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Starting a CSI Team

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 54 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2006 Pages: 108-112
Don Shingara
Date Published
May 2006
4 pages
This article describes how the Roseville Police Department (California) created a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) after having had only two identification technicians (ID techs) to process crime scenes.
The chief decided that the time was not right for a full-time CSI unit, but he approved the development of an ancillary team of officers who would be trained for and subject to call-out for major crime scenes. The two current full-time ID techs would be absorbed into the team. The 10-person team created consisted of the 2 full-time ID techs and 8 additional personnel including 2 sergeants to manage the unit. Criteria for selection to the team were being energetic, analytical, willing to learn, being outspoken, ability to think abstractly, and attention to detail. The team ultimately included two community services officers, one crime analyst, and three sworn patrol officers of varying experience, in addition to the two sergeants and the two ID techs. A firefighter/arson investigator was added later. Each team member selected a primary and secondary specialty in which to be trained. After the basic class, the team members will be trained in their specialties, followed by participation in advanced CSI courses after gaining some experience working various crime scenes. The CSI team was formed and operating after only 11 months from the initial concept, due largely to the chief's commitment to the project. Currently, the CSI team shares an equipment trailer with the Traffic Unit's Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT), which investigates serious or fatal crashes. Since many aspects of CSI and MAIT overlap, the MAIT investigators are used as backup and additional staff for the CSI team.