A day in the life of a Daniel Island detective
People love joking about the differences in the glamorized portrayal of law enforcement in television and the realities of police work. Explosive revelations and actual explosions on screen are traded for the real world’s paperwork and long patrols.
Those truths are ever-apparent, especially in a mostly sleepy crime area like Daniel Island. But, it begs the question: What does a Daniel Island detective do all day? The short answer is: it depends on the day.
“There’s no such thing as an average day with any police department or any police officer,” said Charleston Police Department Team 5 Detective Corporal Eddie Jones. “Officers over here years ago could go days without getting calls, weeks without writing a report. As you can see with the growth of the island, things have picked up. Fortunately, most of the issues that I deal with are property crimes, thefts, vandalisms, things like that.”
Team 5 is the division of the CPD that oversees Daniel Island and portions of the Cainhoy Peninsula within the city limits. Jones is currently their only detective. As the main investigator for the island, he pursues minor crimes, such as larceny, theft, and assault.
The moments in Jones’ day that do stay consistent are usually his morning habits. He goes to the main police station on Lockwood Drive to pick up mail and grab paperwork that needs to be forwarded to Berkeley County. Jones spends about half of his day behind his desk. The detective said that some officers, especially patrol units in downtown’s eastside or West Ashley, go from call to call for their entire shift.
“Daniel Island’s a very unique place. It is a very safe environment,” Jones said. He also mentioned that the relative safety residents assume leads to some of the most typical crimes Team 5 sees.
When it comes to investigations, of which he said larceny is the most common, the detective has a clear plan. The first step?
“Make contact with the victim,” Jones said. “Let them look at the incident report to see if they agree with what the officer put down on paper, because sometimes there’s a disconnect.”
Witness interviews and video evidence are two of Jones’ best tools for solving a case.
“You got to do a little digging,” he commented. “You got to have something to go on, and anything and everything is beneficial. The more you can get, the more you can build a case against somebody.”
For Corporal Jones, the length of investigations varies by case.
“I have 12 pending cases right now,” he said. “Some of them are still open because arrests just haven’t been made.”
Jones said that he has all the necessary information for a lot of those open cases, he just has to finish up the warrants for arrests.
Detective work is only one part of Jones’ 39 year career with the CPD. He’s worked with Team 2 (policing south of Calhoun Street downtown), patrol, vice, SWAT, investigations, supervisory positions, and court security. He has worked at Team 5 for over two years and says that Daniel Island is different from many of the other areas he has worked.
“It has picked up over here,” Jones said. “But you could go a day or a shift without getting a call.”
Citizens interested in signing up for notifications about crimes in Team 5 can visit the following website: https://www.charleston-sc.gov/list.aspx.