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Captain M. L. Cole
The Support Section provides assistance to personnel within the Department and to citizens requesting information. It is comprised of seven units: Central Records; Fleet Management, Uniform & Equipment; Public Safety & Emergency Communications; Property & Evidence; Forensics; Automated Fingerprint Identification System (A. F. I. S); and Photography.
Central Records Unit (757) 382-6387 – Central Records Unit serves as the repository for all the Department's records and is located on the 2nd Floor of Police Headquarters. Not all records are releasable and some require a Freedom of Information Act request or a Subpoena Duces Tecum. Records are maintained for a period determined by the Library of Virginia. Central Records processes criminal record checks, Concealed Weapon Permit and Taxi Permit applications, and provides fingerprinting for various reasons. Central Records also provides copies of accident reports and offense reports. VCIN and Video Evidence sections fall under the Central Records Unit.
Fleet Management, Uniform, & Equipment Unit– Uniform, Equipment and Fleet Management is responsible for all uniform and police equipment required by officers to perform their jobs as well as management of the Department's fleet of vehicles. The vehicles in the fleet include marked and unmarked police vehicles, vehicles for specialty units (SWAT, USART, Forensic Unit, etc.) and Animal Control, Motorcycles, and other motorized equipment (such as Police Boats). The Fleet of vehicles is driven over four million miles annually.
The Public Safety & Emergency Communications (PSEC) – The Emergency Communications Center is the 9-1-1 answering point for citizens and visitors to the City of Chesapeake, Virginia needing assistance from Police, Fire, Emergency Medical and/or Animal Control Services in emergency and non-emergency situations. All public safety personnel are dispatched and tracked by Emergency Dispatch personnel.
The Property and Evidence Unit is comprised of officers whose primary responsibility is to maintain custody of evidence. The officers process many pieces of evidence turned in for fingerprints, serial numbers, and other pieces of evidence. The unit is responsible for the disposition of the evidence, which includes: returning it to the owner, auctioning it off, or destroying it if it is unsuitable for auction. Members of the unit also assist at major crime scenes, where their responsibility is to collect and preserve evidence.
The Forensics Unit is comprised of civilian Evidence Technicians whose primary responsibility is to respond to incidents that require processing for evidence. At a crime scene, the Evidence Technicians are responsible for processing and documenting the scene. This includes photographing, processing for fingerprints, collecting evidence, completing diagrams (if needed), and completing a detailed report of their actions at the scene to include all procedures used and the evidence recovered. All evidence collected must be packaged and processed before turning it over to the Property and Evidence Unit. The Evidence Technicians testify in court to their actions at crime scenes.
The Automated Fingerprint Identification System Unit (A.F.I.S.), is comprised of both officers and civilians who are fingerprint examiners. A.F.I.S. Unit personnel receive latent fingerprints recovered at crime scenes by Evidence Technicians. They process these fingerprints, which includes photographing, enlarging, and tracing them, before entering them into the A.F.I.S. computer system. The computer then searches for a match. If a
match is not found, the fingerprint is placed into the A.F.I.S. Unsolved Latent Database, where the computer will periodically search for a match from future entries. The A.F.I.S. Unit is instrumental in solving many crimes where
initially there are no suspects.
The primary mission of the Photography Unit is to provide the training, equipment, and technical support required to ensure Chesapeake's law enforcement personnel can effectively collect and preserve evidence of crime scenes. The collection and preservation of photographic images includes basic crime scene photography, as well as special imagery such as infrared and aerial photography. In addition to providing direct support to law enforcement personnel, the Photography Unit covers ceremonial activities citywide and a variety of administrative imaging requirements as needed. Staff consists of one full time photographer, who is assisted by other members of the Identification Unit and volunteers.