HOW DOES YOUR JOB AS A DETECTIVE DIFFER FROM THAT OF OTHER POLICE OFFICERS?
Detectives are responsible for the follow-up investigation of the daily reports taken by patrol officers. All detectives read every report, and the detective sergeant, our direct supervisor, assigns the individual cases. Each detective has a specific area he or she typically investigates. But we all investigate theft cases.
ARE ALL REPORTS INVESTIGATED?
How they’re investigated is determined by how much information is available. For example, if a bicycle is stolen we can use serial numbers and other identifiable traits to see if it matches any items in the state database called LEADS (Law Enforcement Agencies Data System) or the national database called NCIC (National Crime Information Center).
ARE LEADS AND NCIC ONLY USED FOR THEFTS?
We use LEADS for license plate checks, identification – a little of everything. We use NCIC to check criminal histories and search for warrants.
WHAT KIND OF CASES DO YOU WORK ON?
I do most of the sexual assault investigations. Other detectives sometimes work on them, but most of (those cases) come to me. Obviously the biggest crime on campus is theft – laptops, cell phones and iPods – and we all work on those.
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH CAMPUS THEFT?
It has to do with opportunity. We try to preach safety and prevention on campus and to the community in general. Every year we start over with a new set of 18-year-olds who are away from home for the first time in their lives. We advise them to lock their doors, shut and lock their windows, and not to have the ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude. But staff members can be as bad as students if they don’t secure their offices.
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS AMONG THE HARDEST CRIMES TO INVESTIGATE. TELL ME ABOUT THAT PROCESS.
We don’t get to investigate a lot of the cases because the survivor doesn’t wish to talk to police. In these cases we are required to complete a Clery Act report. Universities are required to publish crime statistics concerning a report of any case involving serious crimes against a person on a college campus.
Of those we do investigate, we work with the survivor to make the whole process as comfortable as possible. For assault cases, we’re required to collect as much information as possible – leaving out victims’ names – and whether or not DNA evidence was collected.
DO YOU TALK TO SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS?
Sometimes, but survivors aren’t forced to talk to the police. Health care providers encourage it, but we aren’t going to make them talk to us. Talking to police is a tough decision for a woman to make and we understand that. We’d like to get them to at least go through the medical exam, though. Alcohol is a big factor on this campus, as well as drugs. We do see cases that involve date-rape drugs, but most sexual assaults tend to involve high quantities of alcohol.
HOW DID YOU START YOUR CAREER IN LAW ENFORCEMENT?
I was in the Navy for almost six years as a military policeman but I was never assigned to a ship. I was, for the most part, stationed in Alameda, Calif. I also worked for five years at the Champaign County Jail as a corrections officer. I came on here as a patrol officer, which is how everyone starts. To become a detective in our department, you are required to be a patrol officer for at least two years and interview when there is a spot open. I interviewed and here I am.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU TAKE PRIDE IN AS A DETECTIVE?
It’s nice to get somebody’s property back or to solve a case. I try to work hard either way. A lot of the time it’s frustrating. I feel bad when there’s nothing I can do. I also have had sexual assault victims who wanted me to pursue an investigation against the suspect, but also didn’t want to go through the whole process. In one case, I was able to identify the offender, but the victim didn’t want to go through the process of pressing charges.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOUR UNIT DOES HERE THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT REALIZE?
We do a lot of our own computer forensics to investigate pornography crimes, identify theft, drug cases and burglaries. (Computer forensics refers to law enforcement’s ability to gather evidence of crimes from computers and other electronics). We have the ability to access certain files from computers or cell phones – even if they have been erased. We are able to track many stolen computers using Mac addresses or serial numbers. CITES (Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services) security has been a great partner in solving computer crimes on campus.
GENE MOORE FAST FACTS
Hobbies: “I read a lot, and just about anything.” Favorite authors include Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Jeffery Deaver, John Grisham and Robert Ludlum. He also likes playing video games with his son.
Family: Originally grew up in Mahomet. Now lives in Normal. His family includes his wife, Kim; five children, ages 8 to 25; and two grandchildren.
Favorite local restaurant: Mas Amigos in Champaign.
A favorite documentary: “Stealing Lincoln’s Body,” about the plot to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body.