Due to the sometimes complicated nature of these crimes the work necessary to bring about a successful conclusion may take a tremendous number of hours, days or even months of investigative work. In addition to the standard criminal cases, members of this division investigate the specialized crimes of arson, sex abuse, juvenile matters, and drug trafficking. The efforts of this division also result in the recovery of property reported stolen to the Sheriff's Office.
The evidence unit is responsible for securing all evidence retrieved by Sheriff's Office members to be used in the prosecution of cases, or by order of a court. This process consists of cataloging, packaging and scheduling periodic inventory of every item in the evidence holding area to maintain the chain of evidence for court purposes.
Another aspect of this unit is the processing of all evidence received to develop information of fingerprints, substance residues or photographic presentation. This processing is conducted by Criminal Investigation Unit members who have received the best possible training in evidence collection training from the FBI, DEA and the New York State Police.
The members of the Criminal Investigation Division work closely with the Oswego County Fire Coordinator's Office, all county fire departments and numerous insurance agencies to determine the cause and perpetrator of all fires that occur in Oswego County. Additionally, some members maintain expertise in the area of Hazardous Devices that may be found at the scene of a fire. All investigators receive training in arson investigation.
Another tool that this division uses to assist in the investigation of crimes is the polygraph. This equipment has been utilized by all area law enforcement agencies in a variety of cases ranging from murder to larceny.