Criminal Investigation Division

The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) was established to solve crimes via the processes of questioning victims, witnesses and suspects, accumulating physical evidence at the scene of a crime and by tracing stolen property or vehicles associated with a crime. The responsibility does not culminate here, for it is necessary that all facts and evidence be compiled and presented to the District Attorney's Office for possible filing of charges against a suspect(s). The ultimate goal is to prove beyond any reasonable doubt, in a court of law, that the suspect in question did commit the specific crime for which he is charged.

A Message From the Division Commander

Welcome to the Criminal Investigations Division. Seventeen full-time investigators, one Sergeant, three Staff Sergeants, one Lieutenant, one Captain, and two Administrative Coordinators currently staff the Criminal Investigations Division (CID). Today's investigators combine traditional investigative savvy - leg work, meticulous collection of physical evidence, interrogation skills - with the ability to use the latest in communications and computer technology to work a case. The men and women of the Criminal Investigations Division earn the reputation of being tenacious and highly skilled investigators. We are proud of the work they produce every day. Our investigators, as well as the civilian personnel in the secretarial pool, working in close cooperation with members of other internal units/sections, as well as other law enforcement agencies, get the job done in a contemporary and professional manner.

- Captain Ryan Whittle

Please feel free to contact me by phone or email with any questions or concerns.

Four specialized Investigations Division Units each supervised by a Staff Sergeant provide investigators in the field with a vast and diverse array of technical expertise.

Financial Crimes Unit

Financial CrimesThe Columbia County Sheriff's Office Investigations Division has a Financial Crimes Unit that handles financial crimes and fraud. This unit consists of a supervisor and five investigators who handle all crimes involving bad checks, credit cards, embezzlements, consumer frauds and other financial transaction crimes occurring within the county. Investigators maximize clearance rates by sharing information with other jurisdictions and developing strategies to combat the high rate of these often multi-jurisdictional crimes.

With inexpensive technology making it easy to transfer funds, create counterfeit checks and use the anonymity of the Internet, computer crimes are occurring at an increasingly fast rate.

Keeping up with the training and technological advancements needed to successfully investigate these types of crimes put the Financial Crimes Unit in the spotlight to provide up to date investigative expertise in these areas.

Crime Scene Unit

crime sceneCrime Scene investigators are responsible for responding to all major crime scenes to evaluate, process, photograph, document, collect and preserve evidence for future evaluation, examination and prosecution.

Another service provided is latent fingerprint developing, processing, and identification, to include entry of unknown latent fingerprint impressions into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). AFIS is a computerized system utilized for encoding, storing, searching and matching fingerprint images throughout the state of Georgia. Society recognized that people's fingerprints hold undeniable, unchangeable evidence of their identity. However, the fingerprint identification process has naturally broadened to a much greater scale. While the human eye is an important part of fingerprint analysis, the AFIS has taken over and assisted the investigator in identifying someone more quickly and efficiently.

Property Crimes Unit

Property CrimesThe goal of the Property Crimes Unit is to locate, identify and recover property stolen or illegally obtained in a criminal act, whether or not it is taken locally or from another jurisdiction and to apprehend and arrest those persons wanted in connection with the taking of said property. This unit consists of a supervisor and seven investigators who focus on Burglary, Theft (including vehicle theft), and the possession, purchasing, or receiving of stolen property.

Investigators in this unit are also responsible for the inspection of every pawn shop in the county. They work hand in hand with investigators sharing information concerning stolen property and the identity of perpetrators. This unit acts as a repository and clearinghouse for information that assists with ongoing investigations and requests from outside agencies for assistance.

Crimes Against Persons Unit

Crimes Against PersonsThe Crimes Against Persons Unit is responsible for the investigation of violent acts perpetrated against another person(s) which have occurred within the confines of Columbia County, Georgia. This unit is responsible for investigating crimes such as homicide, robbery, sexual assault and missing persons.

This unit is also responsible for working all crimes committed against juveniles. The investigators are highly trained in juvenile, child exploitation, and abuse laws and work closely with representatives of the Department of Family and Children Services, District Attorney's Office, Board of Education, and Juvenile Court.

This detail also investigates complaints of Child Pornography. Child Pornography is the depiction of any child engaged in a sexual act, or an image that is obviously not "artistic" or serving any educational purpose. The transmission or simply the possession of child pornography is illegal.

All family violence related incidents are forwarded to this unit for review. An investigator will conduct follow-ups, referrals and mediations when appropriate.

The working hours for this Division are from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday excluding holidays. A call-out system exists 24 hours a day. Contact with the on-call investigator is made through our Communications Division at 706-541-2800.

You can assist CID by reporting any suspicious activity to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. We do accept anonymous tips and information. Call 706-541-1044 or 706-541-2800 any time.