How To Process A Crime Scene – Dealing With Hazardous Materials
Learning how to process a crime scene is more than just collecting the evidence and putting it in an organized location for review. The physical evidence that you collect must be preserved, examined, and compared with photographs and videos taken at the scene of the incident. Collecting this evidence will allow law enforcement to successfully connect scenes and identify suspects. It also allows victims and their families to have piece of mind that justice will be served.
Crime scene processing can include a variety of tasks. One of the first steps is collecting evidence. This evidence is documented in an organized, logical way. Video cameras, digital images, and voice recordings should all be stored as clearly and concisely as possible. Once this information has been gathered, it will need to be organized so that it can be viewed in an organized fashion within a law enforcement agency.
When a police investigator arrives on the scene, he or she may collect anything that is considered potentially usable. This includes blood, fibers, hair, clothing, or any other material that is considered by the investigating officer to be helpful in the investigation. From this collection of materials, the investigator will attempt to process the scene the proper way. He or she will conduct a series of tests and procedures in order to determine where the evidence is located, how it relates to the crime, and if it can be connected to the suspect(s). After the procedures are complete, the investigator will compile the data and make a report.
When processing a crime scene, the same considerations are in play that are applied when processing a criminal case. A police investigator will typically review video footage and still photos in order to establish a connection between the scene of the crime and the suspect(s). For instance, if the victim suffered a gun shot to the head, her assailant may be wearing a gun belt that has his fingerprints on it. If there is any suspicious activity involving weaponry, such as the presence of fired shots or bullet fragments, police will conduct tests to determine whether or not the weapon was fired by the suspect.
If there are any fingerprints or gun residue found at the scene, the investigator will obtain and compare them with the suspects. The police department will typically hold these evidence samples for several days before processing them. Once the data from these samples has been processed, a court will order a DNA test or fingerprint match. If the match is positive, then the suspect is either released or receives an additional charge. If the match is negative, the case is dismissed.
Another concern that is often posed by processing a crime scene is destroying potentially useful evidence. It can be difficult to completely eliminate potential blood or DNA samples because they are so small. Additionally, chemical compounds such as bleach and chlorine bleach tend to erode anything they come in contact with, even those that are not human. This can often prevent crime scene investigators from storing certain materials. The best solution is to simply throw these materials away.
As far as the process of collection of physical evidence goes, it is important to remember that it is not the responsibility of the processing service to preserve the evidence. If the site the material arrives at is not secure, it may be destroyed before it can be examined. Similarly, materials that have been processed are often removed from the scene so they can be thoroughly cleaned before they are transported back to the crime scene processing company. Some companies, such as TDA Forensic Services, prefer to clean their evidence before transporting it.
In many cases, how to process a crime scene can be performed quickly and easily using high quality processing equipment. However, if the material to be processed is large or contaminated, it may be necessary to hire a professional environmental remediation team. These professionals are specially trained to deal with contaminated material and will ensure that it is properly handled and disposed of. Once it has been removed from the crime scene, it is then passed through various sanitation and remediation procedures to ensure it does not pose a threat to anyone else. It is also inspected often to make sure it has been properly disposed of.