When responding to multiple car accidents, hit and runs, fatalities, and high speed chases, officers can benefit by calling in Crime Scene Officers to assist with the investigation.
Preserving and maintaining evidence collected at a scene is crucial. The key is understanding evidence and understanding the proper way to package it.
In this column, I’ll discuss how to customize a basic checklist to make it work for specific types of scenes.
For the CSO, a good checklist will help keep you on track. While you’ll have to spend some time up front creating the checklist, it will save you time in the long run.
Some of the most challenging scenes to process involve suspected arson. Such scenes call for the special expertise of an arson investigator.
Collecting impression evidence is definitely worth the effort—once you do so, you have duplicate evidence that can help make your case.
In this column, we’ll look at some ways to set a high level of professionalism even when you’re watching the bottom line.
With today’s challenging economy, we all need to figure out the most cost effective ways to do our jobs. By doing your research and planning accordingly, you’ll stretch your department’s dollars without sacrificing quality.
When it comes to processing a scene, you need to focus on the basics. Knowing what evidence to look for and how to prevent contamination is essential.
Any experienced crime scene officer will tell you that the key to doing the job well is protecting the crime scene.
Being aware of the latest technology and the newest advances can certainly be important to performing your job well, but you don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t do your job properly unless your department purchases every piece of high-end equipment.
Impression evidence from tire tracks, footprints, tool marks, extruder marks on different casings, etc. can be just as important in making your case as DNA or fingerprints.
Sometimes the techniques taught in classes and workshops, or the tools or equipment we have at our disposal simply won’t work given the specifics of the crime scene in front of us. When you find yourself in such a situation, you need to think outside the box.
At the heart of every crime scene are two basic questions for the Crime Scene Officer: how do you find the evidence and how do you properly document it once you find it?
Recently scientists have developed a new technique for processing DNA called “touch DNA.” With this technique, scientists can test for DNA without a sample from blood or bodily fluids.
By studying the types of bugs present at the scene and their stage of development, forensic entomologists can estimate the time of death, and in many cases, determine if the body was moved or disturbed and whether the deceased person had ingested drugs.
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. Professionals in crime scene clean up can contribute to the work of law enforcement and crime scene officers.
In this article, I’ll give you an overview of the basic crime scene equipment that every scene officer should have available for every investigation, and then I’ll point out some items you may want to consider for special situations.
For some major cases, crime scene officers need additional help processing the scene. Many departments are looking to evidence response technicians (ERTs) to solve the problem.
Today’s high-tech world greatly increases our ability to put the “bad guys” in jail. But technology only takes you so far. As crime scene officers, we have to expand the role we play in order to take full advantage of the technology out there.
Some of your most important prep work for a crime scene should occur before you ever leave your office. Remember to keep your crime scene vehicle fully stocked with the equipment and supplies that you’re likely to need no matter the type of crime scene.
Every crime scene is different. Yet, our primary job as crime scene investigators is always the same: to tie a suspect to the scene. The way to accomplish this goal is to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene and the suspect.
In order to provide a complete record of each scene, you need field notes and diagrams, along with relevant still photographs that correlate with those notes and diagrams.
One of the most basic—and most important—tasks a crime scene officer has is locating, collecting, packaging, and marking evidence found at a crime scene. In this article, I’ll address the marking of evidence collected.
In order to make the most of evidence, you need to know where to look for it, how to collect it, and how to package it. If you put in the effort to do the job right, you will be rewarded with an even stronger case.