The First 48 Meet the Officers

Sergeant Adrian Candelaria

Sergeant Adrian Candelaria

Sergeant Adrian Candelaria

Sgt. Adrian Candelaria began his career with the Cleveland Police Department in August 1981 in Basic Patrol. After a few years on patrol, Candelaria moved to Narcotics. In the mid 80's, the city of Cleveland had a major wave of crime. To battle it, they formed the Joint Federal Task Force Agency, which included detectives from the FBI, DEA, ATF, County Sheriffs, The Coast Guard and some of Cleveland Police's finest; including Sgt. Candelaria. The "Multi Agency," as they were called at the time, began to crack down on the large wave of drugs and homicides brought on by Jamaican posses. The Agency seized millions in cash and property and was very successful in reducing the violence and drugs from these gangs.

 

In 1993, Candelaria was promoted to a Sergeant in the Fugitive Task Force. He continued his career targeting and capturing repeat offenders as well as finding fugitives with outstanding warrants. As things began to slow down, Candelaria moved over to Internal Affairs for a while before he got back on the streets as a Field Sergeant in the First District. With all that under his belt, he finally got an opportunity that he couldn't pass up - Sergeant in Homicide. Candelaria takes pride in his position and feels honored to work among some of the best detectives he has ever come across. Daily, he is inspired by their hard work, their commitment and the long hours that they put in.

 

Aside from work, Candelaria has been happily married for 34 years. They have 2 adult daughters and one grandchild. Candelaria smiles as he says, "I couldn't ask for a better family." He enjoys nothing more then every moment they spend together and looks forward to retirement when he can spend more time with them.

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Sergeant Michael Quinn

Sergeant Michael Quinn

Sergeant Michael Quinn

Law Enforcement runs in the blood of Sergeant Mike Quinn. The son of a thirty-eight-year Cleveland Police Veteran, he doesn't recall a day that he didn't wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. Quinn joined the Cleveland Police Department in 1987. After a few years in Basic Patrol, Quinn began working as a Detective in the fourth district. He was then promoted to Sergeant and began working in Sex Crimes. In 2008, Quinn began his career in Homicide.

 

"This job never stops! Homicide Detectives are a special group of men and women that I am honored to have the opportunity to work with and learn from." Quinn states that he feels that they have their own family up here and that everyone pulls together to handle very tough investigations. Quinn overseas a good portion of the work that is done and is very supportive of the hard work and long hours that his team puts in on a daily basis.

 

Quinn and his wife have two children and thrive on the time that he is able to spend with them as a family. He also enjoys working in the yard and playing golf.

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Detective Jamaal Ansari

Detective Jamaal Ansari

Detective Jamaal Ansari

Originally from Arkansas, nothing comes up short with Detective Ansari and the pride that he takes in his job. After joining the Cleveland Police Department in 1985, Ansari worked in Basic Patrol, Vice, and Narcotics before coming over to Homicide in 2009. Ansari works hard to give peace of mind to people they serve.

 

As a father of two grown girls and a grandfather to four grandchildren, Ansari and his wife of eleven years enjoy the moments that they get to spend together as a family. Ansari's positive outlook on life helps lighten the mood in the office, if he's not singing "Tiny Bubbles" then he's humming a tune that makes everyone laugh.

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Detective Tom Armelli

Detective Tom Armelli

Detective Tom Armelli

Dating back to his early years, Armelli doesn't ever remember not wanting to be a police officer. After joining the force in August of 1981, Armelli worked basic patrol for several years and then moved over to the Street Crime Unit, from there he was promoted to Cleveland Homicide Unit in 2007.

 

With the support of his co-workers, Armelli is not too bothered by crime scenes, unless there are innocent children involved. As a father of two grown children, he finds it hard to detach the innocence from violence that can occur within some homes. Armelli believes that putting together a good case that results in a murderer going to prison for the rest of his life is pretty satisfying.

