Goals of a Criminal Investigator Determine whether a crime has been committed Legally obtain information and evidence to identify the responsible person Arrest the suspect Recover stolen property Present the best possible case to the prosecutor
Functions of an Investigator Interview the first Officer on the crime scene. Determine if the crime scene needs to be expanded Photograph, videotape, and sketch Take notes and write reports Search for, obtain, and process physical evidence.
Functions continued Obtain information from witnesses and suspects Conduct raids, surveillances, stakeouts, and under cover assignments Present evidence to prosecutors Obtain any necessary warrants Testify in Court
Preliminary Investigation Responsibilities Question victims, witnesses, and suspects Conduct a neighborhood canvass Photograph and sketch the crime scene Search for evidence Identify, collect, examine, and process physical evidence Record statements and observations in notes.
Preliminary Investigation Checklist Was a log kept of activities? Was the crime secured and evidence protected? Were photographs taken? Were measurements and sketches made? Was all evidence processed? Were statements taken from witnesses?
I. Preliminary Investigation A. Initial Response LEAA (Law Enforcement Assessment Administration) recommend a response time of 1 minute or less to a crime scene. “Most cases are not won in the in the court room but within the first hour of the investigation”
Priorities of the 1 st P.O. 1.Aid the victim 2.Arrest suspects 3.Interview witnesses for a composite 4.Provide descriptions to other officers 5.Secure the crime scene a.Locard’s Exchange Principle b.Use crime scene tape c.Keep log of all who enter the crime scene
Responsibilities of the Investigator 1.Interview the 1 st Police Officer at the CS 2.Question victims, witnesses, and suspect 3.Conduct initial walk through + take field notes 4.Document Crime Scene a. Photograph b. sketch 5. Search for additional evidence 6. ID and Collect all physical evidence 7. Record all findings in notes and logs.
Res Gestae Statements Spontaneous statements made at the time of a crime concern and closely related to actions involved in the crime. They are often considered more truthful than later, planned responses.
II. Aim of a Preliminary Investigation A.To determine if a crime has been committed 1. Knowledge of the elements of each major offense (NYS Penal Law) 2. Identify the evidence that supports the elements of a crime Corpus Delecti 3. Establish t/p/o (time, place of occurrence).
Aim continued B. To determine if evidence discovered at a crime scene is what it is thought to be. 1. Field Testing – kits that determine if red stains are blood or white powdery substances are illegal drugs (contraband)
Aim continued C. Establish a Command Center 1. Central location for collecting, collating, and disseminating information for that particular crime scene. 2. Never located in a crime scene
Aim cont. D. Dealing with the media 1. Issuing statements and some information pertinent for public information without violating 1 st amendment freedom of the press. Controversy: 1 st Amendment v. 6 th + 14 th Amends. Freedom of the Press Right to a fair trial
Discussion Question Do you think the news media affects the fair trial of defendants?
III. Follow-up Investigation Goal: To obtain additional information needed to prosecute a case that was not discovered in the preliminary investigation (EX. Weather destroys evidence, uncooperative witnesses) A.Leads 1. Victimology 2. Informant information (Canvass) 3. Beneficiaries (Insurance policies) 4. Determine Means, Motive,+ Opportunity 5. Searching data bases (Probation + Parole for recent releases)