The Criminal Investigations Division of the DeFuniak Springs Police (referred to as CID) is off to a busy start for the 2011 Summer Season. CID consists of specialized detectives that handle on-going and long-term criminal investigations, to include; violent crimes against persons, crimes against children, large scale property crimes, sexual offenses, fraudulent activity and narcotics investigations to name a few areas of responsibility.
According to Lieutenant David Krika, the Comander of the Division, the group has been very active since he became leader of the team in 2009. The DeFuniak Springs Police CID (along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has brought two successful Federal Indictments to Pensacola Federal Court. “This is the first time in the history of the DeFuniak Springs Police that a federal partnership with the ATF was initiated, not to mention gaining two successful Federal Convictions.”, said Lieutenant Krika. The cases he refers to are that of the Winn Dixie Pharmacy Robbery where suspect Caleb Glover was successfully prosecuted for the crime. The other case taken to Federal Court involved Alan Cox, a prison release subject that purchased a firearm and ammunition only minutes after being released from State custody in Tallahassee. Cox was arrested in DeFuniak Springs after the team tracked him from the Tallahassee area.
This summer has seen a rise in Methamphetamine Arrests, specifically for the charge of what is listed in Florida State Statue 893 as “Possession of Listed and Essential Chemicals”. This crime involves the possession and the intent to use the ingredients required to manufacture Methamphetamine. Lieutenant Krika says that; “We take a very proactive approach to the Methamphetamine problem here in DeFuniak Springs and the surrounding areas. Stopping meth cooks before they actually initiate a “cook” (the process of making the illegal substance) is good for everyone. It prevents a very dangerous and toxic hazardous materials incident from occurring and since the funding for meth lab clean-ups has been cut as of this year, it also helps to save our city money. In regards to the penalties associated with the crime, we have a great relationship with our prosecutors (State Attorney) and they share our concern for this type of narcotics manufacturing activity.”
In addition to a rise in narcotics arrests, the team has been very busy enforcing the Sexual Offender Registration Laws. Several arrests have been made (most recent as of Monday, July 11th by Krika himself) of Sexual Offenders that choose not to follow the legal guidelines set forth by Florida State Statute 943.0435. This law provides rules and regulations for all convicted sexual offenders to follow. “When an offender fails to comply with State Law or simply chooses to ignore the law and not to comply, we are very proactive in making the arrest.” Krika said. One of the most common violations that is becoming a trend is that of the sexual offender not renewing their Florida State Drivers License or State Identification Card within 48 hours of moving / changing their permanent residence. “This is a direct violation of Florida State Statute and our department will not tolerate non-compliance.”
The Criminal Investigations Division has also worked hand in hand with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) to help the most innocent of victims, children. The team has investigated several cases involving the physical sexual abuse of children and through on-going partnerships with the DCFS and CAC, has had several arrests and successful prosecutions. Several cases are still pending adjudication and the team is dedicated, along with the rest of the DeFuniak Springs Police to protecting children.
“City Marshal, Chief Mark A. Weeks has built a partnership with his community and provided them with the best public safety and experienced personal as possible”, said Lieutenant Tilman Mears.
Lieutenant Tilman Mears
Special Operations Division Commander