Local News

Fayetteville Police Cross-Train, Learn How to Protect The Case

Posted August 22, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The way investigators handle a crime scene can make or break a case. In Fayetteville, officers are learning exactly what they should do to protect the case.

The Fayetteville Police Department has begun a cross-training program. With high turnover within the force, the chief thinks the experience will make his employees better police officers.

Investigator Tracey Bass-Caine spent two years as a patrol officer when she began her career. Now, she is back on the streets.

"I thought five months is extensive," said Bass-Caine.

She was not crazy about the idea at first, but after a few days on the beat, she thinks being part of a five-month cross-training program will pay off.

"I think I can assist patrol units in showing them exactly what investigators are looking for in reports," said Bass-Caine.

Police Chief Ron Hansen knows the idea is not a popular one, but he believes the experience will ensure the integrity of a report and a crime scene.

"It's going to make everybody a little better and more valuable when they return to their home units," said Hansen.

Hansen said patrol officers who have spent some time in major crimes will be more thorough as first responders.

Patrol Officer Derek Edmonds is now investigating property crimes.

"I've learned to talk to people a little bit differently and read a person a bit better when speaking with them. You can see where they are trying to go or what they're trying to hide from you," said Edmonds.

This is the first time in the state such an extensive cross-training program is being offered within a police department.

Participants are guaranteed to go back to their original positions after the five-month period.