by Hayden B. Baldwin

A crime scene investigator may be called to a crime scene 15 minutes before Thanksgiving dinner or just as the kids start to open their Christmas presents.  It isn't unusual for the call to come after the crime scene technician is asleep in bed, sometimes after having worked a 12-hour day

But just because the crime scene investigator hasn't slept in 24 hours is no reason for missing an item of evidence or for under working a crime scene.  So it may be "just a burglary"?  That burglary is just as important to the investigating agency as is any other case.  The victim deserves the best investigative efforts possible, regardless of the type of crime under investigation.

The crime scene investigator dresses like the professional that he is: he could be mistaken for a salesman or for an executive on his way to the office.  But this professional may be casting a tire track found in eight inches of snow or working in 95-degree temperature on a body found in the woods.  He may have to crawl under a house to search for a spent cartridge.

The news media often give the attention to the investigating agency or detective when an arrest is made.  When the case comes to trial, media attention often is focused again on the detective's testimony, or on the suspect.  The crime scene investigator gives his testimony, then thinks about the fingerprint he lifted, the toolmark he cast, the cartridge case he located, and the various other types of evidence he processed that placed the suspect, beyond any doubt, at the scene of the crime.  Successful case conclusion gives the crime scene investigator his job satisfaction.

The crime scene investigator may not be in the center of media coverage on a case, but his efforts do not go unrecognized.  The investigators, the sheriff, the police chief, etc., continually express their appreciation.  Since the successful conclusion of a case results from a combination of various specialties, this recognition by the crime scene investigator's peers is better than any news media coverage.

Crime Scene Investigators Job Description

Crime Scene Check List

Crime Scene Equipment

Crime Scene Hazardous Duty

Crime Scene Bio-Hazardous Waste

Decontamination: Crime Scene

Crime Scene Investigator Burn Out

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