Criminal Investigations Division
The Criminal Investigation Division of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office is lead by Lieutenant Detective Mitchell Watson and consists of a Sergeant, and twelve (12) detectives. Their primary mission is to investigate time-consuming, complex, or specialized crimes that are not practical for patrol deputies to investigate.
Detectives are able to respond 24/7 to crime scenes at the request of the Patrol Division and other law enforcement agencies throughout the county for such serious crimes as:
- Breaking and enter investigations
- Computer crimes
- Controlled substance violations
- Death investigations
- Financial crimes
- Identity theft
- Larceny investigations
- Major assaults
- Sensitive crimes such as sexual assault and child abuse
- Structure fires
- Vice / narcotic investigations
- Weapon violation investigations
Detectives attend specialized training in these and other areas to stay current in investigative techniques and evidence collection. Upon request, detectives are also tasked with assisting other municipal police agencies with investigations.
Detectives are responsible for overseeing the proper collection, seizure, documentation, and maintenance of evidence collected by deputies and detectives.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office maintains facilities and equipment in which evidence is examined and stored to prevent contamination and to preserve the chain of custody of evidence from its collection in the field to its presentation in court proceedings.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has detectives who attend and complete training to assist with investigations, including specialized areas of investigations, as well as detectives who are trained in crime scene processing and evidence collection and analysis techniques.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has an active and productive working relationship with local, state, and federal agencies and departments, such as:
- Federal Bureau of Investigations
- Hamlet Police Department
- North Carolina Department of Public Safety (Community Corrections, Probation and Parole, and Juvenile Justice)
- North Carolina Highway Patrol
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
- North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations
- Rockingham Police Department
- United States Attorney's Office, 4th Circuit, Middle District, North Carolina
- United States Marshals
Detectives also perform an educational role for the community by providing presentations on a diverse range of topics, such as narcotics awareness, safety, as well as others.
Detectives are assigned to various primary responsibilities such as Property Crimes, Major Crimes, and Vice / Narcotics, but come together to investigate cases that require additional manpower and to provide the citizens of Richmond County with a high standard of investigative resources to combat criminal activity within Richmond County.