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Documenting the Crime Scene

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 23 Issue: 3 Dated: (March 1996) Pages: 40-43
H W Buckley
Date Published
4 pages
This guide suggests ways to deal with a crime scene from the initial report to wrap-up.
Crime scene processing includes locating evidence, documentation, recovery of evidence, and proper decorum by officers. The initial call to respond to a crime scene raises issues of protecting the scene, conducting a cursory search for anyone hiding at the scene, and providing medical treatment if needed. Consideration must be given to equipment required, possibly including protective clothing, and necessary personnel such as forensic scientists or the coroner. Notes made at the scene must contain specific information and follow a certain format, described in the article. Obtaining and processing trace evidence; photographing the scene with different kinds of cameras; using forensic artists and computer specialists to prepare facial likenesses from witness descriptions; and possibly using the Global Positioning Satellite system and the Geographical Information System to obtain a fix on the precise location of the scene all contribute to proper crime scene documentation.