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CJ 355 Criminalistics: Crime scene investigation

by: George Maxwell Miller

CJ 355 Criminalistics: Crime scene investigation CJ 355

Marketplace > University of Louisville > Criminology and Criminal Justice > CJ 355 > CJ 355 Criminalistics Crime scene investigation
George Maxwell Miller
U of L
GPA 3.7

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About this Document

This consists of the basic principles and fundamentals of investigating a crime scene. Some examples of the material: Primary crime scene Five basic scene contamination's Initiation of the inves...
Cassandra Rausch
Class Notes
CJ, CJ 355, Criminalistics, crime scene, investigation
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by George Maxwell Miller on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 355 at University of Louisville taught by Cassandra Rausch in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Criminalistics in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of Louisville.

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Date Created: 03/10/16
Crime Scene Investigation 3/10/16 11:31 AM Three basic principles • Rapid Response • Everything should be considered evidence • Secure the scene and notify homicide investigators Five Components • Teamwork • Documentation • Preservation • Common Sense • Flexibility IF YOU ARE NOT AN INVESTIGATOR YOU DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. EVER. However, there are EXCEPTIONS ONCE AN ITEM HAS BEEN MOVED OR ALTERED IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO RESTORE IT TO ITS ORIGINAL POSITION OR CONDITION Primary vs. Secondary Crime Scene • Primary Crime Scene o Location where the crime was located • Secondary Crime Scene (THERE IS NO SECONDARY CRIME SCENE) Protecting the crime scene • Determine the area to blocked off • No entry of unauthorized persons • “Secure area” Five Basic Scene Contaminations • Weather • Relatives and friends of the victims • Suspects or associates • Curious onlookers • Other members of police agencies and high ranking officials 10 MOST COMMON ERRORS (1-10 on slideshow #2) • Improper response • Failure to protect the crime scene • Not handling scenes appropriately • Responding with a preconceived notion • Failure to take sufficient photographs • Failure to manage the crime scene process • Failure to evaluate victimology • Failure to properly coordinate and conduct an efficient canvas • Failure to work together as a team • Command interference or inappropriate action • Securing the area FIRST before assisting • Chain of custody Notification of the Crime • Time and observations are crucial • First officer responsibilities • Telephone vs. in-person Signs of Death • Breath Stoppage: Lack of up and down motion from the area where the lowest rib meets the manubrium • Cessation of pulse • Eye reflexes • Rigor Mortis, livitidy Initiating the Investigation • Arrest the perp if possible • Detain all persons present • Attempt to assess and determine…. A.D.A.P.T. • A- Arrest • D-Detain all people present • A- Assess the crime scene • P- Protect crime scene • T- Take notes Documentation of events • When handling additional officers, stay professional at all times • Everyone must be time conscious • Investigators must be informed of everything that was touched, moved, or altered in any way by officers or by others who were at the scene when officers arrived Changing of command • First officer • Higher rank or investigator • Superior rank or investigator Patrol officers check list • Preserve life • Arrest the suspect • Protect the scene Receipt of information, initial response, an officer safety procedures • Note all dispatch information • Be alert for out of place people, cars leaving, etc. • Approach scene cautiously • Use all of your senses • Determine whether or not a tactical situation exists • Remain alert and attentive • Make sure you follow department protocol • Treat location as a crime scene until you conclude otherwise • Detain suspect if still at scene • Field notes should include information about a variety of scene conditions Emergency Care • Saving a victims life has a higher value than preserving physical evidence • Asses level of injuries to the victim and request any needed medical information • Point out potential evidence to medical personnel • Obtain as much info as possible before victim is moved to ER • Do not allow EMTs to clean the scene • Get names and workplaces of medical personnel • If applicable, attempt to get a dying declaration (“this is who killed me” or “this is what they look like”) Secure scene and control persons and evidence • Identify boundaries of the crime scene • Identify possible or actual lines of approach to and flight from the scene • Maintain crime scene control • Separate potential combatants • Set up physical barrier to protect scene • Maintain a crime scene entry log Issue an APB/BOLO • “All points bulletin/Be-On-The-Lookout” • Should include as many identifying details as possible Conduct neighborhood and vehicle canvass • Canvass: attempt to locate witnesses who may have heard, seen, or smelled something of investigative importance Administrative procedures for processing crime scenes • CHAIN OF CUSTODY **** • First responding officer has the following turnover responsibilities: briefing the personnel taking charge, assisting in controlling the scene, turning over responsibility for starting another crime scene entry log, and remaining at the scene until relieved • Investigator is required to observe, describe, record, and collect information from the scene. • TAKE NOTES • Record EVERYTHING. DESCRIBING THE SCENE (IN BOOK) : how you would want to describe the scene in the notes you record Interview of ambulance personnel • Who was present? • Did you touch anything? • Etc Handling curious onlookers • Stay calm and courteous • DO NOT ENGAGE. I repeat, do not engage • People are usually more inclined to talk to a detective than a uniformed officer Handling witnesses • Gather info on identity • TAKE NOTES of the initial interview to ensure consistency with “official statements” • Parties should ALWAYS be separated • Questioning depends on the type of person being questioned • Interviews must be done properly and can be extremely time consuming • Investigators must communicate-one person cannot do it all The canvass • Door-to-door roadblock inquiry interview with persons to gather information • Snowball effect • Thoroughness determines level of success • Immediate canvassing may or may not be necessary (who is present, time of day, type of crime) Correct canvass can provide • Actual eye witnesses • Information about the circumstances of the crime • An approximate time of occurrence • Information about the victim • A motive for the crime Ensure that the suspect has been removed from the scene of the crime Interview the arresting officers to determine what they have already done Instruct the officers to document their actions in writing Determine whether or not the suspect has been mirandized 911 CALLS Aids on investigations


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