliable witness, suspect description, suspect previously seen, and a vehicle description. Tips come into play and are reviewed.
Lt. Stout also reviewed fraud. He reviewed places where fraud occurs within the city. These include Craigslist, the internet, emails, phone calls, credit card, ID theft, and door-to-door. He warned us to be aware of anything that sounds fishy or too good to be true. Some of the perpetrators are successful due to years of experience, such as those who offer resealing of your driveway for a discount price. The victim finds out that they only poured oil on the driveway and the hot sun evaporated the oil leaving no protection.
Third, we heard from Lieutenant Salter on Criminal Investigations. Troy officers may be assigned to help other jurisdictions solve crimes. These may be other city police departments, county sheriff’s office, or state or federal agencies. Their goal is to use the evidence to solve a serious crime before it occurs again. They may go undercover and blend in with the surroundings to get evidence to solve the case.