Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $577,243)
The State of Wyoming, Office of the Attorney General, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) may conduct criminal investigations at the request of a local police department, sheriff’s office, the County or District Attorney of jurisdiction, or at the direction of the Governor. Pursuant to W.S. §9-1-618(b), DCI shall conduct investigations that are in violation of the Wyoming Controlled Substance Act and organized criminal activity that crosses jurisdictional boundaries of local law enforcement agencies. DCI also investigates violations of computer crimes as specified in W.S. §6-3-501 through 6-3-505, and suspected violations involving the sexual exploitation of children as specified in W.S. §6-4-303.
Because of Wyoming being a fairly rural state, it is vital that DCI utilizes its local, state, and federal partners when conducting these types of investigations. One way in which this is done is by the Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Task Force, which houses eight Task Force Officers (TFO) from local law enforcement agencies across Wyoming. The task force focuses on drug and violent crimes committed in Wyoming, to include child sexual exploitation crimes. These TFOs serve as a force multiplier and allow for more efficient and comprehensive investigations. Funding from the JAG award has traditionally allowed for funding the eight TFO positions.
Additionally, DCI houses the Wyoming State Crime Laboratory (WSCL), which is the sole crime laboratory in Wyoming. The WSCL offers evidence analysis and transport, a 24/7 Crime Scene Response Team, and professional analysts trained extensively in their specialties and for court testimony. These services are all offered to law enforcement in Wyoming at no cost. Supplies to fund each of these duties has been provided in part by JAG funding.
Year after year, JAG funding has proven to be vital to the State of Wyoming’s criminal justice and law enforcement systems. It has helped to strengthen and grow relationships between local and state agencies while also ensuring that thorough investigations are being completed on the most violent crimes committed in the State.