Cobb DA firing up cold case unit plan
by Jon Gillooly
January 28, 2014 12:14 AM | 1777 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — District Attorney Vic Reynolds is firing up a cold case unit made up of 10 volunteer, retired police investigators.

He plans to ask the Board of Commissioners to fund a paid position to manage the volunteers at today’s board meeting.

Reynolds said when he took office last year he visited every police department in the county to inquire about cold case homicides.

“Interestingly enough, I discovered there were a little over 100 unsolved murders from 1980 forward in Cobb County,” he said.

The general rule is that if a case remains unsolved for a year, it goes from active to cold.

Reynolds met with the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge in November and asked for retired law enforcement officers, particularly those with homicide investigation experience, who were willing to volunteer their time to help solve the cold cases.

“We got a ton of responses,” he said.

Those responses were whittled down to 10 people who Reynolds believes have the needed experience for examining homicides.

Reynolds wanted someone to manage the team, and hearing that Cobb Police Detective John Dawes was retiring, a man he called “probably one of the best homicide detectives we’ve ever had in the county,” Reynolds asked Dawes to do it.

The district attorney is asking commissioners to pay Dawes $29 an hour or $40,600 through Sept. 31, which is the end of the county’s fiscal year. Once the team cracks some cases, he hopes to fund the position through grants.

The district attorney’s office has an annual budget of $6.4 million. The office has 114 employees, including 39 attorneys, spokeswoman Kim Isaza said.

County Chairman Tim Lee said he supports the request.

“We’ve talked with Vic about what his proposal is, and he believes by having another set of eyes looking at these older records it might break some of them loose, and it’s a reasonable expense given the potential for what he thinks he can handle, so we’re just going to have another set of eyes look at it,” Lee said.

There is no statute of limitations when it comes to murder, Reynolds said, so regardless of how cold the case is, perpetrators shouldn’t feel safe.

“If you think you’ve gotten away with a homicide in this county we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that you haven’t,” he said.

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January 29, 2014
Thanks to the Fraternal Order of Police for keeping retired officers engaged and to Vic Reynolds for taking advantage of their willingness to continue to serve our community.
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