It was CSI night at class yesterday! So for shits and giggles I had to bust out the appropriate shirt. Heh.
Needless to say, it was a hit with both my classmates and our instructors. One of the Evidence guys saw me and said “The CSI tech is here! The class is yours!” 🙂 Gotta love these guys.
So yes, last night’s topic was Crime Scene Investigations and Fingerprinting. Officer Cluever was back (this guy is a riot!) so it was a very entertaining evening. He tells the best stories!
I didn’t take a lot of notes last night, mainly because since forensics is a passion of mine, I already knew 90% of what he was talking about. But here are a few of the things he went over:
• 3 kinds of evidence – Physical, Testimonial (least reliable) and Documentary
• First officer on scene gives aid to victim, preserves the scene/evidence and obtains info from the victim/witnesses
• Number one thing that destroys evidence – the fire department/paramedics! They are rather destructive, but their job is to save lives, not evidence. Second thing that destroys evidence – other police officers walking through the scene.
• A good Evidence Tech can figure out what happened before talking to the first officer on scene.
• Never package any liquids or anything wet (like clothing) in a plastic evidence bag. It can mold. Use paper bags.
Then we got to the hands-on portion of the evening, which I’d been waiting for. We were split into two groups (thankfully my group was smaller). First group would be presented with a scenario and then have to collect evidence from a car. Second group would be doing fingerprinting, then we would switch.
We got the vehicle search first. We were told that there was a woman missing, she worked at Starbucks, last seen arguing with her boyfriend outside of the coffee shop. Boyfriend’s car was impounded, but he said he hadn’t driven it in over a week. Then we were set loose on the car like a swarm of ants. 🙂 This is why I’m glad we had the smaller group because the other group must’ve been falling over each other.
I thought it was funny that when we were turned loose, everyone went for the four doors of the car. Me? I went for the trunk! And gosh, what did I find? Plastic gloves, rope, duct tape and a shoe. Bingo! When I did get into the front seat of the car (that 5 other people had already been in) I also looked UP and saw papers in the visor. Turns out they were MapQuest directions, which led to the discovery of the girlfriend’s body. Double bingo! (Officer Cleuver remarked he thought we were all going to miss the papers) But my classmates did find other evidence, too, like a newspaper dated just a couple days earlier (but no one had been in the car, eh?) a cell phone and a Starbucks cup. All in all it was a really fun exercise.
We did the fingerprinting next, which is always fun. For the first time I got to use the magnetic dust. It was very cool (and much less messy!) but I didn’t feel that it gave better lifts. I’ve had much more success with the traditional black dust. At one point the Evidence tech came by and looked over my shoulder and said “How’s the CSI gal doing? I expect you to have the best lifts in the class since you’re already trained!” LOL! But I will admit the gal next to me did get a better one than I did. 🙂
At the end of the night I finally got my official Volunteer clothes! Holy cow is this stuff nice! It’s a heavy jacket, a hoodie and a polo shirt. All three have VOLUNTEER written in white letters on the back and on the front is the police logo. I’m definitely ready for my first assignment now!