National Crime Victims, Rights Week...
Local Officials Discuss The Basics Of How Criminals Are
Arrested & Prosecuted
By Echo Menges
April 22-28 is National Crime Victims Rights Week. Three
local officials have come together to explain to our readers the process of
what responsibilities local law enforcement officials and the county
prosecutor’s office have when a complaint is made.
“When a call comes into the dispatch center the dispatcher
takes the complaint,” said Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ryan
Bishop. “The dispatcher determines if it’s a city or county issue and they
contact the appropriate agencies who in turn respond to the call.”
“The response to the
call could be in person or by phone,” said Edina Police Chief Roger Waibel.
“After the officer receives the information concerning the
call the officer will determine if any other resources (fire, ambulance,
juvenile office, rescue squad, family services, etc.) are needed,” said Bishop.
“It depends on the situation.”
“When we get there we listen to the complaint, sometimes
it’s one party or several different parties involved. Depending on the seriousness
of the crime arrests could be made,” said Waibel. “Even if we don’t arrest
someone right there it’s still an open investigation and arrests can be made at
a later time. Not all complaints result in an arrest or citation.”
“If an arrest is made the subject is taken to a correctional
facility and placed on a 24-hour investigative hold. In that time probable
cause statements are prepared and they are delivered to the prosecutor for
determination of charges and to request an issuance of an arrest warrant”, Waibel said
“In order to get a warrant for an arrest, whether they’re arrested on
scene or later, a probable cause statement has to be prepared by law
enforcement and delivered to the prosecutor’s office,” said Waibel.
“Within 24 hours of an on scene arrest the law enforcement
agency has to prepare and deliver a probable cause statement to the
prosecutor’s office,” said Knox County Assistant Prosecutor Jo Fortney. “Also
within the 24-hour time period the prosecutor’s office must determine what if
any charges are to be filed then the charges are delivered to the judge with
the request for a warrant. The judge is the only one who can issue a warrant.”
“When a more serious crime occurs and we need specialized
services we call on other agencies to assist,” said Waibel.
“After the investigation is concluded the paperwork is
completed it is all turned over to the prosecutor’s office,” said Bishop.
“Assuming no one was arrested at the scene when the
investigation is turned over to the prosecutor’s office the prosecutor will
determine what charges are to be filed and against who. The important thing to
remember is that law enforcement agencies investigate and provide information
from their investigation to the prosecutor. The prosecutor’s office determines
who is charged and what he or she is charged with. The prosecutor will
sometimes decide the charge to be filed is more
or less serious than the investigation indicates or even
determines that no crime had been committed.” Said Fortney. “The other thing
that we sometimes do is ask for further investigation into a specific aspect of
“The prosecutor’s office represents the state, county or any
city or town within the county as cases progresses through the court system.”
Said Fortney. “Karie Holman serves as the victim advocate for the Knox County
Prosecutor’s Office and notifies victims of upcoming court dates and assists in
providing information about the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund.”