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BCI Investigation Division

Because criminal cases can be won or lost at the scene of the crime, the professional investigators of BCI are on call 24/7 to share their expertise with local jurisdictions. They assist local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies in securing and analyzing evidence, addressing legal issues, and providing other services necessary to ensure thorough and successful criminal investigations.

BCI special agents work closely with federal and local authorities, as well as legal counsel from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, to ensure investigation decisions are based on sound legal principles.

The Investigations Division consists of the following units:

  • The Crime Scene Unit helps local law enforcement process felony crime scenes for physical evidence and provides experts to testify in court. BCI’s crime scene agents are among the most highly trained and best equipped in the nation and can contribute the latest crime scene processing techniques and forensic equipment to local investigations, ensuring the best opportunity for identifying and prosecuting criminals.
  • The Crimes Against Children Unit helps local authorities investigate and prosecute those who commit crimes against children.  The investigative team at BCI has expertise in undercover online chat, peer-to-peer file sharing, forensic analysis of computers and other technology, and sex offender warrant enforcement.  BCI staff also serves on the initiative’s Rapid Response Team, which is available around the clock to jump-start investigations and assist victims.
  • The Cold Case Unit, a collaborative effort that includes BCI experts in the DNA lab and Criminal Intelligence, works with local law enforcement agencies to shed light on unsolved homicide and sexual-assault cases.
  • The Cyber Crimes Unit helps local officials deal with the increasingly complex technical and legal issues involved in computer crime investigations and prosecutions.
  • The Environmental Enforcement Unit assists the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, other state and federal agencies, and local law enforcement in investigating criminal environmental activity. Such activity includes hazardous, solid, and infectious waste dumping as well as water and air pollution.
  • The Forensic Dive Team is now available 24/7 to help Ohio law enforcement agencies recover criminal evidence in water, such as human remains, weapons, clothing, or tools. When asked for assistance by an Ohio law enforcement agency, BCI's Forensic Dive Team members will search the water, identify and document evidence, and properly recover the evidence. Recovered items will be sent to the BCI Laboratory for analysis. The team also will work closely with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to assist in its investigations of crimes, such as illegal underwater tire or barrel dumps.
  • The Heroin Unit was established to assist Ohio communities with law enforcement, legal, and outreach assistance to combat the state’s opiate epidemic.  Drawing from both new and existing resources, the Heroin Initiative includes:  (1) BCI investigative and laboratory services; (2) Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission assistance; (3) Prosecution support; and (4) Outreach and education services.
  • The Special Investigations Unit conducts probes that fall outside the scope of BCI's other investigative units. Typical cases include serial crimes, unsolved homicides, fugitive apprehension, police-involved shootings, public corruption investigations, and dignitary protection.
  • The Narcotics Unit works with local law enforcement to combat illicit drug activity that ranges from street-level drug trafficking to complex, multi-jurisdictional conspiracies. Agents can bring the latest technological tools to an investigation, including photo and video equipment, pen registers to track phone and internet activity,  thermal imagery, body wires, vehicle tracking devices, and ground sensors.
  • The Clandestine Lab and Marijuana Eradication Unit offers expertise in clandestine drug manufacturing and growing operations, allowing it to focus on such cases as methamphetamine and marijuana growing operations across the state. Drug lab agents can respond with vehicles equipped with breathing apparatuses, personal protective equipment, portable decontamination equipment, sampling gear, generators, and other tools to assess, process, and dismantle labs. 
  • The Technical Operations Unit provides direct field support for law enforcement agencies through the installation and use of technology.  This includes audio and video recording devices, wiretaps, GPS tracking devices, and other technology needed for specific cases.

The Investigative Services Division consists of the following units:

  • The Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates criminal intelligence to law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio.  The unit focuses on organized crime, major crimes, criminal gangs, fugitive apprehension, and organized drug trafficking operations.
  • The Missing Persons Unit assists local law enforcement and families in locating and recovering missing children and adults.  The unit issues Missing Child Alerts, Missing Adult Alerts, and AMBER Alerts in coordination with local law enforcement.
  • Polygraph Unit:  Uses computerized polygraph instruments to monitor a person’s physiological responses to questions and help determine truthfulness.  Polygraph tests can aid law enforcement in criminal cases and can be administered to suspects and witnesses.
  • Interpol Liaison - BCI is the state of Ohio’s official liaison to Interpol, the world’s largest international police organization. All three BCI divisions work with Interpol to field a variety of international requests,including locating individuals, conducting interviews, taking statements, and aiding in surveillance, photography, and research.
  • LINK - Short for “Linking Individuals Not Known,” LINK helps match unidentified remains with DNA submitted by relatives of missing individuals.  Identifying such remains helps bring closure to families whose loved ones have been missing for several years.
  • The Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG), a secure, electronic criminal justice information network, is an easy way for Ohio law enforcement agencies to share information to help solve and prevent crimes. For additional information about the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, please call 866-406-4534 or visit www.ohleg.org.

Professional Standards -  BCI is only as good as the integrity, professionalism, ​cooperation, and commitment of those who serve the organization. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies LogoThrough training, self-assessment, and accreditation, the bureau has gained and maintained the respect of law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals around the state and the world.  The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) first accredited the bureau in 1998. BCI was most recently reaccredited in 2016, receiving the Accreditation with Excellence Award for going above and beyond basic accreditation requirements and achieved outstanding on-site assessment.  It also earned an Advanced Accreditation designation for complying with all applicable CALEA requirements and was awarded the Meritorious Award for 15 years or more of accreditation.  The standards CALEA sets represent the highest professional business criteria related to the administration, operation, and personnel practices of law enforcement. An annual summary of internal affairs activity is available to the public by contacting BCI@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.