Source: Sherman Publications

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What is the OCSD Cold Case Unit?

by CJ Carnacchio

April 18, 2012

The Oakland County Sheriff's Department's Cold Case Unit consists of seven members including retired sheriff's investigators, retired officers from other police agencies and a retired prosecutor.

"It's filled with a bunch of people that have a great deal of experience with investigations, specifically homicides," said Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "One of their tasks is to go through old case files . . . (and) kind of give them a fresh look."

Bouchard established the unit a couple years ago.

"I didn't just want to give up on these cold cases," he said.

Unfortunately, the department's resources were already stretched to the limit, so staffing the unit with existing officers was not an option.

Bouchard noted while his department is "down 170 people because of budget cuts," the requests for sheriff's assistance from local police departments are up 35 percent.

"We're so busy these days," he said. "We're already doing a whole lot more with a whole lot less."

That's why Bouchard chose the alternate route of using "seasoned" retired investigators who "thankfully" were willing to donate their time.

"They're volunteering to do this, so it's costing the taxpayers nothing," he said. "(They're) doing this because they care about the community and they care about their profession."