 

As President of the Cleveland Police Historical Society and the Cleveland Police Museum, Armelli works hard to stay involved in keeping the Cleveland Police Department's history alive within the community. "Each badge number has a story, some that may never be told. We preserve those memories to establish history of the honorable work that keeps our communities alive."

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Detective David Borden

Detective David Borden

Detective David Borden

Although Law Enforcement was not Det. Borden first choice in careers, he is proud to be where he is now in Homicide. Prior to taking the police test, Borden was an Auto Mechanic by trade. With roughly 50 cases under his belt he is slowly moving his way to a window seat at the office.

 

Originally from Pennsylvania, Borden moved to the west side of Cleveland with his family when he was 6 years old. He began his career with the Cleveland Police Department in 1996 as a Basic Patrol Officer in the 4th District. After moving around a bit and getting to Patrol many areas of Cleveland, Borden moved his way up the ladder and became a Detective in 2004. Just 8 years later, he became a Homicide Detective. Like much of his team, Borden likes to do his best at bringing closure to families that suffer from such a life changing tragic event.

 

Det. Borden has earned three Distinguished Service Awards along with several others; one including a Sharp Shooter’s Award! In his free time, Borden enjoys the time that he is able to spend with his family. He also loves outdoor sports, weight lifting and eating dessert.

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Detective Kathleen Carlin

Detective Kathleen Carlin

Detective Kathleen Carlin

A Cleveland native and a retired member of the US Army Reserve, Det. Kathleen "KC" Carlin is the only female detective in the Cleveland Homicide Unit. After working with the Army Reserves in Psychological Operations, she has brought her intense discipline and skills to aid in catching the criminals. Carlin has served the Cleveland Police Department since 1989; she became a Homicide Detective in 2006. She works to research, identify and locate suspects to get them off the street and be able to give justice to the victim's family.

 

Carlin comes from a family of eight children, so working in an office full of men is no challenge to her. She is highly respected by her co-workers with her dedication and commitment to her cases. In her free time, she works hard to maintain her title as having the highest bowling average of the women in her bowling league. Carlin also enjoys hanging out with her friends and family.

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Detective Kathy Cruz

Detective Kathy Cruz

Detective Kathy Cruz

As the newest member of the Cleveland Homicide Unit, Detective Kathy Cruz is the third female to join the current team. After earning her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University, Cruz decided to take a different route and join the Cleveland Police Department. She began her career on the streets in basic patrol and worked her way up the ladder to the Crime Analysis Unit; where she was able to assist Homicide with her knowledge in current social media.

 

Raised on the west side of Cleveland, Cruz enjoys running, refurnishing old furniture and cooking. She is driven by the daily challenges of solving cases and takes pride in the simple gratitude that come with the work. She has been awarded three Distinguished Service Medals as well as Law Enforcement Investigator of the Year. Cruz is also fluent in Spanish.

 

Cruz is the eldest of three siblings and has already earned her place in Homicide by having her mom and her sister make the crew a traditional Puerto Rican meal! Don't let her sweet demeanor fool you, she can chase down a criminal in heels without a sweat!

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Detective Raymond Diaz

Detective Raymond Diaz

Detective Raymond Diaz

As the youngest member of the Cleveland Homicide Department, Detective Ray Diaz has had the unfortunate experience of losing three close friends to homicides. Diaz was driven to be a police officer by his own life experiences that were all given justice to by Cleveland Homicide Detectives. After joining the force in 1994, Diaz worked in Basic Patrol and the Vice Unit. In 1998, while on the job, his partner, Detective Robert Clark was shot and killed while they were working together. After working with the Homicide Unit to get justice for his partner, Diaz worked extremely hard to one day be in a position to help investigate homicides, especially for Police Officers that are harmed or killed in the line of duty.

 

Like all the other Detectives, homicides that involve innocent children bother Diaz the most. "I have grown to accept that adults harm one another, but I do not believe it and will never understand how anyone could harm a child."

