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Scene of the Crime: U.S. Government Forensic Handbook

NCJ Number
Date Published
99 pages
This handbook is designed as a quick reference for known procedures for the collection, preservation, and transmittal to a forensic laboratory of many types of evidence for examination and analysis.
Although the handbook was written primarily for personnel in Treasury law enforcement careers, it can be useful for all law enforcement personnel. The handbook describes basic steps designed to minimize the omission or contamination of evidence that could be found at crime scenes for 10 different offenses. These offenses are armed assault, arson, bombing, breaking and entering, clandestine operation, counterfeiting, hit-and-run, narcotics violation, questioned documents, and rape/homicide. Following the section on the management of crime scenes for these offenses, a section presents procedures for the collection and preservation of 14 types of evidence. These are body fluids, explosives and incendiaries, fabrics, fingerprints, firearms and ammunition, food and drug specimens, glass, hair and fibers, impressions, liquids and viscous substances, metals, paint, questioned documents, and soil. Information on the collection and preservation of "miscellaneous" evidence addresses cigarette butts-tobacco, jewelry, magnetic tape recordings, small objects, and writing instruments. The section on the transmittal of evidence to a laboratory includes information on general procedures and a sample transmittal letter. Another section discusses laboratory analysis and examination time for the 14 types of evidence. A glossary is included.