How to Process a Crime Scene
A death is one of the most horrific events that anyone can face, and many people want to learn how to process a crime scene properly. Crime scenes contain toxic or hazardous materials, which must be cleaned up safely and properly by trained professionals. Unfortunately, these professionals may be unskilled when it comes to processing an entire crime scene clean up. In fact, there are some types of crime scenes that may even require a hazardous material removal (HMR) team. If you are wondering how to process a crime scene, keep reading!
When cleaning up a crime scene, the first thing that you need to do is to secure the area. Make sure that it has been completely sealed off so that no one will be injured when they go into the area. It would also be advisable to secure all surrounding buildings so that if there are any clean up companies coming in, you can assure that their equipment will not be damaged.
Once the area has been secured, the next step in how to process a crime scene begins with securing the crime scene investigator and the processing laboratory. These two professionals will be responsible for collecting the samples and testing them. They will then be submitted to a research facility where scientists can read the samples and draw conclusions.
If the crime scene involves a body, then the forensic pathologist and the autopsies are also necessary for the investigation. There are several different types of crime scene laboratories. One of the largest crime scene laboratories is the National Crime Scene Laboratory (NCCL). NCCL is responsible for the processing of millions of samples each year for the government and other private agencies.
The next step in how to process a crime scene will be the collection of samples from the crime scene. Samples must be collected from the crime scene using proper scientific procedures. These procedures will vary depending on the type of crime scene investigation that is being conducted. Some types of investigations could require the collection of swabs from the suspect, hair, fibers, blood, and even spit.
How to process a crime scene also includes the proper documentation. If an investigator needs to collect any materials from the crime scene, then proper documentation should accompany the items. This documentation can be as simple as a receipt or as complex as a book documenting all items collected. It is important that crime scene investigators understand their responsibility and remain completely organized.
Forensic processing laboratories need to use proper protective gear and procedures when processing any type of material. Gloves, eye protection, and a respirator are absolutely necessary. These materials protect the employee from bodily fluid contamination, such as saliva and blood. These materials also keep the individual safe from any particles that could cause damage to their eyes or nasal passages. Blood spills are another serious issue that must be addressed by professional processing laboratories.
The scientific methodologies used in processing crime scene evidence can be time consuming and exhausting for a lab technician. However, it is vital that the crime scene investigator remains organized and thorough. This not only helps them collect the evidence that they need, but it also helps ensure that the integrity of the crime scene is maintained. Crime scene processing laboratories should strive to conduct their investigation methodologies in a professional manner, in order to provide accurate, complete, and unbiased information to any potential law enforcement agencies that may come across their work.
After the processing is completed, it is important that the processing laboratories store all of the evidence in a clean and organized facility. They should be able to quickly identify all pieces of the crime scene material, and catalogue each piece according to type. Labeling should include; fingerprints, blood spatter, bullet shells, shell casing, etc.
Many processing laboratories house their collection of processed evidence in climate controlled environments. Crime scene investigators continually find themselves cleaning old crime scenes and storing old processing equipment in gymnasiums, storage facilities, and offices. These environments can easily become dirty and sanitized. Storing all evidence in a clean, dry environment will make it easier for the forensic scientists to identify each piece and perform quality testing on the material.
Some laboratories have established partnerships with local police departments. These partnerships allow for easier access to crime scene evidence. Some crime labs will also offer DNA testing, fingerprinting, and other related services. The Police Forensic Services Division and the New York State Police often collaborate on crime scene assessments, crime scene clean up and DNA testing. When crime scene cleanup is complete, it is time to interview the commanding officer and submit a report to the Police Chief. The report is an important tool used by the Police Chief to review the incident and ensure that steps are being taken to apprehend the criminals.