Columbus Police Department honors ID technician

If you leave something behind at a crime scene, don’t be surprised if Columbus police officers come to arrest you years later.

That’s what happened when Latent Print Examiner Cpl. George Gottfried re-ran prints taken at crime scenes in 2014 and 2015. The results came back with 20 prints identified in burglaries and other crimes that otherwise would have gone unsolved.

For his work, Gottfried was selected as Officer of the Month for July at the Columbus Police Department.

Gottfried, who wasn’t available for comment, has been the print examiner at the department for about 20 years. His work has led to numerous arrests and convictions for suspects committing car thefts, assaults, murder and other crimes.

“He comes in early each morning and stays late whenever he is needed,” said his supervisor, Lt. Mike Myhand. “He knows each time he makes an identification, it will require a supplement report and a possible court appearance and yet after 20 years, he approaches each identification as if it was his first one.”

Myhand said Gottfried is a valuable asset to the Bureau of Investigative Services and the police department.

The department also honored Earnestine Sanders as Employee of the Month for her work in managing criminal records at the department. She played a key role in getting tickets, report supplements and other documents filed in a timely manner.

“You name it, we do it,” Sanders said. “Everything that goes on in Columbus comes through the records room.”

With 10 years in the office, the native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said the records work is her career.

“At this point, it’s a career job for me,” she said.