The Greene County mobile crime scene unit is used a lot more than you might think.
“We can process fingerprints inside the vehicle, it’s got on scene lighting so you can light things up like it’s daytime, it’s got an on board generator. There’s a lot of things in it that are pretty neat,” said Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott.
It has served as an on-site hub for investigations during everything from the 2011 Joplin tornado to missing persons searches and homicide investigations.
“Greene County is the largest Sheriff’s Office in Missouri. People don’t realize that so we have a lot of resources. When someone calls and need assistance, no matter where they’re at, we’ll respond,” Arnott explained.
Just days into the new year the mobile crime scene unit and several deputies were called upon to provide mutual aid during a Lawrence County Homicide investigation.
“Because of the potential of two homicide investigations we were able to get Greene County Sheriff’s Office crime scene unit to come out and assist us as well and within a short amount of time. Without their help we certainly wouldn’t be in the position we are now,” said Lawrence County Sheriff Brad Delay.
Sheriff Arnott says having a good working relationship with other agencies is vital, especially during big investigations.
“Mutual Aid is essential because there is not one department that is properly funded in Missouri, in fact, law enforcement has really dropped down on the list of priorities in Missouri over the past 20 years, so unfortunately we don’t have the resources that we need, none of us. So it’s up to us to partner together and assist each other whenever we are needed and that’s what we do,” said Arnott.
In the past Mutual Aid agreements were made almost exclusively between adjoining counties. Thanks to a new law passed in August of 2016, sheriff’s offices can now help out state-wide without having a written agreement in place first.
By Shayla Patrick | KY3