There are several steps that need to be taken in order to process a crime scene. Some of the steps include: securing the scene, a detailed search, documenting the crime scene, collecting and preserving evidence, and finally releasing the scene. All of the following steps are crucial to avoid any possible contamination or otherwise compromise the scene before it can be released. Few, if any additional opportunities exist when processing a crime scene, so the first time is most pertinent.
First responders play a crucial role in the establishment of a crime scene. Upon arriving at the scene, the first responders have checked for living victims and have rendered aid. It’s important to create a perimeter around the crime scene (this can be altered if additional evidence is found outside the initial crime scene). Only emergency personnel should enter and exit from the central entry point to control contamination, by creating an exit point; it helps avoid any excessive traffic through the crime scene. By secure the scene to ensure that no evidence is misplaced or damaged, or otherwise compromised. Do a cursory check of the crime scene to obtain any transient evidence and secure any weapons found at the scene (in this case it was already at the scene with the suspect). Crime scene analysts and investigators communicate with first responders and are quickly briefed on the situation, and now a more thorough search can be conducted.
A scene search is necessary to find evidence such as shell casings, biological evidence etc. At the time, a more detailed, extensive search will begin. Investigators have made their initial notations of the scene and created their hypothesis of the crime. The survey is an organizational stage to plan for the entire search. A cautious walk-through is now done to take a more detailed view of the scene. Each crime scene investigator should be assigned an area based on a quadrant search, assigning each analyst to one area to work from. Based upon what is known from the preliminary survey, looking for evidence that is relative to the scene and even that which is questionable. During the search taking preliminary photographs of the initial scene before doing the document phase, will help create a primary overview before anything has been touched or processed. It also further supports the overall crime scene. Any transient evidence should be identified and protected.
After the scene search is completed the next phase is to document the scene. This included various forms and methods. Capturing the scene using photographing, taking video, written notes, and diagrams all will document the scene. For instance, after initial pictures have been taken at the initial phase of the investigation more detailed pictures are needed. It is important to use overall, medium, and close up views of the scene and the evidence. Use recognizable scale devices when applicable, and always document before scale is placed and after....