Investigations and Support Services
The Investigations and Support Services Division is overseen by Assistant Chief Joseph Ramey and is comprised of the Criminal Investigations (CIU) which includes the Crime Scene Search Unit, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Support Services Unit. The Criminal Investigations Unit is responsible for the investigation of major felony offenses, select misdemeanors, missing persons, unattended deaths, offenses involving juveniles and the processing of evidence. Property and Evidence is also included in this unit. The Special Investigations Unit is primarily responsible for narcotics investigations, but is also charged with investigating gambling and prostitution offenses. The Support Services Unit includes Educational Services, which provides School Resource Officers to County schools; Employee Development, which is responsible for employee training; Recruitment and Selection, which handles all aspects of the hiring process; Accreditation, which is responsible for maintaining all necessary information to maintain compliance with accreditation standards and Police Information Processing, which is primarily responsible for maintaining the Departments records and providing 24-hour access for both public and officer inquiries.
Criminal Investigations Commander: Captain J.W. Human
The Criminal Investigations Section is a team that includes a captain, two sergeants, six criminal investigators, four crimes scene investigators, and a forensic computer investigator. This section is responsible for conducts all major case investigations handled by the department, investigating computer crimes, and processing all major crime scenes handled by the department. In addition, the section also oversees case management for all cases assigned to officers in the Department.
Special Investigations Commander: Captain C.J. Rosselle
The Special Investigations Section conducts investigations that focus on the sale and possession for illegal drugs, gambling, illegal alcohol sales and prostitution. The SIU is a team that consists of the captain, two sergeants, and six investigators.
Support Service Commander: Captain W.S. Melton
The Support Service Section includes the Educational Services Unit, which provides school resource officers to all 9 Gaston County high schools, the alternative school, and three middle schools, the Police Records Unit, Professional Standards and Property and Evidence, Training, Recruitment, Accreditation, and Victim Witness. This Section also supervises the Citizen Police Academies and Explorer Post as well.
The Educational Services Unit is comprised of ten (10) full-time School Resource Officers (SRO). The SRO's are assigned to each of the nine (9) County high schools plus Warlick Alternative school. The SRO Program for middle schools continued in 2009-10 school year, placing officers at WC Friday, Stanley Middle School and Bessemer City Middle School. This involves the use of off-duty officers to staff the middle schools on a daily basis. SRO's primary duties are to ensure a safe school environment conducive to learning, act as a counselor in law-related issues and act as a teacher of subjects related to law enforcement. The Department continues to partner with Gaston County Schools, implementing programs and courses aimed at keeping students and staff in a safe learning environment.
Supervisor: Sgt. J.D. Hamlin
The Records Unit operates twenty-four hours a day at the Franklin Boulevard location. The main responsibility of the Records Unit is to maintain, store and retrieve police records. Records Unit staff often serve as the first voice and contact encountered on behalf of the Department. The Unit is available to provide access to the Department's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) files as required and to provide information and services to residents, Department personnel and other local law enforcement agencies as requested. The Bessemer City substation is staffed from 6 am until 6 pm each day. The primary function of the Unit at the Bessemer City substation is to provide data entry of pawn tickets, but staff members also provide assistance to visitors and officers by accessing Law Enforcement Records Management System (LERMS) and NCIC/Department of Criminal Information (DCI) as requested.
Supervisor: Ms. Laura Bumgardner
Supervisor: Sgt. B.D. Henderson
The Professional Standards supervisor is tasked with investigating complaints made against any Police, Animal Control or Telecommunications employees and reports directly to the Office of the Chief of Police for that function. In addition to these duties, the Professional Standards sergeant also supervises the Property and Evidence Unit, Training Unit, Recruiting Unit, and the Accreditation and Victim Witness Unit.
Property and Evidence
Property and Evidence- Officer M. Stewart
The Property and Evidence Unit is responsible for the storage and maintenance of all items seized by the Department during criminal investigations. In order for an item of evidence to be admissible in court, its "chain of custody" must be maintained. This means the evidence must be housed in a secure area, and each person having contact with the evidence is documented. This information is used later at trial to show the item is in the same condition as it was when it was first collected. To accomplish this goal, the Unit has one sworn officer in charge of the evidence room. Each item of evidence is logged and classified using a modern barcode tracking system. Once a criminal prosecution has been completed, the evidence must be returned to the rightful owner, destroyed or forfeited, depending on the disposition of the charges and the type of property seized. All illegal contraband are destroyed, regardless of the disposition of the criminal charges.
Training Officer- Officer S. Zill
The training officer is responsible for ensuring that all officers and employees receive all initial mandatory and specialized training required to perform their jobs.
The Recruitment and Selection Unit is responsible for recruiting applicants, receiving and reviewing incoming applications, scheduling and conducting candidate interviews, completing background investigations and screening applicants through relevant job-related testing.
Officer L.A. Caliendo
Accreditation/Victim Witness- Ms. Lorraine Ghorley
The Gaston County Police Department received initial accreditation in 1991 and has been reaccredited five (5) times, most recently in 2008. We are presently operating under the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) 5th edition that contains a total of 379 for which we must show compliance. The CALEA accreditation program requires agencies to comply with standards in four (4) primary areas: policy and procedures, administration, operational procedures and support services. The Department's compliance with these standards is assessed every three (3) years.
Victim Witness Coordinator
The victim-witness coordinator provides referral assistance to victims and witnesses of all types of crimes and other traumatic incidents. Services offered through the Department may include emotional support, ensuring victims are informed of their rights and help in finding and obtaining appropriate resources.