In October of 1977, at the invitation of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the chief executives of eleven state criminal investigative agencies met informally at Vail, Colorado, to discuss mutual concerns and areas of potential cooperative effort.
In addition to Colorado, states represented at this meeting included: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Group discussions identified those areas of administration and operation of criminal investigative agencies that were of mutual concern. Upon reviewing these matters there was general agreement that it would be beneficial to form an association, the members of which would meet periodically to address problems of state criminal investigative agencies with a view toward sharing experience in solving these problems.
In 1978 the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA) was registered in the State of Colorado as a nonprofit tax exempt organization as provided under Section 501(c) (6) of the Internal Revenue Code.
From 1978 until 2009, ASCIA focused on networking among members, mentoring new executives, and discussing issues of mutual concern.
In 2009 the scope of ASCIA began to enlarge. Legislation at the national level was being proposed that involved major changes to forensic laboratories, creation of Fusions Centers, significant changes to electronic and digital evidence collection, and renewed effort to established effective privacy and civil rights policies. All issues that were a concern and priority to the membership and their state agencies.
ASCIA decided to become more proactive in law enforcement issues at a national level. They hired and executive director and a government affairs representative to assist in proactively working with Congress, federal agencies, and other national law enforcement association on issues of mutual concern.
The mission of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies is to promote professionalism, and enhance each member state's ability to provide the highest quality and most efficient services possible to their citizens. This mission is accomplished by:
The open sharing of ideas and innovative approaches to improving public safety and solving common problems;
Fostering of improved communications and cooperation by enhancing relationships between the member agencies;
Collaboration and development of strategic policies on significant national and regional issues affecting state level investigative agencies;
Providing a forum for developing strategies and appropriate follow-up on recommendations and proposals;
Biannual meetings which promote a fraternal atmosphere while providing the membership with training and education;
Advocacy of sound policies and procedures which promote the principles and interest of the membership; and Networking with member agencies to insure the timely exchange of information and sharing of expertise in the field.
A state agency having responsibility for the division, unit, or bureau primarily created for the purpose of general criminal investigation, having statewide jurisdiction and whose personnel have full peace officer power can become a member agency of ASCIA. The agency is the “member”.
The primary representative of the member agency is the chief executive officer of the agency. The chief executive officer is authorized to appoint one other senior executive as his/her alternate. He/She also has the right to nominate other senior executives to be additional agency representatives of the member agency, but these additional nominees must also be confirmed by a majority vote at the next business meeting.
Currently there are 48 state law enforcement agencies (out of 49 eligible) that are active members of ASCIA.
There are two national conferences each year. One is held in the spring, usually early May, and the other in the fall, currently held immediately prior to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference and in the same city, in order that member representatives can attend both conferences.
Officers of the Association
The officers of the association consist of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Sergeant of Arms. They are elected for two year terms at the fall meeting of the association held in odd number years. The President and Vice President can only be reelected to that office for one additional terms.