Crime Scene Cleanup >> Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training

Evidence recovery and interpretation at the crime scene is the essential first step in forensic investigations. Several organizational approaches to crime scene investigation and subsequent forensic laboratory activity exist,  Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training  sometimes involving a large number of personnel with varied educational backgrounds. 

Conversely, in some jurisdictions, a single forensic examiner might also be the same investigator who goes to the crime scene, collects evidence, processes the evidence, conducts the analyses, interprets the evidence, Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training and testifies in court. In other jurisdictions, the investigators submit the evidence to a laboratory where scientists conduct the analyses and prepare the reports. 

Crime scene evidence collectors can include uniformed officers, detectives, crime scene investigators, criminalists, forensic scientists, coroners, medical examiners, hospital personnel, photographers, and arson investigators. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Thus, the nature and process of crime scene investigation varies dramatically across jurisdictions, with the potential for inconsistent policies and procedures and bias. 

Some analysts say that the lack of standards and oversight can result in deliberate deception of suspects, witnesses, and the courts; fraud; Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training and "honest mistakes made because of haste, inexperience, or lack of a scientific background.5 In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court held for the first time in Monell . 

Department of Social Services of the City of New York that a municipality can be held directly liable for violating a person’s constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. section 1983. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Partly in response to this liability, most large cities and metropolitan areas created their own professionally trained crime scene units. 

However, in smaller suburban and rural communities, evidence from a crime scene may be collected and preserved by a patrol officer or investigator. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Even in large metropolitan areas, most crime scene investigation units are composed of sworn officers. 

Recognizing that some agencies did not have the resources to adequately train all personnel in crime scene processing, Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training in 2000 the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and its Technical Working Group on Crime Scene Investigation (TWGCSI) developed Crime Scene Inestigation: 

A Guide for Law Enforcement, which stated that "successful implementation of this guide can be realized only if staff possess basic (and in some cases advanced) training in the fundamentals of investigating a crime scene.  Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training However, there remains great variability in crime scene investigation practices, along with persistent concerns that the lack of standards. 

Proper training at the crime scene can contribute to the difficulties of drawing accurate conclusions once evidence is subjected to forensic laboratory methods. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training (See Chapter 5 for a discussion of methodologies and Chapter 7 for further discussion of standards and ethics.) The configuration of forensic laboratories varies by jurisdiction. 

Some are located within a state police department as part of a statewide system of laboratories and training programs. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training For example, in Illinois, state law mandates that the laboratory system provide forensic services to law enforcement agencies in all 102 counties (population 12.7 million). 

Although the forensic laboratory system is part of the Illinois State Police, 98 percent of the casework completed is for the 1,200 local and county police agencies across the state. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Not all forensic services are performed in traditional crime laboratories they may be conducted by a sworn law enforcement officer with no scientific training (some latent print examiners). 

Thus, forensic service providers may be located in law enforcement agencies, may be crime scene investigators, or may be a for-profit entity. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training There are no good data on the entire universe of forensic science entities, although there have been efforts to gather data on publicly funded crime laboratories and non laboratory based providers. 

The committee could find no data regarding for-profit forensic science service providers, except for DNA laboratories, of which there are approximately 30 in the United States. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Publicly Funded Laboratories BJS has conducted two censuses of publicly funded forensic crime laboratories. 

The first census, administered in 2002, established baseline information on the operations and workload of the Nation’s public crime laboratories.  Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training  The 2005 census documented changes in workload and backlog that have occurred since the 2002 census. 

According to the 2005 census, 389 publicly funded forensic crime laboratories were operating in the United States in 2005—210 state or regional laboratories, 84 county laboratories, 62 municipal laboratories, and 33 federal laboratories. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training The estimated budget for all 389 crime laboratories exceeded $1 billion, nearly half of which funded state laboratories. 

The BJS report cites a total of nearly 2.7 million new cases10 in 2005, including a much larger number of separate requests for forensic services. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Some laboratories are full-service facilities; others might conduct only the more common analyses of evidence (see Chapter 5). 

The 2005 BJS census estimated that publicly funded crime laboratories employed more than 11,900 full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel in 2005. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Most crime laboratories are relatively small: the median staff size in 2005 was 16. Distinctly different professional tracks exist within forensic laboratories, ranging from laboratory technicians and general examiners to scientists. 

According to the census data, analysts or examiners—persons who typically prepare evidence, conduct tests, interpret results, sign laboratory reports, and testify in court— Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training comprised 58 percent of all crime laboratory FTEs in 2005. 

Technical support personnel, who typically assist analysts or examiners in preparing evidence and conducting tests, accounted for 10 percent of all FTEs. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Thirteen percent of FTEs were managerial personnel, 8 percent were in clerical positions, and 6 percent were crime scene technicians. 

Similar ranges in the distribution of personnel are evident among laboratories by type of jurisdiction served. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training (The uncertainties in these reported percentages depend on the number of laboratories that responded to the FTE survey questions.) 

A 2006 NIJ report cited equipment shortages (which may include insufficient equipment maintenance) as a limiting factor in processing cases. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training It cited equipment needs at the 50 largest laboratories in the disciplines of controlled substances, trace evidence, firearms, questioned documents, latent prints, toxicology, and arson. 

Evidence submission may or may not be automated, depending on the laboratory. Lack of automation increases the time the laboratory spends on logging in evidence. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training A 2005 survey of public crime laboratories conducted by researchers.

The State University of New York at Albany found that the number of FTEs in a laboratory ranged from 2 to 280, with an average of 34, the majority of whom have bachelor’s degrees. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Because of the distinctly different professional tracks within larger laboratories.

For example, technicians perform tests with defined protocols, and credentialed scientists conduct specialized testing and interpretation. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Unlike many other professions, the forensic science disciplines have no organized control over entry into the profession, such as by degree, boards or exams, or licensure (see Chapter 7). 

Control mechanisms traditionally have been held through employment and job function. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training Of the laboratories surveyed by the State University of New York at Albany, only 21 percent reported having a sufficient number of FTEs to complete their workload. 

The authors concluded that "as total number of cases increases, scientists do not have proper equipment, enough time, adequate resources, Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training enough information from the DA [district attorney], enough time to prepare for courtroom testimony, and the needed resources to provide courtroom testimony.

In addition, "as casework capacity increases, pressure to complete cases too quickly increases significantly, Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training and pressure to extend opinions beyond the scientific method and pressure to get a particular result also increases significantly.

The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) also reports acute personnel shortages in the death investigation system, with a critical need for significantly more board-certified forensic pathologists than are currently available. Crime Scene Clean Up Technician Training (See Chapter 9 for a discussion of the medicolegal death investigation system.)

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