 

Diaz truly enjoys helping people. He knows how homicides can affect a family's life. Diaz is currently engaged and is the father of two children. He credits his children for helping him get through the rough days. He enjoys watching his son's wrestling tournament and when he has time, he likes to work on his yard.

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Detective Tim Entenok

Detective Tim Entenok

Detective Tim Entenok

This life-long Clevelander joined the Cleveland Police Department in 1989 where he was first assigned to Basic Patrol in the fourth district. After eight years of service, Entenok was promoted to the Detective's Bureau and then a few years later to the elite group of men and women in the Cleveland Homicide Unit.

 

His intimidating silent moments in the interview room drive most suspects to confession. At the same time, he tries to make them see the inhumane side of what they've done. Entenok makes their crimes personal, he wants them to think about the families they have affected. "It never ceases to amaze me how violent one person can be towards another or how a person can kill another for little or no reason at all. However, at the end of the day, I know that my job as a Homicide Detective is over and that I can put it all behind me until the next day or the next time I am called in."

 

Entenok and his wife have been married for twenty years and have two teenage sons. Outside of the office, he enjoys working on cars, barbecuing and trying unique beers and bourbons.

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Detective Walley Everett

Detective Walley Everett

Detective Walley Everett

A simple desire to make a difference is the motive behind thirty-year CPD Veteran, Detective Walley Everett. Having spent most of his career watching over other police officers, he is humbled and proud to be known as one of Cleveland's Finest. "It's a feeling that starts on the inside and causes you stand a little bit taller."

 

Detective Everett has spent the past six years of his career working in Homicide and is driven by his co-workers to be one of the best detectives that he can be. He embraces that he is given the chance to put some of the worst possible offenders to justice and provide closure to the victim's families. "The toughest situations to deal with are when children and the elderly are victim to homicide. Truly the defenseless, something that will always wear on me."

 

Like others in the department, Everett uses humor as his coping tool. Cursing is a second language, but in the end he is only working to attain the same goal. "Our humor may be sick to an outsider, but it's necessary for us to cope with what we witness on a daily basis."

 

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Everett enjoys fishing, traveling and spending time with his family. He has been married to the love of his life, Tracy, for six years and together they have a blended family of four grown daughters. Although they keep him on his toes, he couldn't be happier to drop his guard, laugh and relax a little.

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Detective Robert Ford

Detective Robert Ford

Detective Robert Ford

As a rookie to the Homicide Unit, Detective Bob Ford is working his way up the chain, training with some of the best. Originally from Cleveland, Ford strives to represent his city to the best of his ability. After joining the Cleveland Police Department in 1987, Ford has worked with the Youth Gang Unit and as a Detective in Sex Crimes. Ford wanted to become part of homicide to further challenge his mind and work hard to put the worst of the worst behind bars.

 

Behind his tough demeanor, Ford really enjoys working with people. He is happily married to his wife of twenty-one years and together they have two teenage girls. Ford is a Cleveland Indians Baseball fan and enjoys cycling as well as windy rides on his motorcycle. Ford is a softy when it comes to animals, especially when it comes to his three-legged chiwawa, Carlos.

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Detective Charles Gove

Detective Charles Gove

Detective Charles Gove

In 1992, The Cleveland Police Department welcomed Detective Chuck Gove to their family. Gove began his police career in Basic Patrol and then began working with the Time Keeping Unit, he was then promoted to Homicide in 2005. Gove is a true asset to the Homicide Family. His work ethic and long hours keep everyone afloat. Gove maintains all the records for the cases and is always depended upon by his co-workers.

 

Gove feels very fortunate to be in the position that he's in. "Being a Homicide Detective in my hometown of Cleveland is the best job I could have ever imagined." Gove enjoys working with his peers and has learned a lot from them over the years.

