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2 I. SECURING THE CRIME SCENE A.The most important aspect of evidence collection and preservation is protecting the crime scene.

3 1. This is to keep the pertinent evidence uncontaminated until it can be recorded and collected. a.The protection of the scene begins with the arrival of the first police officer at the scene. b.The protection ends when the scene is released from police custody.

4 B.Responsibilities of the first officer arriving at the scene. 1.The first officer on the scene of a crime should approach the scene slowly and methodically.

5 2.The officer should immediately begin to make mental and written notes about the condition of the scene. a. A record should be made of how it looked upon arrival and after the scene was stabilized.

6 3. The officer should maintain a log of the significant times involved in responding to the crime scene: a.time the call was received from dispatch, b.time the response began to the scene, c. time of arrival at scene, d. time left scene, etc.

7 4.An effort must be made to disturb things as little as possible in assessing the situation. a.Particular attention should be paid tothe floor since this is the most common repository for evidence.

8 b. It also poses the greatest potential for contamination. c.Notes should also be taken if the officer has to alter something in the investigation.

9 C.Things that should be included in the investigating officer’s notes: 1.The condition of the doors, windows, and lighting (include both natural and manmade);

10 2.Are there any unusual odors present; 3. Are there any signs of activity; 4. How have EMS or fire personnel altered the scene;

11 5. Anything essential identified about the suspect such as a: a.description, statements, physical condition, b.mental condition, intoxication, etc.; 6.Anything essential noticed about the victim should be documented.

12 D. Once the scene has been stabilized: 1. The scene and any other areas which may yield valuable evidence (driveways, surrounding yards, pathways, etc.) should be roped off. a.This will prevent unauthorized people from entering the area and potentially contaminating it.

13 2.Investigators and other necessary personnel should be contacted and dispatched to the scene. a.Under no circumstances should the telephone at the scene be used. 3.Record witness names and others who may have entered or been at the scene.

14 4.Separate witnesses and suspect(s). 5. Do not discuss the events or the crime with witnesses or bystanders or let the witnesses discuss these events.

15 6. Listen attentively but discreetly to witnesses. 7.Protect evidence which may be in danger of being destroyed.

16 E.Only those people responsible for the immediate investigation of the crime, the securing of the crime scene, and the processing of the crime scene should be present. 1.Non-essential personnel should never be allowed into a secured crime scene unless they can add something to the crime scene investigation.

17 2.Have only one entrance and exit into the crime scene. a.An officer should be placed at the entrance and exit with a notebook to take the names of all of the people entering and leaving the crime scene.

18 b.This will sometimes discourage non-essential personnel from entering the crime scene. c.The officer can also stop unwanted visitors from entering the restricted areas.

19 F.Eating, drinking, or smoking should never be allowed at a crime scene. 1.Failure to adhere to this policy unnecessarily exposes the crime scene to potential contamination.

20 2.A command post should be set up. a.The command post should be set up somewhere outside the restricted areas. b.It could be a vehicle, picnic table, hotel room, tent, etc.

21 (1)It can be used as a gathering place for non-involved personnel. (2)It may be used as a place for investigators to take breaks, eat, drink, or smoke. (3) It can be the communication center, a place for press conferences, a central intelligence area, etc.

22 G.Protection of the crime scene also includes protection of the crime scene investigators. 1.One person should never be left alone while processing the scene. a.There are many stories of suspects still hiding at or near their area of misdeed.

23 2.There should always be at least two people working the scene. a.At least one of these people should have a radio and a firearm.

24 II.CRIME SCENE PROCESSING PROTOCAL A.Examination and processing of the crime scene. 1.Step One - Before the investigators begin examining the scene of the crime they should: a. Gather as much information as possible about the scene.

25 b.Use a slow and methodical approach to search. c.Prevent the destruction of valuable and/or fragile evidence such as shoeprints and trace evidence.

