GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Gruber recently completed his “master criminal investigation” certification from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Gruber is the first officer in the sheriff’s office to earn the distinction.
Ohio’s law enforcement professionals are eligible to earn the certificate. According to Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, to be eligible, investigators must complete a core training program of 128 hours. An additional 64 hours must be obtained by completing two elective courses for a total of 192 hours. Gruber completed over 200 hours of training to earn the state’s designation.
After completing the courses, applicants can submit a letter of request for certifications with copies of OPOTA certificates of completion as noted above. Upon verification of completion of the course requirements, the applicant is issued a master investigator certificate. Only OPOTA-sponsored courses are accepted.
Previous OPOTA courses taken are evaluated on an individual basis.
Applicants can receive credit for the following core courses: core criminal investigation, sex crimes investigation, computer crime first responder, death investigation, photography for investigators and drug identification and field testing course. Gruber also completed the required elective blood stain evidence course, crime scene photography one, undercover online and computer crimes courses.
Browning said Gruber attended and completed over 200 hours of coursework to become the first officer in the Gallia Sheriff’s Office history to obtain the certification.
Approximately 422 law enforcement professionals have achieved this distinction. They have come from all over Ohio and represent local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. This includes not only sheriff’s detectives, but also hospital police, prosecutor’s investigators, banking investigators, and college and university law enforcement. According to Browning, out-of-state law enforcement entities have also received the distinction.
The certification program was first instituted in 2000. Browning said Gruber took courses over the last two years. The certification should benefit his ability to work, as well as increase his credibility in court cases.
Browning said this certification reaffirms his office’s commitment to mainlining quality service to Gallia County citizens.
Gruber said he started his career in law enforcement in the early 2000s. He received a special commission with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office in 2003 and became a part-time detective in February 2014 before becoming full-time in October 2014. Before serving as a Gallia detective, Gruber had previously served as the Oak Hill police chief.