THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) - Letters exchanged between the Thomasville Police Department and the Thomas County District Attorney's Office detail a partnership that the district attorney's office is now calling "dysfunctional."
The letters surround issues with the timing in which case files are submitted, the DA's office said some of those cases date back to 2016.
The first letter is from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Thomasville Police Department and addresses case file requests from the DA's office.
According to that letter, for the past year, the police department's CID has seen an increase in case file requests from the district attorney's office.
Those requests aren't the issue, but the timing in which they are submitted seems to be the issue both sides are debating.
According to police, they admit some case files have been late and are working to rectify that.
The letter states, "We have been advised in the past to, 'Slow down on case files. Don't worry about that due date, we have plenty to do…'"
Now, knowing there is an issue, the CID investigators said they are changing their procedure from not being concerned about the due date to submitting case files in a reasonable time.
Since Jan 1, 2018, CID has submitted 54 case files. It has investigated nearly 290 felony cases since the first of the year and cleared 50 of them by arrests.
The department has four detectives.
CID commander Maurice Holmes goes on to say that, "Your cooperation is greatly appreciated in this matter, and together we can correct these issues to improve our case file quality and prosecution production."
The names in the case files have been redacted, but flipping through the request there are cases dating back to 2016.
The Police Department has called that list, "by far inaccurate," giving the appearance that these case files have not been submitted, and arguing that they have.
The district attorney's office said that is the updated list and that the DA's office does not have any of those case files, slowing down the judicial process.
In a response to the police department's initial letter, the Thomas County District Attorney's Office said they often receive what they call "nastygram" or "hate mail" in response to case report requests from all law enforcement departments they deal with. So, they often tell the officers, "We've got plenty to do, maybe you all need to slow down on making cases."
The DA's office said, "For the Thomasville Police Department to now try and use our response in jest to, what we believed, was their comment in jest, is incredulous, using such banter as an excuse for failing to live up to the standards is self-serving and unprofessional."
The DA's response to that was "The TCSO and TTCNVS have similar if not greater numbers of cases in their offices as well. If the case load of TPD is too great of a burden for the detectives assigned to the division, then perhaps the TPD should follow the lead of the TCSO and TTCNVS where supervisors of their units carry caseloads as well."
The DA's office said this problem can't be attributed to investigators, but said that it rests with leadership of the department, ending their letter with this statement:
One area of common ground between the two departments is that both want to find a solution.
The DA's office mentions that they, "Hope the situation is rectified before something tragic occurs."
Our partners with the "Thomasville Times-Enterprise" have reached out to the city for comment and have not heard back at this time.