The Maplewood Police Department is a law enforcement agency with 31 officers and about 9,000 pieces of evidence. In early 2009, the chief challenged the department to bring order to the evidence room by implementing procedures for the orderly tracking, storage, and retrieval of evidence in the hope of attaining the department’s ultimate goal: accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Understanding what happens after CSOs leave the scene can help you do your job better and also help those who need it most: the victims and the people left behind. 80% of victims or their families clean up after a homicide, suicide, trauma, or situations involving decomposing bodies and other biological hazards because they don’t know that professional services are available.
Every forensic facility should have a comprehensive fire prevention and protection plan. This plan is designed to protect the building occupants, preserve equipment and property, and assist emergency response teams. Each section in your forensic unit presents its own fire risks.
These days, crime scene officers are capable of doing more forensic work right at the scene. The more you can do in the field, the more the scientists in the lab can do to verify your work. As technology advances, crime scene officers must advance their knowledge and training. Some key areas to focus on include bullet trajectory, blood spatter, and the proper way to collect sensitive evidence such as computers and drugs.
As a manager, much of your success rests on the shoulders of those working for you. Therefore it is very important to maintain a positive, productive relationship with your employees, and one of the most important things to strive for as a manager is to remain open and approachable.
Your employer must provide you with protective equipment, as well as medical care in the case of an incident, at no cost. Follow these steps after exposure to blood or OPIM by eye, mouth, mucous membrane, or non-intact skin and following any piercing, cut, or abrasion of these routes.
Officers who arrive at a crime scene must be cautious and methodical. They should strive to preserve the scene with minimal contamination and should not disturb physical evidence. The following guidelines should be observed by all responding officers.
Training is important. It’s the one way to improve the quality of your workforce with the staff you have. But training is only valuable when employees retain the information that was taught to them. These training tips help managers get the most out of training sessions.
The OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs) are typically the least restrictive exposure values and serve as a minimum performance standard in the United States. It should be noted that when PELs are established, it is a political process mixed with scientific evidence.
The ICMP was now committed to the task of sifting through the pieces of the world's largest forensic puzzle. Thousands of bodies had been exhumed from mass graves in Bosnia and families and relatives of the missing had formed themselves into associations to collect blood samples.
We all have been through it at work. Some process or change you are driving requires a sign-off from what seems like every manager in your company. Even when your work is done, you have to chase people down (most often managers), process their feedback, and get them to click a button or sign on the line.
Remember that working a crime scene should be a team effort for you and your department. One of the best things you can do is train the field officers and the first responders about your capabilities. These officers are your eyes in the field; it’s their job to call you when they see something that you can process.
In our experience with forensic disciplines, we have identified a number of tasks where eye protection should be mandatory. These range from routine housekeeping duties, to working with solvents and chemicals in analytical labs, hazardous light sources, and firing ranges.
If you boil down all the great people management advice as much as you can, there are really only two things to do. One is to make sure your staff is getting ongoing training, feedback, correction, and motivation for all their work related behaviors. The other thing you can do is to leave your people alone and let them work. The trick is to know when to do which with each person.
Responding crime scene officer(s) must be prepared to process a scene at a moments notice. Officers should keep essential items readily available in police vehicles or readily available toolkits. Below is a list of must have items as well some handy optional tools and gear.