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Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2014 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Crime Scene Response Guidelines

The purpose of crime scene investigation is to help establish what happened (crime scene reconstruction) and to identify the responsible person. This is done by carefully documenting the conditions at a crime scene and recognizing all relevant physical evidence. The ability to recognize and properly collect physical evidence is oftentimes critical to both solving and prosecuting violent crimes. It is no exaggeration to say that in the majority of cases, the law enforcement officer who protects and searches a crime scene plays a critical role in determining whether physical evidence will be used in solving or prosecuting violent crimes.

Despite Hollywood's portrayal, crime scene investigation is a difficult and time consuming job. There is no substitute for a careful and thoughtful approach. An investigator must not leap to an immediate conclusion as to what happened based upon limited information but must generate several different theories of the crime, keeping the ones that are not eliminated by incoming information at the scene. Reasonable inferences about what happened are produced from the scene appearance and information from witnesses. These theories will help guide the investigator to document specific conditions and recognize valuable evidence.

Documenting crime scene conditions can include immediately recording transient details such as lighting (on/off), drapes (open/closed), weather, or furniture moved by medical teams. Certain evidence such as shoeprints or gunshot residue is fragile and if not collected immediately can easily be destroyed or lost. The scope of the investigation also extends to considerations of arguments which might be generated in this case (suicide/self defense) and documenting conditions which would support or refute these arguments.

In addition, it is important to be able to recognize what should be present at a scene but is not (victim's vehicle/wallet) and objects which appear to be out of place (ski mask) and might have been left by the assailant. It is also important to determine the full extent of a crime scene. A crime scene is not merely the immediate area where a body is located or where an assailant concentrated his activities but can also encompass a vehicle and access/escape routes.

Although there are common items which are frequently collected as evidence (fingerprints, shoeprints, or bloodstains), literally any object can be physical evidence. Anything which can be used to connect a victim to a suspect or a suspect to a victim or crime scene is relevant physical evidence. Using the "shopping list" approach (collecting all bloodstains, hairs, or shoeprints) will probably not result in recognizing the best evidence. For example, collecting bloodstains under a victim's body or shoeprints from emergency personnel will rarely answer important questions. Conversely, a single matchstick (not usually mentioned as physical evidence) recovered on the floor near a victim's body can be excellent physical evidence since it can be directly tied to a matchbook found in a suspect's pocket.

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New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 350 current listings!

To be notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter: <Receive Job Opening Alerts via Twitter>

Crime Scene Investigator  |  Oklahoma City Police, OK
Final Filing Date: January 10, 2014
Salary: $43,346.88 - $66,189.60 per year

Conducting inspections of crime scenes for the presence of evidence such as latent prints, footwear and tire impressions, firearms evidence, blood and other physiological fluids, controlled substances, and trace evidence such as hair, fibers, and gunshot residue; documenting crime scenes by using general and comparison photography, note taking and sketching and/or diagramming crime scenes; processing potential latent print surfaces by using standard powder, chemical, or photographic techniques. processing collected evidence and maintaining appropriate chain of custody to preserve crime scene evidence for presentation in court; completing detailed written reports related to collected evidence and property; maintaining manual and computer generated records and logs of collected evidence and daily activities. the employee may testify as an expert witness in civil and criminal courts, pretrial conferences, grand juries, coroner inquests, etc.

<View complete job listing>
Forensic Services Technician  |  Winston-Salem Police, NC
Final Filing Date: January 17, 2014
$15.42 per hour

Must work varied shifts, operates an identification vehicle to respond to crime scenes; responds to and initiates radio communications; photographs crime scenes; collects, identifies and preserves evidence; locates, preserves and lifts latent prints at crime scenes; prepares sketches and diagrams of crime scenes; administers Breathalyzer tests; processes persons arrested; classifies fingerprints and searches files to identify suspects; processes evidence; forwards evidence to State and Federal laboratories; operates data terminal to enter data and query records; performs various clerical tasks dealing with identification; prepares evidence for court presentations; testifies in court; maintains detailed filing systems and records; prepares detailed reports of activities and investigation.

<View complete job listing>
Criminal Analyst-Computer Forensics Unit  |  Wisconsin Department of Justice, Madison
Final Filing Date: January 17, 2014
Salary: $35,646 - $45,000 per year
This position provides assistance in analytical case support, electronic media analysis and information sharing services within the Division of Criminal Investigation and to local law enforcement. Criminal Analysts use computerized forensic and analytical tools to prepare reports, document evidence, create charts, timelines and link diagrams for the purpose of demonstrating illicit criminal activity or analytical findings, target relationships, time sequence of events and criminal hierarchies. Assignments will require the use of forensic software systems, analytical techniques, analytical software and information systems. The analytical support provided by this position will be for case analysis, tactical response support, strategic analysis, information analysis and law enforcement program support. This position will be specifically assigned to cases involving Internet Crimes Against Children.

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Forensic Scientist I-III - Drug Analysis  |  Texas Department of Public Safety, Midland
Final Filing Date: January 17, 2014
Salary: $3,458.35 - $4,718.43 per month

Performs a variety of complex, independent laboratory tests, analyses, classifications, comparisons and identifications of all types of physical evidence from crime scenes with emphasis and specific recognized expertise in an optional or specialty area identified above. Interprets analytical results, establishes and maintains records pertaining to casework and court testimony, and composes technical reports. Testifies as an expert witness in court. May assist in training personnel. May be required to assume the duties of the Headquarters or Regional Laboratory Manager in his or her absence. Work is performed under general direction.

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Alaska AFIS Operator 1  |  Alaska Department of Public Safety, Anchorage
Final Filing Date: January 27, 2014
Salary: $3,764.00 per month

Make fingerprint identification and non-identification determinations on criminal and applicant submissions. Operation of the Alaska Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AAFIS), and interface systems, working in compliance with policies and procedures of the Western Identification Network (WIN) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) specifications. Prepare written reports on fingerprint identifications and questioned identities. Provide court testimony as an expert witness on fingerprint identifications. Provide training to criminal justice and non-criminal justice contributors in the completion of fingerprint cards and the technical requirements of obtaining acceptable quality known finger and palm impressions. This may require extensive in-state travel. Maintain the fingerprint record repository, both electronic and hard card files. Maintain the fingerprint record archives.

<View complete job listing>
Supervisor Forensic Services  |  New York State Police, Albany
Final Filing Date: January 21, 2014
Salary: $73,768.00 per year

Supervisors Forensic Services are responsible for the administration of the technical and scientific functions of all forensic analysis in the discipline of firearms examination including supervision of testing procedures and reports of findings; technical problem solving and analytical methods; and for the oversight of training, quality assurance, safety and proficiency testing. Responsible for the administration of the technical and scientific operations of all forensic analyses in the Firearms section, including supervision of a team of Firearms Examiners and Senior Laboratory Technicians in forensic laboratory procedures and the preparation of reports of forensic findings. Responsible for technical problem solving of analytical methods and for the oversight of training, quality assurance, safety and proficiency testing in the laboratory. Responsible for continuing education programs and serves as a resource person for criminal justice personnel. Provide overall section case management. Consult with the Director of Quality Assurance regarding laboratory quality issues and accreditation matters. Perform forensic analyses of firearms.

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