Crime scene jobs are jobs that are concerned with defining the extent of a crime, securing the crime scene and gathering relevant information from the area in order to help solve the crime. Different approaches are required for different crime scenes. Crime scene jobs can be very difficult and unpleasant, and require strong-minded people with logical thinking abilities and iron stomachs.
Many different professionals are required at the crime scene. These include law enforcement officers, detectives, the crime scene investigation (CSI) unit, the medical examiner, the forensic specialists and sometimes the district attorney. There also may be a unit of clean-up technicians.
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The law enforcement officers usually reach the crime scene first. They will gauge the situation, make arrests if necessary and summon an ambulance if required. They will ascertain there are no potential hazards in the area, and put up tapes and barriers around the crime scene to prevent disturbance of evidence.
After obtaining a search warrant from the district attorney, the CSI unit will take over. They will document the crime scene with sketches, photographs, and video walk-throughs. With painstaking care, they will find and collect potential evidence such as hair, fiber, blood and body fluid samples.
They will take fingerprints, footprints, shoe prints and tire prints. They will collect any weapons like guns, knives, crowbars, etc, and check the area for bullet holes or cartridge casings. They will check for suicide notes and messages on answering machines.
After collecting the evidence, they will tag and log it. Then they will send the carefully packaged evidence to the lab for analysis. The lab report is then sent to the detectives investigating the case.
A CSI unit may consist of several different specialists. These can include a crime scene technician, a crime scene analyst and a criminologist. There may also be a police evidence technician and a latent print technician.
If there is a dead body, the medical examiner will examine it to find out cause and time of death. Additional inputs may be provided by a pathologist, a forensics investigator and a forensics engineer. There may also be a forensics photographer to document the evidence.
Once the crime scene has been combed for all evidence, the clean-up unit may move in to clean the area. Clean up technicians are responsible for cleaning blood from floors and walls, picking up body parts, dealing with decomposed bodies, removing stained carpets and furniture and so on. They usually wear protective suits for the work.
The detectives in charge of the case question and interview the witnesses and suspects. The detectives use the reports assembled by the CSI unit and the lab in their investigations. Both the detectives and the CSI personnel may be required to give evidence in a criminal justice court.
Different crime scene jobs require different educational qualifications. For some positions, it is necessary to have graduate degrees in natural science, law and criminology, and for others a high school diploma may suffice. Educational requirements for crime scene jobs can vary from agency to agency.