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Criminal Justice Investigation

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Crime Scene Processing & Investigating

Presented to Crown College in Partial Fulfillment of Criminal Investigation

by

Harley Caudell

Feb 25th 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 (http://www.rcmp-learning.org/copp/encopp/s_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 (http://www.rcmp-learning.org/copp/encopp/s_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 mortis, 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 (http://www.rcmp-learning.org/copp/encopp/s_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 (http://www.rcmp-learning.org/copp/encopp/s_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,

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