26 2.Step Two - Once all of the information has been gathered: a. A mental plan should be formulated as to how the crime scene will be analyzed. b.Ample notes and relevant times should be kept on every aspect of the crime scene investigation.

27 c. The examination of the scene will usually begin with a walk through of the area along the "trail" of the crime. (1)The crime trail is that area which all apparent actions associated with the crime took place.

28 (2)The trail is usually marked by the presence of physical evidence. (a)the point of entry, (b)the location of the crime, (c)areas where a suspect may have cleaned up, (d)the point of exit.

29 d.In some cases, a walk through may become secondary if potential evidence is in danger of being destroyed. (1)This evidence should be preserved, or documented and collected as quickly as possible.

30 B.Crime scene walk through procedures. 1.Primary purpose of the walk through is to note the location of potential evidence: a.This stage of investigation allows the investigator to mentally outline how the scene will be examined.

31 2.The walk through begins as close to the point of entry as possible. a. The first place the investigators should examine is the ground on which they are about to tread. b.If any evidence is observed, then a marker should be placed at the location as a warning to others not to step on the item of interest.

32 3.A good method to use indoors on hard floors is the oblique lighting technique (also known as side lighting). a.A good flashlight with a strong concentrated beam is the only tool needed.

33 b.The room should be darkened as much as possible. (1) Make sure the room light switch has been dusted for fingerprints before touching. c.Do not close any blinds or shades until after all general photographs have been taken.

34 d.In the side lighting technique, a flashlight is held about one inch from the floor. (1)The light beam is angled so that it just sweeps over the floor surface and is almost parallel to the surface.

35 (2)The light is then fanned back and forth. (3)Any evidence, such as trace evidence and shoeprints, will show up dramatically. e.Under normal lighting conditions, this evidence may be barely visible or completely invisible.

36 4.Investigators should take care in order to prevent depositing of unwanted fingerprints at the scene.

37 5.Investigators should examine whatever is over their heads (ceiling, tree branches, etc.). a.These areas may yield such valuable evidence as blood spatters and bullet holes.

38 6.Once the walk through is completed, the scene should be documented with videotape, photographs, and/or sketches.

39 III.FIVE BASIC FUNCTIONS OR TASKS OF CRIME SCENE PROCESSING A. Interview: the first step in processing a crime scene.

40 1.The crime scene technician must interview the first officer at the scene or the victim to ascertain the "theory" of the case. a.What allegedly happened? b.What crime took place? c. How was the crime committed? 2.This information will give the crime scene investigator a base from which to start.

41 B.Examine the crime scene: the second step in the protocol. 1.To ascertain if the "theory" of the case is substantiated by what the crime scene investigator observes.

42 2.Examining the scene to identify possible items of evidentiary nature. 3.To identify point of entry and point of exit. 4.To get the general layout of the crime scene.

43 C.Photograph the crime scene: the third step in the protocol. 1.Photographing the crime scene to record a pictorial view. a.Provides a record of what the scene looks like. b.Visual record of possible evidence.

44 2.Crime scene photographs are generally taken in two categories: a.Overall views of the scene. b.Items of evidence found at the scene.

45 D.Sketch the crime scene: the fourth step in the protocol. 1.A rough sketch should be completed by the crime scene investigator.

46 2.A crime scene sketch may not need to be completed on every case. a. This provides a visual record of the layout of the crime scene. b.It can be used to identify the exact position of evidence within the crime scene at a later date.

47 E. Process the crime scene: the last step in the protocol. 1.The crime scene investigator will process the crime scene for both physical and testimonial evidence.

48 a. It is the investigators responsibility to identify, evaluate and collect physical evidence from the crime scene.

49 IV.COLLECTION PROCESS AND PROPER HANDLING OF EVIDENCE. A.After the crime scene has been thoroughly documented and the locations where evidence was found has been noted the collection process begins.

