Volunteer team investigates Casa Grande cold cases

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(FB/Casa Grande Police Department) (FB/Casa Grande Police Department)
CASA GRANDE, AZ (AP) -

Three retired law enforcement officers are volunteering to take on a backlog of cold cases at the Casa Grande Police Department.

Homicides and sexual assaults represent some of the department's 55 unsolved crimes, with some dating back decades, reported the Casa Grande Dispatch. 

"We're not going to give up on a case just because we couldn't solve it at one point," said department spokesman Thomas Anderson. "Sometimes a new set of eyes will see something that was missed."

Three cases were sent back to detectives for further investigation after the volunteers found new information.

Retired police chief Charles L. Shayler was volunteering with the Citizens On Patrol program alongside retired police chief Paul Ricks and retired officer Jim Jensen before they started working on the cold case team.

They all have decades of law enforcement experience.

"It was a no-brainer to ask them to review cold cases," Anderson said. "To have two police chiefs and a retired police officer volunteering with us is something that's great for our department. It doesn't happen very often."

Ricks said the group brings fresh eyes to old cases.

"We're not here to criticize or find fault," he said. "We're here to give things a new, fresh look."

Unsolved cases are considered cold after two years.

"Clearing cases is not as cut and dry as people might think," Anderson said. "We want the community to know we want to solve these cases. We care about them."

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