Criminal Investigation Division

Major Frank Thomas, Commander

Major Frank Thomas, Commander

It is the mission of the Criminal Investigation Division to provide professional, responsive and caring law enforcement to the community by striving for excellence in every aspect of investigative services while maintaining the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

What reports are referred to the criminal investigation division for further investigation?

All robberies, aggravated assaults, aggravated batteries, sexual assaults, homicides, and any additional reports referred by uniform patrol supervisors.

How do I know my report has been assigned to a detective?

After a detective has received the report, the detective will make contact with the citizen within 3 business days.

What should I do if I have additional information in reference to my report?

You can call or make a report in person at the nearest Clayton County police precinct.

After I report a crime what happens?

After an initial crime report is taken, there are a number of things that occur. While each case may be investigated differently the following steps may be taken:

Crime scene processing; a neighborhood canvass or interviews; interviews with witnesses or potential suspects; information may be disseminated to other area departments regarding the crime or involved parties; search warrants or other searches for evidence and/or property may occur.

Analysis – Detectives will examine the reports filed by our officers in an attempt to determine if there is a pattern.

Property- Any property that is stolen will be entered onto the national computer database. In the event that we or another police department comes across your property, provided it is clearly identifiable with serial numbers the information can be used to recover it for you.

What can I do to assist with my loved one’s investigation?

Family and concerned friends are encouraged to ask for information from the public through newspapers ads, social media, news media, community meetings, and disseminating informational flyers. All resulting tips and information should be forwarded to the case detective.

What about cash rewards for information that results in an arrest and conviction?

The Clayton County Police Department participates in the Atlanta Crime Stoppers Program which offers up to two-thousand dollars for information. Anyone can contact crime stoppers about offering additional monetary rewards.

How many detectives work on each homicide case?

Cases are normally assigned to one detective, however, a supervisor will assign additional detectives to assist in a case as needed.

How does a family get informed about the status of an investigation?

The detectives that are assigned to the case are responsible for the investigation and will keep the family informed of the status and/or progress of any new developments. There will be circumstances and detailed information that the detectives will not be able to share because it could compromise the investigation. It is preferred that family members choose a single member to serve as the point of contact.

When can victim’s belongings be turned over to a family member after a homicide?

During a homicide investigation, most items and vehicles seized will be held until further investigation. If the property is deemed as evidence it will be held until there is a final disposition in the case in a criminal proceeding.

How can I have my loved one’s unsolved cold case re-opened for investigation?

All unsolved cases are periodically re-examined by detective supervisors for solvability factors per our departmental policy. Cold cases can be re-opened based on family request, the receipt of new tips or information, or by order of detective supervisory personnel.

What crimes does Crime Scene Investigators respond to?

They respond at the request of the on scene investigating officer.

What services does the Clayton County Crime Scene Investigations unit provide?

Crime Scene Investigators typically respond to burglaries, robberies, sexual assaults and murders. Other crime classifications are considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the presence or absence of blood DNA on the scene.

The Clayton County Crime Scene Investigations unit analyzes Fingerprints, Palm prints and Shoe/Tire print impressions. DNA/Hair/Fiber (Trace evidence and Firearms examinations are sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Crime Lab for analysis.

What kind of results can be expected from the Crime Scene Investigative process?

A crime scene investigation should provide detailed documentation of the condition of the scene and a collection of evidentiary items that can be analyzed to assist the investigation.

However, unlike popular TV shows where the evidence is processed and the perpetrator is quickly brought to justice, the criminal investigation process takes time. The initial crime scene investigation is just the beginning of what could be a lengthy process.

It is important to remember that while the physical evidence collected at the scene can reveal numerous powerful facts in the case, the case investigator also relies on other types of evidence including eyewitness testimony to piece together the full picture of the crime.

What are the limitations of the crime scene investigation process?

The portrayal of crime scenes in the popular media may provide the impression that every scene is an orderly, perfectly secured area that can be thoroughly scoured for every piece of crucial evidence. In reality, crime scenes can be emotionally charged or even chaotic. In the case of outdoor scenes, inclement weather conditions can quickly damage evidence and create additional challenges for the investigator.

Why do I have to wait and be present on the scene?

Crime Scene Investigators must have legal access to process the scene for evidence, either by your permission or by permission from a judge who signs a search warrant. Victims can also shed some insight to common items found on the crime scene that might not belong to the victim.

What surfaces can be fingerprinted?

Smooth non-porous surfaces provide the best surface to develop latent fingerprints. However, any surface that is about as smooth as the miniature ridges on your fingers can potentially bear identifiable latent fingerprints. Fingerprints from crime scenes have been identified on papers, aluminum cans, plastic garbage bags, and thousands of other surfaces. It is important to note that dust, dirt, oil and water can prevent the finger from making contact with the surface and depositing a useable fingerprint.

How soon should I expect to hear about any results?

Crime Scene processing takes time as does analysis of the evidence collected. Sometimes it takes weeks, months or even years before an identification is made. In addition, just because DNA or fingerprints are collected at the scene, an investigation may not be able to identify the perpetrator if this information doesn’t match any existing profiles available in law enforcement databases.

How do I clean up this black fingerprint powder?

There are several cleaning solutions capable of removing most if not all of the fingerprint powder from the surface that was processed. One suggestion we have is Scrubbing Bubbles. Spray it on the powder stain and let it stand for several minutes. Then blot and rub it with a dry cloth. You may have to repeat this process several times to remove all of the stain. Scrubbing Bubbles can be found in your local grocery store or Wal-Mart in the aisle that contains bathroom cleansers.
SIRCHIE sells a produce called Powder FOAM-AWAY that works like Scrubbing Bubbles. Always spot test cleaners on an inconspicuous surface.

Due to the composition of the fingerprint powder, some surfaces may never be cleaned completely.