ST. LOUIS ( -- The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated for it’s first case of 2020 when Metro East attorney Randy Gori was murdered Saturday night, and two days later a man has been charged in the crime.

The Major Case Squad is made up of more than 500 local officers from different departments in Illinois and Missouri. There are 119 participating agencies.

“We have resources and the man power to solve the crime and it helps with the victim’s families,” said Major Case Squad Commander Dan DeCarli.

They can be activated after a local department requests their assistance in a homicide, abduction or any investigation that threatens the community. Once activated they can assign on average 15 to 20 investigators who usually stay with a case for five days. That time can be extended if needed.

In the case of Gori’s murder, the commander said they had the ability to add resources immediately which allows them to follow every lead.

“The incident happened at 9 o’clock at night and within a few hours we had a person of interest in custody so we provided the man power,” said Major Case Squad Commander Dan DeCarli. “We have 25 investigators on the case."

DeCarli said they were activated eight times in December 2019 which he believes highlights their need. He added six of those cases are now closed.

“Right now we have an 80% success rate on homicides,” DeCarli said.

The Major Case Squad was modeled after an idea from the Kansas City Police Department’s Metro Squad and launched in St. Louis in 1965.

The commander said they operate mainly from donations. The officers are still paid by the department they serve, but donations pay for training, food and other resources. Most of the funds are raised at an annual golf tournament.

Members who apply to join the the Major Case Squad must have at least five years law enforcement experience, two years investigative experience and a recommendation from their chief or sheriff.

You can find a list of their current and former cases on their website.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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