Our Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is responsible for supporting law enforcement operations by managing the assignment and investigation of all major crimes that occur in the County of Warren. We investigate all types of crimes, including murder, robbery, rape, burglary, and grand larceny to name a few. Investigators are also responsible for processing crime scenes, collection of evidence, arrest of suspects, and presentation of cases to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for prosecution.
We currently have nine investigators assigned to the division. These investigators have an accumulative 125 years of experience in the law enforcement field. This brings a vast expanse of knowledge and experience to the table, adding such diversity, which is needed to investigate so many different types of crimes.
Investigations falls under the control of the Division Commander of Law Enforcement which holds the rank of Captain. The Captain performs technical, professional, and administrative duties and has numerous years of experience as an investigator if additional help is required. The overall day to day operations of all investigations is managed by a Lieutenant and Sergeant within Investigations.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has two Deputies/Investigators who are graduates of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy located in Richmond, Virginia. The course is sponsored by the Virginia Division of Forensic Science and approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. This intense ten week resident course is offered to ten law enforcement officers twice a year and has a waiting list of one to three years. Forensic Academy students receive training in crime scene photography, crime scene sketching, basic and advanced fingerprint processing, trace evidence (hairs, fibers, glass, paint, etc.) identification, collection and packaging, blood spatter analysis, arson/fire investigations, use of alternative light source, collection of blood and other biological fluids, collection and documentation of tool marks, sexual assault investigations, and legal issues involved in crime scene searches and seizures.
The Forensic Academy graduate performs regular law enforcement/investigative duties as well as serving in the capacity of a forensic technician at major crime scenes. A Warren County forensic technician is available to assist deputies and investigators on any crime scene 24 hours a day. The forensic technician, as well as other investigators, routinely responds to complex crime scenes involving deaths related to unexpected, unnatural, and suspicious deaths, recovery of biological fluids, fingerprints, tool marks, shoe/tire impressions, blood spatter analysis, or when scenes need to be documented photographically.
The investigation section has two graduates of the National Criminal Justice Command College (NCJCC). Unique to Virginia, the NCJCC training program, co-sponsored by the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and Virginia State Police, offers a collective public and private policing training curriculum that focuses on leadership, management issues, forensic science, collaboration and negotiation, and legal issues and the law. The course earned graduates 15 hours of college credit from the University of Virginia, as well as enhanced their professional skills and knowledge.
There are also other specialized areas that enhance the abilities and capabilities of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigations. Our deputies/investigators have received some select training over the years to meet the future needs of our office by helping maintain the security and well-being of our community and the citizens within it. Some of these areas are as follows;
We presently have a Fire Investigator within our investigations section. This investigator has completed numerous courses in the area of fire investigations among which included an eighty hour course through the Virginia Fire Marshal’s Academy. This certification requires continuous schooling and requires forty hours of in-service every two years. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office works collectively with other agencies in the investigation of fires.
Warren County Sheriff’s Office is an active participant in the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). We have one investigator assigned to this extra duty. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to help state and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative response to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems, or other computer technology to sexually exploit children. The program is composed of sixty-one regional Task Force agencies and is funded by the United States Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the Northern Virginia ICAC Task Force which is coordinated by the Virginia State Police. The Task Force is made up of investigators from numerous agencies in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area, including local, state, and federal agencies.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the United States Secret Service, is part of the Washington Metro Electronic Crimes Task Force. One of our investigators was sent to a Computer Forensics School in Alabama to train and receive equipment which enables the office to forensically analyze computers that may contain criminal activities such as fraud, identity theft, phishing scams, child pornography, obscene or offensive conduct, drug trafficking, and embezzlement.
We actively support/participate in SART, (Sexual Assault Response Teams) with surrounding county agencies such as the Front Royal Police Department, Warren County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Warren County Council on Domestic Violence and the Warren County Forensic Nurse Examiner Program with Warren Memorial Hospital and Winchester Medical Center. The purpose for the program is to assist victims/survivors of sexual assault during the duration of the process in which they are involved in the Criminal Justice system.
The investigator that actively plays a part in the above program has also received advanced training from “Finding Words” which is taught by Corner House/Forensic Interviewing at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University). This is a course that is designed to strategically extract information from a child who has been sexually assaulted and may otherwise not want to disclose what has happened to them. This course is taught with special attention given to very young children where disclosure of a sex crime may have otherwise been very difficult to gain. The investigator who performs this interview with the child will present the case to the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for prosecution and will follow through with the case until its completion.
Warren County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigative Division may be reached at (540) 635-7100.