 

On the side, Gove and his wife operate a ghost tour company named Haunted Cleveland Ghost Tours. They provide city tours of some of the most haunted and paranormal locations in and around the City of Cleveland. Gove has two grown sons and two grandchildren. When he gets a moment to himself he enjoys kayaking and cross-country skiing.

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Detective Rhonda Gray

Detective Rhonda Gray

Detective Rhonda Gray

Honored to be the first African American female assigned to the Cleveland Homicide Unit, Detective Rhonda Gray never deals herself short. Beginning her Cleveland Police Career in 1988, Gray has worked her way up the ladder beginning with fourteen years in basic patrol and then becoming a district detective for eleven years before joining the Homicide Team in 2013.

 

Gray has been awarded the Cleveland Police Medal of Heroism as well as being honored as The Police Officer of the Year by The Black Shield Police Association. Her education, commitment and hard work have also earned her Special Recognition from the Ohio House of Representatives.

 

Born in Akron and raised in Cleveland with her nine siblings, Gray has worked to serve her community since she was nineteen years old as an EMT for Cleveland’s EMS. Gray is also a Registered Nurse and is currently in Grad School working on her Master's in Nursing. As a single mother of three children, she enjoys every moment that she has to spend with them. Gray states that it's truly important to surround yourself with a strong support system; family, friends and faith. In her free time, Gray enjoys riding her Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, watching football, reading and listening to music.

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Detective Lemmy Griffin

Detective Lemmy Griffin

Detective Lemmy Griffin

As a Cleveland native, Detective Lem Griffin joined the Cleveland Police Department in 1989. Much like the other detectives, he began his career in Basic Patrol and then eventually moved onto the Strike Force Unit. Griffin also worked in the Bicycle Unit and was then later detailed to Narcotics, followed by working in the Commander's Office and then Cold Case. In 2007, Griffin began his journey as a Homicide Detective. "I take honor and pride in apprehending criminals that will help give families justice and eventually closure."

 

Griffin was originally drawn to Law Enforcement at a young age. He was intrigued by the idea of "Good verse Evil," and wanted to make a career out giving justice where justice is served. Griffin also served a seven-year stretch as President to the Black Shield Police Association, which is an organization of law enforcement officers that are dedicated to the promotion of equality, justice, fairness and effectiveness in law enforcement.

 

In Griffin's free time, he likes to keep busy and feels that extra curricular activities occupy his mind from what he has to deal with on a daily basis. Griffin is a member of the Prince Hall Shriners and is involved in yearly Military Drill Competitions. He also enjoys working with carpentry around his home.

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Detective James Raynard

Detective James Raynard

Detective James Raynard

Raynard joined the Cleveland Police Department in 1987, where he began his career in the fourth district in Basic Patrol and the Vice Unit. After a promotion, Raynard began his Detective career in the Third District. From there, Raynard began working with the Crime Scenes Unit and attended the United States Army/FBI Hazardous Devices School where he earned his degree to work with the Cleveland Bomb Squad. Raynard has been detailed to the Homicide Unit since 2010.

 

Driven by the challenge in obtaining justice for the victims, their families, and the community, Detective Jimmy Raynard preserves the evidence that cannot be challenged in the court of law. "It's an honor to be part of a team that works as hard as this unit does."

 

When he's not mastering his skills at work, Raynard enjoys fixing up his home and reading up on investigative techniques. He is the proud father of three grown girls and a grandfather to eight children.

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Detective Joselito Sandoval

Detective Joselito Sandoval

Detective Joselito Sandoval

With just under a quarter of a century on the job, Detective "Lito" Sandoval became a Cleveland Police Officer in February 1986. He has worked with several units beginning with Basic Patrol. After ten years, Sandoval began working with the Strike Force and then was promoted to the Detective's Bureau in the first district. He was promoted to the Homicide Unit in 2002.

