Detective Sergeant Robert Merillat
The Detective Bureau is staffed with one Sergeant and three Detectives. Each Detective is "on-call" one week a month during the nighttime hours. They are typically assigned to investigate the most serious, sensitive, or complex cases. About half of the cases investigated by detectives are sex crimes, most often perpetrated against children. They take very seriously to act as advocates for these child victims and hold their abusers accountable. Serious assaults, robberies, and burglaries comprise the balance of cases typically referred to detectives over the course of the year.
Detectives assist patrol officers, using specialized equipment to photograph and search for evidence at crime scenes. For example, they often work to develop latent fingerprints, cast footwear or tool mark impressions, or collect other evidence for potential DNA comparisons. They conduct interviews of witnesses and interrogations of suspects on an almost daily basis.
Detectives conduct background investigation and truth verifications (lie detector) tests for prospective Police and Fire Department applicants. Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) tests are also done in conjunction with criminal investigations.
Sergeant Merillat began his full-time law enforcement career with the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in 1978, where he served as a Deputy Sheriff, and later, a Patrol Sergeant. Sergeant Merillat was hired by the Wooster Police Department on May 11, 1980, and was promoted to Sergeant in 1981, and has supervised Detectives since 2005. Sgt. Merillat is a computerized voice stress analyst, an OPOTA certified instructor, and also serves as a firearms instructor and SIG Sauer weapons armorer. In the past, he has served as a S.W.A.T. team member and sniper. Sgt. Merillat has received advanced training as a forensic video analyst. He is a graduate of Triway High School, North Central State College, and the FBI National Academy. He has served on the Community Corrections Board, and as a trustee on the United Way Board, Counseling Center of Wayne and Holmes County Board, American Red Cross Donor Resource Committee, and he is a graduate of Leadership Wooster. In his spare time he enjoys reading, hunting, and competitive shooting, and he is a pilot with airplane and seaplane ratings.
Detective McCloud was hired August 11, 1991, and became a Detective in 2003. Detective McCloud has received training in basic hostage and advance crisis negotiations, and marijuana identification. He is currently the only forensic child interviewer, and is a computer voice stress analyst. Detective McCloud is a masterground defense instructor, and physical fitness specalist, and has served on the S.W.A.T. team. He is also a member of the Wayne County Community Correction Board.
Detective Lemmon graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in Criminology in 1994 and was hired by the Wooster Police Department on December 19, 1995. He was a member of the S.W.A.T. team for a period of 5 years and also a Field Training Officer while he worked on the Patrol Division. He became a Detective in May 2006 and is a Computer Voice Stress Analysis examiner (CVSA). Detective Lemmon is currently a member of the Honor Guard. He has served the Department as a Union Representative and also served on a planning committee for the Salvation Army and a Board Member for United Way.
Detective William Belcher
Detective Belcher graduated from Akron University with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice in 1998 and was hired by the Wooster Police Department on April 26, 1999. In January 2009 Detective Belcher became a member of the S.W.A.T. team. He became a Detective in June 2009 and is a Computer Voice Stress Analysis examiner (CVSA). He is also a Field Training Officer (FTO) and has served on the Honor Guard.