The Joplin Police Department Investigations Bureau is made up of a Captain, two Sergeants, three Corporals, and is authorized 20 Investigators, a civilian Investigative Assistant, and a civilian Evidence Technician. For the year 2021, the Investigations Bureau maintained an average of 12 full time Investigators. The Investigations Bureau is primarily responsible for the investigation of major felony crimes such as homicide, aggravated assault, sexual assault, burglary, robbery, forgery, and fraud. Investigators in this bureau also investigate child abuse and neglect hotline calls, vehicle thefts, thefts from vehicles, larcenies, domestic violence, and drug violations.
Joplin Police Detectives are members of the Tri-State Major Case Squad (TSMCS), with most carrying Jasper or Newton County Commissions. The TSMCS is comprised of numerous law enforcement investigators from agencies within Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. With the unique demographics of the tri state area, the TSMCS, when activated allows Joplin/and or the surrounding agencies, access to a large number of highly skilled investigators who combine their efforts to solve major cases (typically homicides).
For the year 2021, two investigators were assigned to the Ozark’s Drug Enforcement Team which consist of a multijurisdictional team that covers five counties in Missouri. Two investigators are attached to the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force. Investigating complex major crimes requires the dedication, cooperation, and assistance of a variety of individuals and units. Investigators work closely with patrol officers to identify witnesses, preserve major crime scenes, gather critical information, and develop leads. They also work closely with officials from other agencies to solve crimes that cross jurisdictional lines. There were 8051 cases assigned to the Joplin Investigation’s Bureau during 2021. This amounted to 671 cases per month for the entire bureau and 56 cases per month per investigator average (July 2021 not counted due to no tracking system in place).
Over the year 2021, the Joplin Police Department Investigations Bureau worked 3 homicide investigations. The Bureau submitted 722 felony probable cause statements, interviewed 411 suspects, and obtained 268 confessions. The Investigations Bureau responded to 96 child abuse hotline calls and were called in afterhours 440 times.