Crime scene clean up is something that all agents, investigators, and police officers will go through at some point in their career. But not every police officer or detective will have the time or the expertise to do this type of work. A simple crime can leave a scene polluted with evidence and crime scene cleanup can be costly. The following guide will help you learn how to process a crime scene professionally.
When a crime occurs, the scene consists of a home or business, and any damage, destruction, or evidence that may exist will be very important to the investigation. As a scene investigator for a police department, the first thing that I am required to do is collect the evidence from the scene. I then transport it to the lab, where I sort, clean, and photograph the pieces of the scene that are most relevant to the case that I am working on at that moment.
On some occasions, I may be asked to process additional crime scenes, outside of my police department. This is when I use my industrial vacuum, zip drive, or I hike the trail to the scene. This is my preferred method for processing crime scenes, but in either event, I must prepare my processed evidence properly in order to protect it, and to ensure its effectiveness. I must also take precautions to protect my health and well-being while processing the scene.
I have a couple of basic pieces of equipment that I use when processing a scene. I will discuss those items below. First, I utilize a brown paper bag or other similar container that has been filled with a source material that contains powdered or broken glass, and a source material that is moist enough to allow liquid absorption without causing excess moisture to expand. I also use an absorbent sock, and I use a disinfectant on the area that is sterile. I always work from the outside, toward the center of the scene.
For example, let’s say that we are processing a scene in a restaurant. The police have arrived and are asking for everyone to leave. At this point, we call in a technician that is experienced with processing crime scenes, and he or she begins to administer a visual inspection of the area. The technician will identify any broken or dislodged glass, any gun powder residue left on the floor, and any other type of evidence that we need. Then, he or she calls out for assistance, and we all gather around and work together to clear away any evidence that is still there, as well as make any repairs that are needed. We then call it a day.
How to process a crime scene in this example would be very similar to how we might process any other scene, if we were dealing with a homicide or murder scene. First, we gather around and perform an investigation. Next, we collect the body remains and clean up any mess or debris that we come across. We then organize the belongings that we want to be processed, based upon the severity of the crime and the location of the incident. Finally, we place everything in boxes, and the job is done.
It might be something a bit more involved than that, though. For example, if we were processing a scene that was caused by drug manufacturing or trafficking, we would probably have to sort through evidence from chemical labs, blood banks, crime labs, and waste management facilities. If we did not have any prior experience with handling these types of materials, it could take us a lot longer to sort through them and process them. This type of activity could be pretty dangerous, so it is critical that we exercise caution when we are processing any type of evidence. We should also exercise a great deal of care when we are handling any type of evidence that has been removed from the scene of the incident.
Learning how to process a crime scene is a good skill to have in the back of our mind. This skill is important for every police officer to have, as handling any type of scene can be potentially dangerous. Also, this skill is important if we are processing any evidence that will be used in court. If we do not learn how to process a crime scene properly, our chances of getting ourselves in trouble with the law are greatly increased.