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Police Response to Medical Crime Scenes

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 71 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2002 Pages: 17-19
Richard T. Boswell M.S.
John E. Ott
Date Published
September 2002
3 pages
The roles and duties of law enforcement officials at medical crimes scenes is the focus of this article.
Police officers’ responsibilities and roles at medical crime scenes are the focus of this article. Arguing that law enforcement officers, emergency medical service (EMS) technicians, and fire officials often work together at medical crime scenes, the author argues that police officials have a primary responsibility for securing the crime scene and relaying vital information to responding medical units. Citing potential dangers to police officers at medical crime scenes, this article discusses the importance of officers, EMS workers, and fire officials protecting themselves from the various hazardous materials often located at crime scenes. Discussing potentially dangerous smoke, liquids, odors, and blood-borne pathogens in human blood, the author argues that police officers’ careful appraising of crime scenes and safety precautions can prevent contact with a majority of potentially harmful hazards at crime scenes. This article concludes that debriefing police officers, following their participation at crime scenes, can help reduce psychological distress caused by exposure to violent crimes.