ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Despite the pandemic, the GBI says violent crime, gang violence and human trafficking are all up in Georgia.
That’s why the agency is requesting more funds from state lawmakers this session.
Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, explains the GBI’s top priorities for 2021.
The GBI grew its gang task force last year and wants to expand the criminal gang database.
“We want our legal division grow – we need more lawyers especially in smaller jurisdictions.”
The agency has reduced its crime lab back log in half, launched a new cold case unit and wants more funds to recruit medical examiners.
“We have to have new vehicles, bomb trucks, crime scene vehicles, and things of that nature.”
The GBI can only get involved in certain cases if requested.
“Statutorily under the law, there’s only 3 cases: drugs, crimes were child is a victim and major cargo theft where we have original jurisdiction without being requested by locals.”
“The other cases like homicide, voter fraud issues, human trafficking, gang case — we have to be asked by the DA, Sheriff, or Police Chief.”
The agency says the pandemic has resulted in an uptick in child pornography cases because of kids in virtual classrooms.
“Frequently our teachers, counselors and administrators in schools are some of the front line defense in finding and noticing a child who may have been abused physically or sexually and where those victims make outcries to.”
The GBI has 15 regional offices with around 800 employees, and provide support to local police officers, review crime scene evidence at their forensic labs, and stores crime history or vehicle information in case an officer stops an individual to run tag numbers.