Criminal Investigation

The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is comprised of investigators working to solve crimes in various units: Persons and Property, Special Victims, Human Trafficking, Special Operations (Narcotics), and the Violent Crimes/ Gang Unit. Each unit has a sergeant who is in charge of several detectives. The division has one lieutenant and one captain, Lt. Nick Wright and Capt. Mark Rascoe, who are responsible for the entire division.

Special Victims Unit:


This unit investigates crimes of sexual and physical abuse where children are the victims, domestic violence cases, adult sexual assaults, and crimes against the elderly. Domestic violence cases frequently involve sexual assault and in most cases, the victim is a female, so cases of this nature require a detective with specialized training and a working knowledge of how to handle victims of this nature. Our department has expanded the number of detectives with these skills to better prepare these cases for prosecution. This unit is under the supervision of Sgt. Tom Meisenbach.

The Burlington Police Department recognizes that domestic violence is a serious crime, which requires direct police intervention and a coordinated community response.  It is the priority of the Burlington Police Department to intervene, investigate, and prosecute all incidents of domestic violence.  Victims of this type of crime will be treated with respect and dignity; they will be given all available assistance by law enforcement personnel.  In the past five years, domestic violence has been responsible for 40% of homicides in Burlington.  Approximately 5% of all calls for service are attributed to domestic violence related issues.
911 remembrance

Gang/ Violent Crimes Unit:


The gang unit falls under Sergeant Josh Light. This unit solely focuses on gang activity within the city. Their primary objective is to prevent dangerous crimes by investigating and arresting those individuals that represent a consistent threat to the community. They work to intervene before criminal action might occur. The department currently has three investigators and a supervisor who investigate gangs and violent crimes. This unit focuses on identifying, investigating, and arresting individuals who are a consistent and dangerous threat to our community. They do this through several key steps:
  • Prevention: The gang investigator trains officers and community members on basic gang awareness and investigation techniques. Community members are taught techniques for identifying a juvenile involved in the gang lifestyle and prevention programs.
  • Intervention: The gang investigator will also identify gang members and at-risk youth and inform them of resources available for assistance.
  • Suppression: Gang-related crimes and delinquent acts will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted in order to suppress those activities. The department will show zero tolerance for gang-related crimes in the city.

WHAT IS A GANG?


A group or association of three or more persons who may have a common identifying sign, symbol, or name, and who individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in criminal activity which creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.There is a growing need for educating both the public and officers about the various facts involved in gang related circumstances. As it stands there are a number of myths or confusing topics when it comes to gang activity. Below are some of the basic facts to know when it comes to understanding gangs. 

Possible Signs of Gang Association in Your Child:


Youth who are on the fringe of gang involvement usually display some of the following behaviors and characteristics. While these are only guidelines and not concrete rules, a combination of these signs can be an indication that a child is possibly involved in a gang.Some signs are poor academic progress in school or lack of interest in school activities, large blocks of unsupervised time, signs of increased conflict at home, frequent disciplinary actions, drawing graffiti, imitating gang dress or behavior, tattoos drawn on the body, and using hand signs adopted by the gang.

Gang Myths:


Is it illegal to be in a gang? 
Currently in North Carolina, it is not a crime to be in a gang. However, the crimes committed while in the presence of or in association with a street gang are tried as aggravating factors in the court system.
Is it true that once you're in a gang you can't get out?
Law enforcement has done extensive research and documented cases where many gang members have been able to leave their gang safely. The situation depends on the circumstances. As a community, we are in the process of developing programs to assist juveniles involved in gangs to seek better options and life choices.
Are real gangs and gang members only in large cities?
Evidence shows that many larger street gangs do originate in larger more metropolitan cities. However, these gangs have begun migrating or moving into other more rural parts to either avoid detection from police or to continue criminal enterprises. Different agencies constantly share information with other police agencies regarding Gang members to improve the safety of the community and its officers. 
Are females involved in gangs?
Females are now seen as active members of many street gangs. Roughly 5% of gangs are comprised of females.

Graffiti:


The easiest and most common identifier of gangs in a community is graffiti. Although the extent to which a gang uses graffiti may vary, nearly all gangs identify with some type of mark or symbol. These gang signs and trademarks range from five to six point stars, roman numerals, pitchforks, crowns, and cartoon characters. Words and codes are also used to communicate drug availability and territory. Graffiti must be reported to the police department. Your police department currently documents and photographs all graffiti. The study of these incidents leads to additional intelligence as well as possible charges against offenders. Studies have shown that graffiti must be painted over 100 percent for best results. Rival gangs have been known to re-tag or cross out graffiti that is already in place as a sign of disrespect. To prevent this, incidents need to be reported immediately and graffiti needs to be removed in a timely manner. Please contact the Police Department if you have been a victim of gang graffiti at (336) 229-3500. You may also report graffiti using the Burlington Connected site or the app. View and download the department's graffiti brochure here.

CID

Persons/ Property Unit:


Crimes against persons are handled by this unit, which is led by Sergeant Mike Grusky. They consist of crimes such as robberies, assaults, gang-related crimes, and other crimes where the victim is a person. Examples of crimes against property consist of breaking and entering (residence or business), malicious damages, financial crimes, and thefts.

Special Operations Unit:


The vice/ narcotics detectives of this unit investigate crimes involving illegal drug violations. Investigations deal with violations that can be found in Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes, which involve illegal drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and other controlled substances. These investigations can include those drugs that are legal to possess but have been obtained illegally, such as Oxycodone or Valium.

Victims Assistance Unit:


We have a Victims' Assistance Unit. This consists of a director, Staci Harris, one part-time employee, and a trained volunteer staff. Their function is to assist victims in navigating the criminal justice system and provide direction to community-based partners for victims to access. Personnel are trained to assist in victims' compensation when applicable. 

Homeland Security and Terrorism:


The Department of Homeland Security works to anticipate, preempt, detect, and deter threats to the homeland and to safeguard our people and their freedoms, critical infrastructure, property, and the economy of our nation from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Learn tips to protect yourself and more from Department of Homeland Security.

AMBER Alerts:


The Burlington Police Department is a part of a statewide AMBER Plan program coordinated by the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons.The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children describes the AMBER Plan as "a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases." Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS), formerly called the Emergency Broadcast System, to air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor. This is the same concept used during severe weather emergencies. The goal of the AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe return of the child. The department complies with the National Child Search Assistance Act of 1990 mandating law enforcement's immediate response to reports of missing children and the prompt entry of descriptive information into the NCIC missing persons file. All missing reports are taken seriously and every effort is made to locate a missing child and avoid potential harm. We request you contact our department at (336) 229-3500 or Crimestopppers at (336) 229-7100 if you have any information on a missing or runaway child. Things to remember: suspect description (height, weight, hair, facial hair, clothing), description of suspect vehicle (make, model, color, year, license plate number), direction of travel, and victim information.