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Welcome to the February 2022 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Roles and Responsibilities

European Network of Forensic Science Institutes

In a coordinated approach of the crime scene, several specialists are attending the crime scene, each with their specific role and responsibility. The exact titles, roles and responsibilities may vary per country.

First officer attending

action of the first officer attending the crime scene is crucial to its subsequent successful examination and the recovery of all available evidence. It is therefore essential that all officers are aware of the importance of scene preservation and the actions they need to take to ensure that any subsequent scene examinations are not compromised. The first officer attending is responsible for all initial measures at the scene of a crime.

A summary of their responsibilities is provided in the table below.

Assess the scene
  • Primary function: Preservation of life
  • Considering and recording contamination risks
  • Taking notes of the names of all persons at the scene
Protect the scene
  • Identifying the extent of the scene and setting cordons
  • Preventing access by any other persons
  • Protecting the scene if there is a likelihood of a loss or damage to evidence by adverse weather, etc.
Communicate the situation at the scene
  • Inform control of the full situation
  • Request specialist support and a supervisor
Commence log of scene
  • Recording of all persons, police and other agencies from outside the cordon, together with vehicles attending the scene. Date and time of arrival and departure, and reason for visit are recorded as well.
  • Recording of any initial actions taken to preserve the integrity of evidence.

First police supervisor

The first police supervisor is usually the highest-ranking officer present at the scene. The responsibilities of this person are summarized in the table below.

Ensure that the above actions have been completed
  • The actions mentioned in the previous paragraph, allocated to the first attending officer, have to be completed
Review and/or implement appropriate cordons
  • It is better that cordons are set too large than too small: they can always be reduced later.
Protect the scene
  • Where there is a likelihood that physical evidence may be damaged or destroyed by weather conditions or other means, undertake appropriate emergency preservation.
Establish a rendezvous point
  • A rendezvous point should be established at the outer cordon
  • The rendezvous point should be communicated to all staff so that they can report to the officer responsible for the Crime Scene Entry Logon arrival at the scene.

Crime Scene Examiner

Following the actions taken by the first officer and supervisor at the scene, a Scene of Crime Examiner (SCE) will attend and make an early assessment, taking any actions necessary to further preserve the scene prior to starting the examination. In the case of serious and major crime the SCE may wait for the

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NOTE: This article is an excerpt from the document "Best Practice Manual for Scene of Crime Examination" by the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes. Read more about the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes on their website at

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This Month's Featured Resource on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website

This updated Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide to Law Enforcement is a revision of the original publication published in January 2000, and borrows heavily from that work. The resulting document includes detailed procedural guides for the complete range of crime scene investigation tasks — from securing the scene to submitting the evidence. This publication provides law enforcement professionals and first responders step-by-step guidance in this crucial first phase of the justice process.

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Crime Scene Specialist I
San Bernardino County Sheriff, San Bernardino, California, USA

Final Filing Date: February 22, 2022
This is the trainee level in the series; incumbents work under immediate supervision while receiving training and acquire the knowledge and skills required for promotion to the Sheriff's Crimes Scene Specialist II level. Positions in this series are responsible for collecting, documenting, and preserving physical evidence at crime scenes; performs other duties as required.
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Myrtle Beach Police Department, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Final Filing Date: March 1, 2022
Under the supervision of the Crime Scene Supervisor, the Crime Scene Technician is responsible for the processing and documentation of crime scenes, as well as the collection and preservation of evidence.
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Greenville Police Department, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Final Filing Date: March 3, 2022
Respond to crime scenes to collect and document evidence; Photograph crime scenes; Package evidence for proper storage and examination; Perform presumptive tests at the scene as needed;
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Crime Scene Unit Technician
Odessa Police Department, Odessa, Texas, USA

Final Filing Date: Open until filled
Responds to crime scenes as directed, and assists OPD officers with investigations by processing the crime scene for evidence; collects and preserves crime scene and accident scene evidence to aid in the prosecution of criminals and crimes;
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Forensic Analytical Crime Lab, Hayward, California, USA

Final Filing Date: Open until filled
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Final Filing Date: February 24, 2022
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Latent Print Examiner - Crime Scene Specialist
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Final Filing Date: March 2, 2022
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