Investigator Cpl. Sean Mitchell is the Employee of the Month for November for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. His selection for the honor was announced at the LCSO’s monthly meeting by Capt. Billy Knox.
Pointing to the factors that led to this selection, Capt. Knox said that although Cpl. Mitchell has only been working in his new assignment in the Juvenile Sex Crimes Unit for a very few months, he has excelled in conducting follow-up investigations involving DNA results. Not only is Mitchell involved with a heavy case load with his Criminal Investigation Division cases, but he is also the Chief Pilot of the agency’s Special Operations Division’s newly formed Aviation Unit involving the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ( UAV/Drone).
Mitchell is not new to law enforcement as he graduated from the Central Texas College Police Academy in August of 1997 where he then spent a number of years with the Morgan’s Point Police Department in Killeen before joining the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office three years ago. He has earned his master’s rating as a peace officer and presently has more than 2,700 hours of specialized police training in Crime Scene Investigations, Crimes against Children and, of course, more recently his Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) training and testing to obtain his remote pilot license.
Many, if not most, of these past police training classes are now being utilized in his present assignment in the Juvenile Sex Crimes Unit. Mitchell said that his work load consists of approximately 15 new cases per month and with approximately 100 cases on file that are under various stages of investigation.
With only Mitchell and one sergeant working this heavy case load now, it will become more demanding soon as the sergeant plans to retire in the coming months.
“However, with Mitchell’s outstanding work ethics and meticulous investigative techniques that earned him this honor of employee of the month, there is no doubt the high standards of investigations will continue within that unit,” said Capt. Ken DeFoor, spokesperson for the department.
“Such high standards followed Mitchell from the Killeen Police Department where he became involved in a high-speed car chase that another officer had initiated. The woman driving the evading vehicle crashed into the bedroom of a house and became trapped when the dashboard crushed her legs and almost severed her right foot. As the vehicle caught fire, Mitchell forced the car door open and pulled the trapped woman from the car just as the dashboard and car driver’s seat burst into flames. Mitchell said the woman was trying to evade officers because she had no driver’s license. Mitchell was recognized by his department for his heroic life-saving effort,” DeFoor said.
Although Cpl. Mitchell is on call 24 hours per day, seven days a week as the agency’s Chief UAV pilot, his hobbies include fishing and flying his own person UAV.
“When talking to Mitchell he is quick to point out that one of his most enjoyable accomplishments recently is preparing to teach an FAA training class to potential remote pilots from not only the LCSO but students from Harris County and several of the coastal city police departments who will be attending the LCSO’s two day class on Nov. 13-14,” DeFoor said. “To Cpl. Mitchell’s credit, when he proposed this UAV program to Sheriff Bobby Rader several months ago, and it was accepted, it also set off a very difficult project of writing a set of Standard Operational Procedures that would address not only the policies of the LCSO but all the FAA regulations as well as the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement ( TCOLE ) regulations. This path of regulations has now led to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office being one of the first and only in Southeast Texas that TCOLE will allow peace officers to earn credit hours for attending.”
Entering this relative new era of nation-wide law enforcement technology ranks up near the advent of using fingerprints and DNA to solve crimes and assist in court presentation of evidence to a jury, DeFoor added.
Mitchell has assisted LCSO by flying over death scenes where distances, longitude/latitude and photographs must be available in court. He has also assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety in recording fatal automobile crashes, which can clear a highway scene for traffic movement in a matter of 10-15 minutes rather than a two-hour highway blockage when ground-based Troopers are having to conduct these same type measurements on foot. He also remains available to all Liberty County law enforcement agencies and fire departments to fly the UAV over crime scenes for court purposes or into contaminated areas for Hazmat where humans cannot safely enter.
“With all these responsibilities being so professionally handled and with his continued dedication to both the Juvenile Sex Crimes Unit and the UAV program, it is no small wonder that the Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to join them in saluting Cpl. Sean Mitchell for being selected as the Employee of the Month for November 2018,” DeFoor said.