50 1.The collection process will usually start with the collection of the most fragile or most easily lost evidence. a.Special consideration can also be given to any evidence or objects which need to be moved.

51 2.Collection can then continue along the crime scene trail or in some other logical manner. 3.Most items of evidence will be collected in paper containers such as packets, envelopes, and bags. a.Liquid items can be transported in non- breakable, leak proof containers.

52 4.Arson evidence is usually collected in air-tight, clean metal cans. a.Only large quantities of dry powder should be collected and stored in plastic bags.

53 5.Moist or wet evidence (blood, plants, etc.) from a crime scene can be collected in plastic containers at the scene. a.Transported in this manner to prevent contamination of other evidence. b.The storage time in plastic is two hours or less.

54 c.Once in a secure location, wet evidence, whether packaged in plastic or paper, must be removed and allowed to completely air dry. (1)When dry evidence may be repackaged in a new, dry paper container.


56 6.Any items which may cross contaminate each other must be packaged separately. a.Containers should be closed and secured to prevent the mixture of evidence during transportation.

57 (1)Each container should have: (a)the collecting person's initials; (b)the date and time it was collected;

58 (c)a complete description of the evidence: (d)where it was found; (e)the investigating agency's name and the case file number.

59 B.Each type of evidence has a specific value in an investigation. 1.The value of evidence should be kept in mind by the investigator when doing a crime scene investigation.

60 a. When investigating a crime more time would be spent on collecting good fingerprints than trying to find fibers left by a suspect's clothing. (1)The reason is that fingerprints can positively identify a person as having been at the scene of a crime. (2)Fibers could have come from anyone wearing clothes made out of the same material.

61 2.Obvious or numerous fibers found at the point of entry, or on a victim's body, etc., should be collected in case no fingerprints of value are found. 3.It is wise to collect more evidence at a crime scene than not to collect enough evidence.

62 V.PROPER TAGGING AND LABELING OF INDIVIDUAL PIECES OF EVIDENCE FOR LATER IDENTIFICATION A.The primary purpose in tagging and marking Items of evidence is to be able to easily identify those items at a later date in court. Off Jim Salyer ID #35624 DATE: 5/2/07

63 1.The tagging, labeling and marking of the evidence adds credibility and control to the ability of identifying the item.

64 B.Chain of custody is the important chain of possession for the evidence collected at a crime scene. 1.It usually starts with the collection done by the investigator. 2.The marking and labeling begins control and custody of the items of evidence.

65 C. Chain of custody is defined as the witnessed, written record of all of the individuals who maintained unbroken control over the items of evidence. 1.It establishes the proof that the items of evidence collected at the crime scene are the same evidence being presented in a court of law.

66 D.Chain of custody establishes: 1. who had contact with the evidence, 2.the date and time the evidence was handled,

67 3.the circumstances for the evidence being handled, 4.what changes, if any, were made in the evidence.

68 VI.INFORMATION THAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON EVIDENCE TAGS. A.All evidence collected at the crime scene should be tagged. 1.If the item cannot be tagged then it should be labeled or marked.

69 2.Consistency should always be adhered to in the information that is used for marking and labeling the evidence. a. Include a description of the evidence collected. b.Include the police case number.

70 c.The date the evidence was collected. d.List the location where the evidence was found. e.Include the name of the person and agency of the person who collected the evidence. f.List the brand name and any serial number or garment information.

71 B. Properly marking and labeling evidence packages 1.The information recorded on the outside of the evidence package is just as important as information recorded on each piece of evidence.

72 2.Information similar to that which is used to tag the individual pieces of evidence should be marked on the outside of the packaging mediums. a.The type of case involved. b.The date evidence was collected.

73 c. The location where the evidence was collected. d.Description of item(s) in the package. e. The police case number or identifier.

74 f.The serial number or garment identifier. g.Collector's name and identifier information. h.Where the item is being routed to for analysis.

75 this concludes Protection and Collection of Evidence




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