 

Sandoval knew at a young age that he wanted to work in a career that would help people. Originally considering a seminary, his parents open his eyes up to law enforcement and he has never looked back. Sandoval feels blessed to have the opportunity to work with the fellow Homicide Detectives. He strives to do the best to represent his profession and co-workers. "Pride isn't as much of a factor as is satisfaction."

 

Sandoval and his wife have been married for almost thirty years and have one son and three daughters. He enjoys the time that he gets to spend with them as well as his close friends and co-workers. Sandoval also enjoys fishing and golfing when time permits. "Life is good."

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Detective Melvin "Mel" Smith

Detective Melvin "Mel" Smith

Detective Melvin "Mel" Smith

Born in Jackson, Mississippi and later raised in Cleveland, Detective Mel Smith began his career in law enforcement in 1977 where he worked as a Corrections Officer for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department. After ten years, Smith decided that he wanted to join the Cleveland Police Department. Smith began his career in Basic Patrol and then moved over to the Strike Force Unit in 1989. He worked personal security for Cleveland? former Mayor Michael White while also working as a Gang Unit Detective. In 2002, Smith was promoted to the Cleveland Homicide Unit.

 

Smith has a strong desire to help others. "There are a lot of people on our society who need us to protect them against the predators of this world." His diligent work helps him to accept the fact that he sees death quite often, but believing that approaching the matters professionally can help him perform his duties at a high level. "Our citizens deserve nothing less." Smith also finds help in prayer and with is family.

 

Smith enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters. He works out, plays golf, fixes and restores things around the house and is an avid collector of die cast cars. Smith enjoys his career as a Homicide Detective and finds it gratifying to know that he has helped someone in need when the time was needed. He truly feels blessed and enjoys the different people and great relationships that he has made over his career.

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Detective Mike Smith

Detective Mike Smith

Detective Mike Smith

A thirty-five year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department, Detective Mike Smith was drawn into law enforcement from childhood. Spending most of his career working with the Strike Force and Vice Unit, Smith gladly took the opportunity to join homicide in 2001.

 

Detective Smith takes pride in bringing comfort and closure to the victims' families in their time of sorrow. His smooth, understanding technique not only comforts the families, but works on his side when trying to get information out of the suspects. "It's nice to know that you are able to help people that may not have anyone else to turn to."

 

Like many of his co-workers, Smith pushes through the daily stress of working to catch some of the most dangerous people by going home to a more tranquil environment with his loving family. Smith and his wife Mary have been married for thirty-eight years. They have two grown daughters, Shannon and Mia and five grandchildren. When time permits, Smith enjoys fishing and going for long walks with his wife. He is also quite the movie buff around the house.

 

Smith appreciates the camaraderie among his co-workers and of course his work-wife, Detective Walley Everett. Their constant joking around and picking on each other is enough to help everyone cope with their daily stresses. Not sure what to wear? Well you can guarantee that Smith will out-dress anyone in the office! From his matching shoes, to his sleek ties, and pin stripes, Smith can truly turn heads!

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Detective Ignatius "Nate" Sowa

Detective Ignatius "Nate" Sowa

Detective Ignatius "Nate" Sowa

The Cleveland Police Department didn't know what hit them in 1981, when Detective Nate Sowa joined the force. Starting off in the third district, Sowa worked his way up the ladder to the Vice Unit and then onto the Auto Theft Unit. In 2005, Sowa began growing a mustache and losing his hair all while becoming a Detective in the Cleveland Homicide Unit.

 

Sowa, a highly respected Detective by his peers, likes to keep the office on theirs toes. His distinguished humor can lighten any rough day around the office. However, Sowa's flipside is not one to mess with. When interviewing a suspect, he gets fired up. His intense interviews and long hours come across as a great role model to his co-workers.

 

Sowa and his wife, Dee Dee have been married for thirty long years. He enjoys the outdoors, a good cigar and a nice aged scotch from time to time. Sowa hopes to move down south after retirement and just simply enjoy life.

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