COLORADO SPRINGS — The number of Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents will more than double in the coming years as a part of state budget funding being advanced by lawmakers. News5 found out why this increase was needed and what it will mean for law enforcement investigations in our communities.
When you compare the staffing levels of other state investigation agencies across the country, the CBI is dead last.
It’s why CBI leaders say bringing more investigators on board is a must. The reinforcements aim to help local law enforcement agencies manage needs and to address unsolved crimes.
The plan is for CBI to add 107 full-time employees over three years. This includes CBI agents, forensic scientists, and crime scene investigators. This comes with a price tag of more than $15.2 million.
”In times of crisis when there are these big cases and things like that, we can be requested to come in and provide those additional resources to ease up on those local agencies so they can dedicate their resources to other crimes, to other patrol duties,” said Colorado Bureau of Investigation Chief of Staff Susan Medina.
These additional resources will also allow CBI to establish a unit dedicated to cold cases, helping local law enforcement agencies by request.
”These are cases that are three years and older and again we can provide that investigative assistance. We have our lab members who can add the forensic piece to that to assist in these cases and hopefully bring resolution,” said Medina.
Newly hired CBI investigators will be expected to get to work right away.
”We expect the agents we hire to come in on the first day and be able to investigate a homicide,” said Medina.
Cyber crimes, fraud, and scams are another area a specialized unit will hope to make positive gains even though in many cases the crooks are overseas.
”We’ve been working really hard with our banks to try to prevent the money from leaving our shores to begin with. We may not catch the bad guy, but we are helping victims and saving their money,” said Medina.
Small rural law enforcement agencies lacking staff and investigative expertise stand to see the biggest impacts. They’ll be able to call on the additional CBI resources and cut down on response times to remote locations.
The last time the CBI had a staff increase was in 2018 and even with this added staff CBI leaders say their agency will remain one of the lowest staffed in the country.
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