Wayne County may close Internet Crime Unit

Unit has helped FBI, state crime

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. - It's a two man crew that tackles crime happening at our finger tips.

"The stuff that we see, If I could get a commissioner or anyone to sit down with me, what I would show them, would give them nightmares for a year," Corporal Erin Diamond said.

Boxes of evidence, computer hard drives, even video game systems fill The Wayne County Internet Crime lab. From sex crimes to child porn this team has helped get over a dozen men off our streets and offline in the last 4 months. But for Corporal Diamond, his days of protecting kids are over.

"We were packing up Monday and 3 minutes before the end our day we got an email saying to report to the jail for duty January 2nd," said Cpl. Diamond. "It was like I got kicked in the gut."

January 2nd, the county is pulling the plug on the internet crime unit that's been in place since 1998. Why? It's simply not required by the Wayne County Charter.

"When the charter was written it said the sheriff's department is to provide core services at the jails and courts, nobody heard of the internet back then," said Cpl. Diamond.

It boils down to a bad budget, forcing these Corporals to be staffed at the jail and leave behind hundreds of cases that affect hundreds of children, to go unsolved.

This unit has helped other agencies like the FBI, assisted police in cities outside of county, and even helped with cases around the state and in other states. The FBI has helped to fund the unit's equipment and software needs, they simply need Wayne County to pick up the salaries of the two deputies.

"We have 30 years of experience and training, that's not something you learn in a class," said Cpl. Diamond.

The unit is hoping it can get with commissioners in Wayne County and the Sheriff to see if something can be worked out. If you would like to support the ICU click here: www.savetheicu.org

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