Detective Division


The Detective Division consists of a group of highly trained investigators. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division is under the direction of the Division Commander – Captain C.L. Wilson who is responsible for the overall operation of the division.

Note: Due to reclassification year to year and ongoing investigations, final numbers are subject to change.


The primary function of the Detective Division is to conduct follow-up investigations of crimes. Cases are reviewed by a detective supervisor and screened for solvability factors. Detectives are then assigned cases based on those solvability factors. Detectives from specialized units are assigned to investigate crimes on the basis of their expertise. For example, fraud cases are assigned to the White Collar Crimes Unit, child sexual assault cases are assigned to the Juvenile/Child Abuse Unit, etc.

This Division is staffed with some of the most talented and skilled investigators in North Carolina. Each member of the Detective Division is dedicated, tenacious, and committed to the citizens of New Hanover County. The Detective Division of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is divided into 9 specific units. The team concept approach is utilized by the Detective Division and is exemplified by daily briefings and exchanging criminal intelligence information amongst the detectives.

Deputies selected for assignment to the Detective Division are chosen for their knowledge, skills, and abilities they exhibited as patrol deputies and for their desire to do the specific job for which they have applied. Members of the Detective Division receive specialized training to help develop them into capable interviewers and investigators.

Every case is important to the Detectives investigating the crimes. Their first priority is to take care of the victims and protect the innocent. This is the core value of the Detective Division of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

When the Detectives are assigned cases, they make contact the victims and introduce themselves and conduct a follow-up interview and discuss the preliminary aspects of the cases. The Detectives then begin to examine and explore solvability factors of their cases and follow any leads that are present. These leads are often in the form of witness information, physical evidence (fingerprints, DNA, etc.), apparent methods of operation (MO), or a strong intuitive feeling of the Detective that is based on their knowledge, training, and experience.

Investigating crimes are often like putting together a jigsaw puzzles. As the cases are investigated, pieces of the puzzles are revealed that lead to the true pictures of the crimes. That is when Detectives are able to bring about a proper case disposition.

This often means that arrests are made and the cases are taken before the courts for adjudication. The Detectives are also intimately involved in the trial process of these case.

In criminal investigations, the division works with many other agencies to investigate its cases and to network information. When necessary the division works with State and Federal Law Enforcement agencies such as State Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Law Enforcement, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Services, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms, and Explosives. All Detectives work very closely with the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office. This helps to ensure that the cases come to proper adjudication.

The Detectives are called upon to address the problems of criminal activity in a variety of manners that may include:

  • High visibility plain-clothes work
  • Undercover operations
  • Surveillance
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Search warrants
  • Arrest warrants

Through the diligent efforts of the personnel assigned to this Division we have attacked issues the members of our community have shared with us as being detrimental to the quality of life in New Hanover County.

While it is difficult to truly reflect in words the energy that our detectives put into their assignments, their accomplishments tend to speak for themselves.

If you have a tip on a crime or activate investigation please go to the Submit a Crime Tip tab on the upper right of this screen or at the bottom of the Sheriff’s Home Page.”

The Detective Division can be reached at: 910-798-4260.

Sheriff's Office: 3950 Juvenile Center Road • Castle Hayne, NC 28429 • Phone 910-798-4200 • Fax 910-798-4212