Collegekid, absolutely without manpower it would be difficult- maybe Monroe needs to get some forensic college students involved...supply the crime and the resources and let them put in the time and investigate it?
Provide me with some free training, resources, point me in a direction and I could put in several hours a week at least, on my dime. I would like to think that I am not the only one that would. Dang I would think some of the folks at the senior centers would be able to help out if they were asked even.
That's an idea that only works in a perfect world. First off untrained people, even given the equipment could not do that type of work.
Secondly, even if you got college students and gave them interns, many interns actually cause more work for supervisors. It's rare to get an intern that you don't have to supervise at least at double the rate you would a regular employee. Plus with interns you lose them roughly every 15 weeks, and they generally work 15 hours or less per week.
Not to mention that unions would never allow either of those things to happen.
So yeah, in a perfect world where the laymen is perfectly trained, no union interference in free labor (not bashing unions here.) and where interns work like full time employees, you might crack one or two cold cases a year.
Personally I wouldn't base who I'm voting on because of their plan to deal with cold cases. It makes no difference in "policing" on a day to day level.