Evidence Response Technicians Take Up the Slack
Most departments have one or two crime scene officers (CSOs) available. Their expertise is crucial, but in most cases, one or two CSOs are not enough to cover the whole territory the department is responsible for. Also, for some major cases, the CSO needs additional help processing the scene. Many departments are looking to evidence response technicians (ERTs) to solve the problem.
ERTs are patrolmen and other officers who are already part of the department and who are already out in the field. Often, when the first responders get to a scene, they can see evidence, but they don’t have the equipment or the training to process and gather that evidence. To solve this problem, CSOs train field officers to process a small crime scene. Ideally, you want to train enough officers so that there will be a couple of ERTs available per shift. Having these officers trained and in the field will save you time—you can probably save at least an hour if you have an ERT who can process a small crime scene instead of having to wait for the CSO to get the call to come out. Trained ERTs can also save you money you’d be paying in overtime. By planning ahead and being proactive, you can be more efficient and get better results.