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Welch: Citizens Police Academy week 4: Criminal Investigations

It’s hard to believe that we just completed week four of the Covington Police Department’s CPA. Only two more sessions left.  It has gone way too fast.

A couple of weeks ago, we learned about the patrol division - cops patrolling the streets, easily recognized in marked police cars. In this week’s class, we learned about the CPD Criminal Investigations Division led by Captain Ken Malcom.

Tuesday’s class was a fast three hours. Fraud, crimes against persons and drug and prostitution activities are just some of the things the CID deals with on a daily basis. As informative as the class was about how CPD goes about conducting investigations and locking up bad guys was the information the class received about  avoiding being a crime victim, especially as it relates to fraud and scams.

Crimes against persons include crimes against children. We heard about the steps and tools the police use to investigate the crimes committed against society’s most vulnerable members and try to give them some measure of justice. We learned about CPD’s involvement with the Drug Enforcement Agency and how local cops work with Federal officials to lock up drug dealers and keep drugs off our streets.

One of the neat things I’ve gotten to do in my time at The Covington News is be on hand when CPD conducts a pandering sting. We were told about how the stings are put together and why it’s important to deter that kind of activity from coming into a community.

One of the more fascinating aspects of the CID class was hearing how law enforcement is now using social media to track criminals and solve crimes. It can be used for everything from locating suspects to missing persons to crime victims. And Facebook photos cannot only get you fired, they can get you arrested and prosecuted.

Another really interesting part of the class was hearing about how the police process and secure evidence. Without evidence, there is probably no prosecution. Evidence can be anything from a matchbook to drugs to a murder weapon. Tainted evidence is a defense attorney’s best friend. We learned about how CPD handles evidence and maintains the evidence chain so that when it gets to court it works to convict the bad guy.

Only two more CPA sessions left. This week, we gather at the CPD training facility near City Pond Park for demonstration of the department’s Emergency Services Unit. I’ll tell you about it.