New Hanover County

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Updated and Maintained




Lt. J.J. Brewer













     Lieutenant T.R. Karp - Unit Commander


910-798-4480 Main

The CSI Unit is responsible for conducting crime scene investigations for the Sheriff's Office.

The CSI Unit of the Detective Division is a specialized section consisting of several units working within the framework of a modern crime laboratory. The Technical section is staffed by specially trained investigators. 

To accomplish their task, they are armed with an impressive array of technology.  This section uses a vast array of specialized equipment in their daily activities. They have camera equipment including 8mm video, 1/2 inch video, 3/4 inch video, digital video, cameras using 35mm, 120, 220, and 4x5 films, digital cameras, photo and negative scanners, and color printers.  Alternate light source equipment including ultraviolet lights and a Mini-crime scope, (a tunable forensic light source).  Fingerprint equipment, computer software, lab equipment, and Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) live scan use for fingerprint input. In 2007, this section handled over 4328 special assignments not shown in the other stats.

As a Crime Scene Unit, they investigate scenes to discover, develop, collect, and evaluate physical evidence which may include blood and other body fluids, hair, fiber, paint chips, glass fragments, fire accelerants, soils, firearms, documents, fingerprint and footwear impressions. In 2007, over 1579 crime scenes were processed, over 43,682 photographs were taken.

Another aspect of the CSI Unit is the IBIS Unit (Integrated Ballistics Identification System).  The IBIS Unit uses, maintains, enters, and interprets the IBIS.  IBIS is part of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).  The NIBIN Unit covers 13 counties of coastal North Carolina .   IBIS photographs portions of the surface (land engraved areas) of a bullet and the primer/firing pin area of fired cartridge cases using state of the art optical and electric technology.  These images are then stored in databases and sophisticated algorithms are used to correlate the image against each other using filters such as caliber, rifling specifications, date of crime and date of entry.

These correlations produce lists of possible matches with the highest scoring correlation's at the top of the list.  An examiner can then call up the image and compare them side by side on a monitor.  If a possible match is found during this screening process, the actual evidence to test or evidence to evidence is then compared by a firearms examiner on their comparison microscope for a final determination. In 2007, over 1356 entries were made into IBIS and another 487 weapons were fired.

Also as a Identification Unit, the CSI Unit maintains concise records and information on criminals with the single most accurate technique of identification; fingerprinting.  Investigators are experienced fingerprint technicians thoroughly trained in the comparison of latent prints with the inked prints of  known individuals and testifying in court as to the results of their examination. This section is responsible for fingerprinting and photographing all felons arrested by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.  Also, felons arrested by other departments such as the NCSHP, UNCW, SBI, FBI are processed by the ID Unit.  In 2007, 81 felony processes, 859 identification cards, and 1670 applicants were fingerprinted.  

As a Sex Offender Unit, the Sheriff is mandated by North Carolina General Statues 14-208.5 through 14-208.13 which sets forth the requirement for the registration of sexual offenders convicted of certain offenses against minors, and sexually violent predators in the Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration File.  These laws require us to maintain registration and corresponding documentation for a period of 10 years from the date the individual is released from a penal institution, convicted but receives no active sentence of imprisonment.  Documenting consist of completing the sex offender fingerprint card with the required data, fingerprinting the offender using the Printrac LiveScan fingerprinting system or manual inked system; assigning a New Hanover County Sheriff's Office identification number as a sex offender; the DCI entry registration which may be related to a pending record in the  system for those individuals who have been released from incarceration, individuals receiving no active time from court, and individuals moving into New Hanover County from other counties and states and in some circumstances where no prior record pending; Time frame for registration is immediately upon conviction with no active time receives, within 10 days after being released from a local jail or Department of Correction Facility, within 10 days of establishing residency in NC or present in NC for 15 days, which ever comes first, and within 10 days of being released from a Federal Penal Facility. Establishment of the registration record begins the retention period for the 10-year requirement for sex offenders and the indefinite period for Sexually violent offenders; photographing in a digital format a photo of the offender. The address verification process documents address verification for registered sexual offenders and registered sexually violent predators. Law requires the verification of address on the anniversary date of the initial registration. For a sexual offender the verification process is once a year and for sexually violent predators the process is every 90 days. The letter will be mailed certified, return receipt requested to the sex offender with the green card going back to the Sheriff’s Office, Sex Offender Unit. The Sheriff will enter information into the Sex Offender Registration file through DCI. This process also requires trips to addresses to confirm the offender still lives there and/or that the offender has moved. In cases where the offender fails to register, fails to verify, or fails to notify change of address, felony warrants are drawn for the offender. Over 570 offenders have registered in New Hanover County.

As an Evidence Unit, the CSI Unit is responsible for the control of all evidence collected by all divisions of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.  Evidence collected by the Crime Scene Unit and the other divisions requires documentation as to who collected, released, received, and transferred the evidence.  Evidence lockers are provided to allow deputies to drop off evidence which is retrieved by the Evidence unit and stored in secure vaults till needed by court. This section sends evidence to the SBI lab for testing.  Recovered property and weapons for safe keeping are also handled by this unit.  In 2007, this section handled over 18,712 pieces of evidence. (This does not include recovered property or weapons for sake keeping.)

CSI Stat Comparison for 1987 & 2007

Tracked Incident Types 1987 2007
Felons/Sex Offenders 712 81
ID's Made N/A 859
Applicants 1906 1670
Mug Shots / CD's Filed 2399 22
CSI Scenes / Evidence Photos 2057 43,682
Video's Made / Copied N/A 91
CSI Process 416 1,579
Fire Investigations 81 40
SID / FBI Entries N/A 584
Line Up's N/A 13
Evidence Received / Collected 1,548 18,712
Digital DRK Room / Lab Hrs 439 1,621
Digital Cards Processed 230 1,060
Photo CD's Printed / Filed 6,575 8,303
Chem Process In-house/Crime Scene 438 1,662
Dust Process In-house/Crime Scene 1,018 3,238
Latent Search / Compare 302 3,567
Class / File / Wanted Posters 632 3,315
Computer / CSI Reports / Sex Offenders N/A 9,580
SBI / In-house Reports 61 1,510
Case in Court / DA's Reports 61 1,510
Special Assignment / Calls 1,305 4,328
Weapons Fired N/A 487
Sex Offender - Registered N/A 570
Sex Offender - Change of Address N/A 1,691
Sex Offender - Verified / Interviews N/A 2,319
Sex Offender - Photos SBI-Off Watch N/A 1,223
Offender Watch Update N/A 2,070
Sex Offender Case Work / Interviews N/A 2,601
DCI / NCIC Entry / Clear N/A 843
NIBIN Entries N/A 601
Drug Analysis / Reports N/A 205
Concealed Handgun File N/A 284
DSS / Day / Foster / Elder Care N/A 629
Handwriting Analysis N/A 19
ATF Trace Forms / Input N/A 911
Total Hours Worked    
Hours N/A 16599.5
Miles Driven N/A 84874


*NOTES:  (N/A) Data represents Incidents Not Tracked in 1987.

                 CSI Stats Made Possible by First Sergeant T.R. Karp