Wanting to hire clerks

So far this year, detectives with the Greenville Police Department have been assigned to nearly 450 cases, but about 60 percent of those cases are either still active or are still awaiting investigation.

So far this year, detectives with the Greenville Police Department have been assigned to nearly 450 cases, but about 60 percent of those cases are either still active or are still awaiting investigation.

With the aim of speeding up the process and reducing the case backlog, Greenville Police Chief Scott Smith has requested that funds be allocated in next year’s city budget to hire two clerks to work specifically in the criminal investigations division, so the department’s four detectives can spend more time in the field and less doing paper work.

“I’d like to be able to walk you through (the process of) filing a case, but we’d be here for a bit long, just to show you the time needed,” Smith said during the Greenville City Council’s work session on May 28.

“I have four detectives, two assigned to crimes against a person and crimes against property.

I have another solely assigned to fraud … and I have one assigned specifically to narcotics, and he’s got all (the work) he can say grace over,” Smith explained. So, these four detectives catch all of those cases, over 708 (on average, per year).

“It makes good sense to me as a manager, if I have trained detectives, that they need to do the investigating,” Smith continued. “They need to do detective work. They need to talk to people and interview. They need to interrogate and track down our leads.

“These detectives can handle a whole lot of things at once, but with all this background taken care of, they can focus on what they need to do.”

According to the Greenville City Manager’s Office, GPD detectives have been assigned 448 cases this calendar year, which comes out to almost three cases assigned to the criminal investigations division each day. Of those cases, 266 – or almost 60 percent – of them are either still in active investigation or still awaiting investigation.

As to whether salary for the two clerks has been added to the draft for the 2019-20 budget, City Manager Summer Spurlock told the Herald-Banner, “The 2019-2020 Budget is still in the process of being drafted and departmental meetings are happening. A proposed budget for 2019-2020 will be presented to the city council on Aug. 13, 2019.”

Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.