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July 27, 2013

Rift widens between New Albany police chief, Floyd County prosecutor

In letter, New Albany police Chief Sherri Knight changes search warrant process

(Continued)

FLOYD COUNTY —

Mosley, who says Knight is acting legally, identified another problem of the apparent communication breakdown, saying a prosecutor may oversee several investigations being carried out concurrently by multiple law enforcement agencies.

“The prosecutor is going to work with all agencies  — ISP, the Sheriff and the feds. If you don’t vet your investigation via a search warrant with the prosecutor, you stand the risk of jeopardizing other investigations going on,” he said. “You can blow things other agencies are working on. It’s a much better policy to have a search warrant vetted by the prosecutor.”

 

GETTING ALONG

John Hall, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99 in New Albany, supports a healthy communication between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

“As a FOP representative, I would advise any officer that is going to submit a case for prosecution to have communication with the person leading the prosecution of a case,” he said of officers and prosecutors working hand-in-hand while obtaining search warrants. “They [prosecutors] are an important part of prosecuting process.”

The FOP organization Hall represents includes officers from the NAPD, Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, ISP and several federal law enforcement agencies.

Hall said he can’t comment on the intent of the content of the letter drafted by Knight, but said cooperation among law enforcement agencies is going to be the best route for all involved.

“As a union representative, I would say it is always in the best interest of a law enforcement agency to have a working relationship with a prosecutor’s office, and other agencies such as the Sheriff’s Department, Fire, EMS, to get the job done,” Hall said. “On major crime scenes, it is important for you to work together with every agency.”

Floyd County Sheriff Mills said his deputies have a strong relationship with the prosecutor’s office.

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