module_02_journal.docx - MODULE 02 FORENSICS JOURNAL THE...

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M ODULE 02: F ORENSICS J OURNAL T HE C RIME S CENE Objectives: After completing this module, you will be able to: Discover how a crime scene is secured. Examine the different ways in which a crime scene is recorded. Learn how forensic scientists and officers search a crime scene for evidence. Investigate how evidence is collected and packaged. Learn why evidence needs to be collected carefully and within legal guidelines. Key Terms Notes Physical evidence Anything that can establish that a crime took place and anything that links the crime to the criminal. Physical evidence might include objects like weapons, fibers, and hair. In fact, virtually any object could be considered physical evidence under the right circumstances. Law enforcement officials may collect physical evidence from the crime scene itself, from individuals connected to the crime, or from a suspect’s car or home. To process and analyze physical evidence, investigators must first recognize objects as physical evidence. Because physical evidence can be subtle, investigators should collect all potential evidence from the crime scene. At the same time, investigators can’t collect everything, or they would have too many objects to analyze. Forensic scientists are trained to recognize physical evidence and distinguish it from other objects at the scene of a crime. Crime scene The place where the crime occurred. First responder The first officer who arrives at the scene is the first responder ; this may be a paramedic, a fire fighter, a police officer, or other emergency personnel, but no matter their title or uniform, the first responder is responsible for making sure everyone at the scene of the emergency is safe.
Overview photographs Overview photographs show the crime scene in wide angles. These photos are taken from different vantage points to show entries and exits to and from the crime scene. If the crime occurred inside, overview photos should show the room as it appears looking toward all four walls. Rooms around the crime scene should also be recorded in this way. Intermediate photographs Intermediate photographs are closer to the evidence but still show the area surrounding it. These photos show the evidence in relation to other objects in the room. If a body is present at the crime scene, intermediate photographs can show the position of the body in relation to the rest of the crime scene. Close-up photographs Close-up photographs may focus on an injury, a weapon, or a piece of evidence. Investigators take close-up photos to record specific details that may not be picked up by photographs taken from longer ranges. Each close-up should include a card with an identification number, which identifies the piece of evidence and which case it belongs to. One or, preferably, two additional items should be included to provide scale. For example, a ruler may be used to show size. The evidence may also be photographed by itself, without the additional items.

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