Richland Police Lose Internet Specialist - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland Police Lose Internet Specialist

RICHLAND, Wash.- With a rash of recent identity thefts in the region, Internet security is as important as ever, and after the retirement of their Internet specialist, Richland Police said they can't deal with Internet crimes like they could before.

The Richland City Council determined there wasn't enough money in the city's general fund to create a permanent Internet specialist, and now, there's no one to investigate Internet crimes.

Richland Police said cases will now be passed on to the FBI, or simply not investigated due to a lack of manpower.

Even cases that the department chooses to take won't be investigated as thoroughly.

Victims may also be referred to an Internet service to report their crime, but you could see your case swept under the rug.

They said the loss is something they may never get back.

"It's really hard to teach a lot of the things that he was capable of doing. It was 50 percent skill, and 50 percent art. It really was a joy to actually watch him work," said Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb. 

There are no plans to create a position again because of a need for officers on the street, but if the money's there, they may try again.

Kennewick Police have a detective assigned to Internet fraud cases and Pasco Police say they investigate Internet crimes the usual way.