Special Report: Get a behind-the-scenes look at the real NCIS
GREAT LAKES, IL (CBS 58) – NCIS has been made famous by the hit CBS television show, but you may not know exactly what they do.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is the Navy’s law enforcement and they investigate all over the world.
CBS 58 recently got special access to the NCIS office at Naval Station Great Lakes.
We got to see where they work and got a look at some of the technology that helps these global investigators do their jobs.
Investigators couldn’t talk about specific cases, but said they are responsible for anything that involves a member of the Navy or Marine Corps.
“Anything from murders, any kind of computer related crimes, sexual assault, burglaries,” said Special Agent Myles Roy.
But what sets them apart from other departments, is their reach.
“Our jurisdiction is around the globe,” said Roy.
Because the Navy is everywhere, their investigators are everywhere too.
“We have agents in this office that have been assigned to aircraft carriers,” said Roy, “that’s their day-to-day office.”
The Naval Station Great Lakes office covers a wide area of the Midwest, but it’s about to get wider.
NCIS is opening a Central Field Office at the base, stretching well past the Midwest.
“Right now this office covers the Midwest,” said Roy, “the Central Field Office will just expand from the Dakotas over to Michigan down to Kentucky and over to Missouri.”
And because they work in so many different places and conditions, their equipment has to keep up.
Special agents showed us a 3D laser scanner.
“It’s incredibly valuable,” said Special Agent Jason Keller.
They take it to any scene, and just flip a switch.
“We’ll actually place this in the center of the scene and it will spin around in 360 degrees and it will capture laser measurements and photograph data and we basically get a 3D representation of the crime scene,” said Keller.
“We’re able to show the jury an actual 3D representation of the scene, accurate down to a few millimeters,” said Keller.
They admit, even equipment like that doesn’t compare to what you see on TV.
“As technology advances I think someday we’ll get to some of the advanced technology they have on the show but right now we have quite a bit that mirrors what they show uses,” said Roy.
But special investigators say there are similarities between what they do, and their Hollywood counterparts.
“Primarily the camaraderie that you see on the show within the office is duplicated almost at every office, we have very good working relationships,” said Roy.
They types of crimes they cover are also similar, but there is one thing that definitely sets the real-life NCIS apart.
“A lot more paperwork,” laughed Roy, “there’s a lot more paperwork.”
NCIS works with local departments on a daily basis, both with investigations and training.
They recently sent some of their equipment to Waukegan after the silicone plant explosion there to help with recovery efforts.