As a full service law enforcement agency, the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division investigates crimes countywide.  Ten full-time, certified investigators are assigned to various parts of the County and are responsible for conducting follow-up investigations on all felony and misdemeanor crimes.


Many of their investigations focus on burglaries, thefts, aggravated assaults, robberies, and domestic violence.  While the primary focus is on the unincorporated areas of the county, this division also responds to requests from other agencies for assistance. 

Crime Scene Unit

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit is comprised of an investigator who is specially trained in the documentation, collection and preservation of evidence.

The Crime Scene Unit responds to crime scenes where evidence processing is beyond the capabilities of the normally equipped and trained deputy who originally responds to the scene.  The time spent investigating the scenes can be anywhere from one hour to several days.

Evidence collected from crime scenes is processed in-house; however, if lab work is needed it is forwarded to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for evaluation and analysis. The laboratory findings (from evidence collected) and the results of the investigation (which is conducted by investigators) are presented in court proceedings to aid in the successful conviction of criminals.

Polygraph Examinations

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office utilizes the polygraph test, commonly called a lie detector test.  The digital, computerized machine is operated by an investigator who is certified as a polygraph examiner.

To obtain a license as a polygraph operator requires a 10-week, 400-hour course and five years’ experience as an investigator or a four-year degree in the law enforcement field. Polygraph Examiner Fred Lasseter has both qualifications.

Murder cases, robberies, burglaries, and thefts have been solved by using the tool during investigations. A test takes about three or four hours, including a pre-test interview, three to five actual tests and the post-test interview.

The Sheriff’s Office also uses the machine to conduct pre-employment polygraph tests.

How to obtain a Report taken by Sheriff’s Deputies

You can use our online records request if you have been involved in an incident to receive your report.

Click here to request an ECSO report via Email OR You can come to our Investigative Division on the ground floor of the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office. Use the main entrance and tell the clerk you need to speak to an Investigator. The clerk will give you directions to the ground floor. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Call 256-549-8127 to request your report by fax.

You can send a request by U.S. Mail.

The mailing address: Etowah County Sheriff’s Office
827 Forrest Avenue 
Gadsden, Alabama 35901

Please call 256-549-8127 for more information.

How the Public can obtain a Criminal History Report

    1. Go to
    2. Click Alabama Bureau of Investigation
    3. Under the heading Division Links click Identification Unit
    4. Scroll down to Criminal History Information
    5. Where you see Criminal Histories for general public (Click Here for Release Form ABI-46) click
    6. Follow directions and complete form

Additional Investigation Units

  • Domestic Violence
  • Arson Task Force
  • AlaVINE
  • Sex Offender Unit
  • Joint Terrorism Task Force
  • Internal Affairs

Message From the Sheriff

Sheriff Jonathon W HortonWelcome to the Etowah County Sheriff's Office official website. I am pleased you have visited our site and hope you find it informative. It is my Honor to Serve as Your Sheriff. The Sheriff's Office provides law enforcement services to the people of Etowah County through...

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