Officer helps catch criminals with sketches

Published: Jul. 1, 2013 at 10:11 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officer Scott Tugya's graphite pencil is as big of a crime-fighter as his badge.  As the composite sketch artist for the Charleston Police Department, Officer Tugya is called upon to draw sketches of at-large suspects.

"It's very rewarding, but it's very much a group effort and to be a part of that process is very rewarding," he says.

Officer Tugya says he was a childhood fan of comic books and grew up drawing.  As a police officer, he attended a week-long training last year in order to become a composite sketch artist.

Witnesses or victims of crimes choose specific facial characteristics from a FBI catalogue of hundreds of photos.  Using the specifications, Officer Tugya then begins a sketch of the suspect, beginning with the eyes.

"At times, there will be a physical reaction by the victim seeing on paper the very individual that accosted them and when that occurs, I know that I've been successful in creating an accurate portrayal of the offender."

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