Processing & Investigating Presented to Crown College in Partial Fulfillment of Criminal InvestigationbyHarley CaudellFeb 25 th 2005 Page 1 Throughout the course of this paper I am going to talk about crime scene investigating, as well as, crime scene processing. I will talk about what a crime scene is what makes it a crime scene. That happens at a crime scene, also, what to look for at a crime scene. I will talk about who is involved in processing a crime scene and when or if other jurisdictions need to be brought in. The first thing that happens when there is a crime being reported is the police are notified by the dispatcher.
The police then record the time and the subject of the call. They also need to be sure to record who made the call and what was said during the call. Lastly the police need to be sure to record the dispatchers name and or number. Police going to a call have to be very alert and watch for fleeing suspects, witnesses or victims and the way to the call. They have to record their route to the scene and their time of arrival. Police should always park away from the scene and the evidence.
Finally they want to be sure to notify the dispatcher when they arrive at the scene (web crime / htm ). Once the police have arrived at the scene, they first have to verify the problem. They have to record the time and the situation. They also need to be sure to record how they learned about the crime or who told them. They would also want to record the appearance of suspects.
Then they would want to notify the dispatcher of the situation (web crime. htm). Another very important priority for the police when they arrive at the crime scene is to give emergency aid if necessary, to all victims, witnesses, or suspects. Officers need to call for medical help immediately but they still need to give the appropriate aid until medics arrive.
Sustaining life and minimizing injuries is a top priority of all officers. They are never to assume a person is dead unless the body is already in rigor mort is, or the body is decomposing, or the trunk or head is severed. If there is a death the medial examiner needs to be called immediately (web crime. htm). Page 2 After the situation has been assessed, everything is recorded, and the injured or dead have been cared for the crime scene needs to be protected. This is a major responsibility of the first officers that arrive at the scene of the crime.
This may include locking doors, roping or barricading the area, as well as, guarding the area. This has to be done until the preliminary investigation is completed. Officers also want to be sure to record anyone leaving or entering the crime scene (Bennett & Hess, 12-13). Officers must be sure to secure the evidence. This means covering the dead, if there are any, with a blanket. With any outdoor evidence needs to be covered with a box, tarp, or a blanket.
Officers should never touch or remove evidence unless it is short lived, might be removed by onlookers, or it could be easily damaged by the weather (web crime. htm). The first step in the investigation is called the preliminary investigation. This comes after the emergency aid has been given, and the crime scene has been secured. There are several steps, and the order depends on the specific crime and what type of evidence is available as well as the witnesses, if there are any. The responsibilities are measuring, photographing, videotaping and sketching the crime scene.
They have to search for any evidence. Once the evidence has been found it has to be identified, collected, examined and processed. The victims, witnesses and the suspects have to all be questioned. The police have to record all statements and observations in their notes. If it is a simple case it may be handled by only one officer. If the case is a lot more complex then the responsibilities are often times divided among several different officers.
Everything that is recorded and collected has to be accurate and complete (Bennett & Hess, 13). When doing an investigation the officer wants to be sure to keep very good notes. If the notes are done correctly they will be a huge help for the prosecution when introduced into court. Improper notes can be a devastating blow for the prosecution if they are entered into court. The original notes are considered the highest available degree of proof that can be produced. Many officers make the mistake of throwing away their original notes after they have written the report, however, they should be kept in the case file for future reference, especially in court (Bennett & Hess, 38-39).
When investigating the crime officers want to isolate the witnesses and the suspects so they don’t have a chance to change their story. When questioning the witnesses and the victims officers need to be sure and record all conversations, and determine whether they are suspects or not. They need to ask for descriptions of the suspect or suspects, the suspects’ vehicles, the direction of travel and if they had any weapons. The officers have to consider broadcasting information about the suspect, whether or not to use checkpoints.
They need to record anything unusual such as odors or nearby vehicles. They need to record the weather conditions, as well as, draw a diagram of the scene (web crime. htm). Regarding evidence you have to identify, file and maintain the continuity of evidence.
Evidence may include photographs, sketches, and physical evidence. The photograph to be admissible in court has to be relevant to the case. It may be a material photograph, which relates to a specific case and subject. A relative photograph helps explain testimony, and a competent photograph accurately represents what it purports to represent, it is properly identified and is properly placed in the chain of evidence and is secured until it is presented in court.
Sketches have several steps to them. First you have the rough sketch. The first step of the sketch is to observe and plan. Step two is to measure and outline the area. Step three is plot ting the objects and evidence.
Step Four is to take notes, Step five is identify the scene, Step Six is to reassess the sketch. Next you want to be sure to file the sketch and then complete a finished scale drawing (Bennett & Hess, 48-56). When searching the crime scene for physical evidence you have to look for items that vary in size. They can range anywhere from large objects to minute substances. It is very important to understand what types of evidence can be found at various types of crime scenes. There will be some things that are not found at the crime scene, however.
When investigating a burglary you need to know to look for tool marks on a door or a broken door or window. A forcible rape you want to look at bruises semen stains or witnesses that may have heard screaming. Things like this are very important for an investigator to know to look for (Bennett & Hess, 71). As you can see there are many different steps in investigating crime scenes. It is very important that an officer follow the proper steps in an investigation. Failure to do this can result in a suspect to go free, possible charges against the department.
This is for the protection of the victims, witnesses and the suspects. CITES web crime. htm Bennett, Wayne W & Hess, Karen M (2004). Criminal Investigation, 12-13, 38-39, 48-56, 71. web M/Sgt. Hayden B.
Baldwin, Retired. 3/2000.