Crime Scene Investigator

    Due to the ever growing concern for security in our communities, nations have invested much in law enforcements. It is due to such that we have the Crime Scene Investigation department in our nation. This department engages in investigations to establish the underlying evidence of criminal acts, its gravity and those involved. Such procedures include not only the actual physical evidence collected from the crime scene by the crime investigators but also deductive evidence qualified by a forensic scientist (National Institute of Justice, 2000). It is to be noted here that since the sole duty of a crime scene investigator is to qualify physical and forensic evidence from a crime scene, the individual should both be a qualified law enforcer and preferably have a degree in criminal investigation or forensic science (Layton, 2010).

     This post is written as a discussion of a crime scene investigator. The author in particular takes a look on the actual duties of a crime scene investigator, the training that is necessary and their primary mission in ensuring sustainable security in the community. A discussion on the requirements for becoming a crime scene investigator is also given.

Definition of a crime scene investigator
    A crime scene investigator is basically a trained law enforcer whose sole duty is to retrieve physical evidence from crime scenes for the purposes of qualifying conviction evidence against the criminal offenders (Byrd, 2000). It is worth stating here that such evidence is usually collected from the crime scene which can be simply defined as the actual place in which a criminal act was carried out. Still, it is evidently clear that in some special occasions there is little or no reliable physical evidence in the crime scene thus calling for the use of forensic tests to qualify evidence. Such involve the use of DNA laboratory tests (National Institute of Justice, 2000).

The job and primary mission of a crime scene investigator 
    The job of a crime scene investigator is to collect both physical and forensic evidence from crime scene so as to aid in the resolving of complex criminal cases in our nation (Layton, 2010). It is to be noted here that unlike normal crimes which are dealt with by law enforcement agencies, crime scene investigators are mainly charged with much critical duties which involve high degrees of intelligence. Such scenes include cases of homicide, robbery of murder and sex offences crimes (National Institute of Justice, 2000).

     Since the sole aim of the crime scene investigator is to collect physical evidence from the crime scene, it is his or her duty to collect any available physical evidence including the use of photographing of the scene if need be.  It is to be note here that due to the complexity of most of the crimes involved, most crime scene investigator involves the use of highly advanced equipments or technologies to collect such evidences. Still evidently clear is the fact that the crime scene investigator must provide the evidence to the relevant law enforcement agents. It is due to this reason that their duties involve the individual handling and packaging of the physical evidence.
Another mission of a crime scene investigator is to ensure the ultimate qualification of crime scene evidence (Fisher, 2004). It is to be noted here that this is the most respected and trust legal unit in the American nation. This means that they should always safeguard the reputation and integrity of their office. It is due to this reason that the collection of the physical evidence might be followed by laboratory tests of the suspects DNA before questioning and arresting them for legal procedures (Byrd, 2000). This process involves the assistance of a forensic scientist who qualifies the DNA composition to link with the said suspect.

Training of a crime scene investigator
    According to the current American legal provision for becoming a Crime Scene Investigator, the candidate should possess a bachelors degree (National Institute of Justice, 2000). It is however to be noted that the best degree for ensuring a competitive advantage in the selection process is a forensic science degree. However, any degree can still qualify, especially ones to do with criminal justice. This is because all police departments have a degree certificate as a crucial qualification. Still to be noted is the fact that a degree in criminology with some emphasis in forensics can greatly improves ones chances of winning the job (Layton, 2010).  From this, it is evidently clear that the education qualification for the post of Crime Scene Investigator is highly dependent on the individual candidate although official training is give upon selection.

Another training that is necessary is the fact that one has to be a certified law enforcer (Pepper, 2005). It is a common practice that crime scene investigators have had to serve for as many years in low police positions before qualifying for selection into the CSI. It is to be realized here that though crime scene investigation is seen as an independent unit in the law enforcement, it is highly sensitive thus necessitating the absolute need to have qualify in knowing the law and its enforcement. Still, another requirement is the fact that during the many years of serving as a police officer, one should have participated in crime scene processing activities to increase his or her chances if becoming a crime scene investigator.

It is nevertheless to be appreciated that crime scene investigation is not just qualified by experience as a police but much in involves training in the CSI training college. This college mainly involves training on the reliable use of the crime scene processing equipments and technologies. Another thing to be realized is the fact that every constitutional office particularly such a sensitive security office must be qualified by a clear knowledge of legal justice system and the law before swearing into office (Horsewell, 2004). It is however to be noted here that the crime scene investigator profession in made up of many individuals who work together in coordination both at the crime scene and at the forensic laboratories. It is thus a matter of choice andor individual qualification to determine the place to work in. The forensic lab operators for example must qualify by having a degree in forensic science as well as having credible experience in the same.

How to become a crime scene investigator
    Having exposed the core involvements of a crime scene investigator, it is now clear that the process of becoming a CSI is first determined by the level and kind of education one has. It is in this line that one needs to have at least a degree in forensic or criminal justice sciences. It is also clear that the ultimate success in qualifying for the post is highly dependent on ones experience in the field. This is what makes most of the CSI members to be trained police officers. Therefore, one should seek for an internship with a police department or Criminal Investigation Agents (Layton, 2010). Such gives the individual an opportunity to gain experience in crime scene processing thus standing a better chance in wining the post.

    It is however to be noted that there is much need to proof to the CSI employment board that you are of substantial value to the department. This requires that you acquire as much knowledge on the operations of the department as possible. Such information should in fact include the operational code of private investigating agents and government organization such as the tobacco bureau among others (National Institute of Justice, 2000). Still to be noted here is the fact that technological advancements are changing day and night in our modern society. It is due to this reason that there is much need for all members in the CSI department to continue learning. This should first be seen to increase the individuals chances of getting a better salary. Such also ensures that the officer is always on the competitive edge in the crime scene instigation activities thus increased reliability.

    It has been evidently established that the main job of a crime scene investigator is to collect and package physical evidence from the location of the crime. It is however clear that the qualification demands that the individual should have preferably a degree in forensic science. In a nutshell, the ultimate qualification into the CSI requires tangible knowledge on the law, justice system and law enforcement. This makes the greater percentage of the crime scene investigators have their roots from the police department. Due to the sensitivity of the position and the ever changing technologies in the modern society, it is always advisable to keep up dated by continuing with education. This improves both chances of getting a bigger salary as well as ensuring sustainable quality of services.


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