Crime Scene Investigation and Evidence Collection

Orison: If there is no crime, there is no need for a criminal investigation.

What are the steps and characteristics of a successful criminal investigation?  First is receiving the call/report or detecting a crime in progress. Once a crime has been reported or observed by an officer the investigation begins. Suspects are identified as well as victims and witnesses, Statements are collected and the suspects are secured so they are not a threat to the officers and other people on scene. Next evidence of the crime is located, identified, documented, collected, processed and secured.  The suspect is then taken into custody and transported to a jail where they are booked in. The officer now begins the paperwork side of things with an arrest custody affidavit. Next comes the officer’s report and documentation in preparation for the court process.  Now it is a waiting game until it either goes to court or the suspect and DA’s office reach an agreement. Last is the court process and testifying.  

•Why is evidence collection so important to a crime scene investigation?  Evidence links the suspect to the crime and provides proof that the crime was committed. If the officer does a poor job collecting evidence or does not follow the chain of custody the case is no longer a good one and the suspect walks.

•What can negatively and positively impact evidence collection? Provide examples from a particular crime scene featured in Criminal Investigation or another source. Training and experience have a large impact on whether the evidence collection goes good or bad. A green officer fresh out of the academy may do a better job of collecting evidence that the retired on duty old timer. On the other hand the old timer may have some tricks learned in the field that can help the green officer in collecting the evidence.

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