Catching 'Bad Guys' Takes CID Teamwork
A special agent with CID weighs about four pounds of dried marijuana seized in evidence before the bag is processed and shipped to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory in Forest Park, Ga.

We've all seen the shows or at least heard of them -- NCIS, Bones, CSI Miami-New York-Las Vegas -- and the list goes on. Well, why not live the Hollywood dream instead'

Fort Polk's Criminal Investigation Division is the Army's federal law enforcement agency dealing with felony offenses. CID agents are responsible for conducting criminal investigations on cases that range from death to fraud. Their work can be conducted on and off military reservations and when appropriate, with local, state and other federal investigative agencies, according to the CID web site.

"Our office is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It would be nice to have a nine to five job, however, crime does not happen between those hours. At any particular time we can get that call to respond to something that's happened," said Lane R. Clopper, special agent in charge.

"Doing what has to be done may not look favorable on the subject, the witness or the command, but it's something we need to investigate and it's our job to provide the best product to the command," said Clopper.

"This is what I do and who I am. I know when the call comes in I am the only one who sometimes can speak for a victim," said Special Agent Graham.

"We work long hours together which gives us a stronger bond than any other unit," said Special Agent Scheffel.

"My colleagues are like my family and they are a good bunch of people that I enjoy working with. We gather the information and compare what we get with the other agents in the office. By doing this, we can complete an investigation and accomplish our mission," said Graham.

In November, 1918, Gen. John Pershing directed the Provost Marshal General of his American Expeditionary Forces to organize a criminal investigation division within the Military Police Corps to detect and prevent crimes. By September, 1971, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command was established as a major Army command, according to the CID web site.

"I like the investigation part of my job and knowing at the end of the day that I helped someone. I like being part of something that will have an ending and it's good to know we're putting the bad people in jail," said Graham.

"I like the investigation side of the house because I'm a problem solver. I love to put the puzzle together. I also like the fact that everyone that is here wants to be here. It's in their hearts 100 percent," said Scheffel.

Working as an agent is no easy task. It involves many hours and a lot of work but as President James A. Garfield once said, "the truth will set you free," or when it comes to CID it may help you and the agents out.

"Just tell the truth, cut to the chase, it'll save everyone time and energy including yourself. Plus it looks good upon you that you decided to offer the information. It's easier for everyone than trying to pick out bits and pieces of truth to prove what you can already tell us," said Graham.

Or as Clopper likes to put it, "We may not catch you today, but we'll catch you tomorrow."

Unfortunately, working for CID is not exactly like working in Hollywood. "The job is not as easy as TV makes it seem. It is rare to solve a crime in 45 minutes," said Clopper. "A laboratory examination does not take place over one commercial break. It takes more time than that with some cases taking priority over others, but solving the case and seeing the appropriate action taken makes this job worth while."

The Criminal Investigation Division has ongoing recruiting and is always looking for qualified applicants. For more information visit the Internet at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16