Crime Scene Investigations
Thanks to television shows like CSI, crime scene investigations are viewed as a glamorous and exciting field of police work. What those shows don’t portray is the important role that independent investigative professionals like private detectives play.
Crime scene investigations are detailed, painstaking work that requires outstanding senses and incredible deductive reasoning skills. Private detectives work hand-in-hand with law enforcement professionals to uncover clues, develop theories and find the evidence that can put criminals away for what they’ve done.
What Goes on at a Crime Scene Investigation?
Gathering evidence at crime scenes isn’t as glamorous or magical as it seems on television. Every crime scene is unique and tells its own story, which is usually only the starting point for a greater criminal investigation. This isn’t to say they aren’t important; they often provide vital clues that eventually enable the criminal to be caught.
At a crime scene, individuals come together from various paths to gather and interpret evidence. These include medical examiners who check over bodies, crime lab analysts who run chemical, biological and other lab tests, forensic dentists who check dental records, engineers who investigate the physical aspects of reconstructing a crime, and crime scene examiners who help to oversee the gathering and coordination all of the possible evidence at the scene.
The Process of Investigation
The first step in investigating a crime scene is to secure the scene. Police will come in, make sure that witnesses are removed and cordon off the area so that nothing is disturbed or tainted. They will gather information from witnesses or those present regarding anything that has been altered since the crime took place, and keep detailed notes.
Next, investigators will extensively photograph and document the scene to preserve as much of the original state as possible. This could include video in an effort to gather as much detail as can be recorded.
Now the investigation begins. Using great care and careful analysis, all the investigators will perform their individual duties, carefully collecting and cataloging evidence, packing it away so that it is not harmed or disturbed as it is sent to various labs for analysis and testing.
Lab technicians then perform forensic analysis of the evidence, and are collated and presented to detectives, who formulate theories and pursue the investigation further.
Private Detectives and Crime Scene Investigation
While most law enforcement have their own investigators, they still often bring in an independent pair of eyes, someone less directly connected to the case, and who is an expert at analysis and reasoning. This second opinion can help to corroborate evidence found, present alternate points of view, and see things that others cannot.
Private detectives perform a vitally important role in crime scene work, and can be vital in saving investigations from corruption of evidence, false charges, and formulating theories. If you love solving puzzles and want to play an important role in our legal justice system, you might consider this important and fulfilling career. Take a look at the steps needed to become a private investigator in your state today.