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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 —

"Any major crime scene that the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department has, my staff immediately contacts the prosecutor’s office and notifies him or his staff, and he then decides to respond or to send someone else to the crime scene," Mills said. “It’s one of the first calls that goes out.”

Mills continued that a prosecutor can be valuable resource on an active crime scene, where resources can be limited and new information may developing by the minute.

“It is manpower, too,” he said, adding that in past cases representatives of the prosecutor’s office have even delivered a search warrant, which frees up sheriff’s investigators to attend to the crime scene.

“It is our policy on any major crime scenes to notify the prosecutor, and it is up to him to decide to come or to sent someone else from his office,” Mills said. “It gives you and additional set of eyes, plus, it is the prosecutor who is going to eventually prosecute the case.”

JPD Detective Parker mirrored Mills’ comments, saying a prosecutor can enhance the quality of work conducted on a crime scene.

“Absolutely, they [prosecutors] would be preferred to be at the scene,” he said. “If a prosecutor from Clark County wants to come to our crime scene, we welcome the support and advice.”Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said he has assisted in reviewing hundreds of search warrants in recent years, and he responds to crime scenes to work with officers.

“Prosecutors can work with the police at the early stages of an investigation to assist and expedite much of the work that needs to be done,” he said. “Also, when I present a criminal case in court, I need to know that case better than anyone.”

Mull said the public is better protected as a result of the teamwork approach between Clark County prosecutors and officers.

“Being at the scene to see and understand what occurred is very important in being able to recreate that event for jurors,” he said.

 

 

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