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  • Crime Scene Operations

    Did you recieve training from your state or your company on operating in potential crime scenes? Can you recongize a crime scene, and if so, do you know how to take steps to preserve it?

    Police Magazine has a very good article on "Crime Scene Response for the Patrol Officer," which focuses on initial response by law enforcement officers to the scene of a crime.

    This article mirrors the training that the State of Florida gives on Crime Scene Management for Private Security.

    Both stress such things as: Identify the elements of the crime scene, including secondary scenes. Secure the scene. Limit access. Preserve evidence using any means available - especially if the scene may be degraded by enviornment (snow/rain/wind/sun/etc). Begin an event log with accurate times.

    What crime scene training have you recieved, and if you haven't recieved any, what is your "gut instinct" about operating in a potential crime scene enviornment?

    This is something that has come up multiple times in my career. Everything from a welfare check on a resident turning into a forcible entry/burglary investigation to criminal traffic accidents. Knowing how to operate in the scene without causing massive disturbance is important - it allows us to complete our protective mission (Is the resident injured/dead/under attack?) vs. the law enforcement mission of investigating the criminal offense (Are there prints/door position/items disturbed).
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

  • #2
    Texas gives absolutely zero training to security officers in the way of protecting a crime scene. The few things I have learned have been from current and former law enforcement officers.
    The most common mistake made by security is to put their fingerprints all over forced doors and property after a burglary. This happens since guards and alarm responders normally sweep through a building to check for suspects if they find forced entry.
    According to what I've heard, this is a source of fierce frustration for police officers when they show up. Some even threaten or arrest the security for touching the evidence, even though they weren't trained any better. Of course, this practice is popular in Dallas and Houston.
    I would seriously like to see state-mandated training on proper evidence preservation.
    "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 1stWatch
      Texas gives absolutely zero training to security officers in the way of protecting a crime scene. The few things I have learned have been from current and former law enforcement officers.
      The most common mistake made by security is to put their fingerprints all over forced doors and property after a burglary. This happens since guards and alarm responders normally sweep through a building to check for suspects if they find forced entry.
      According to what I've heard, this is a source of fierce frustration for police officers when they show up. Some even threaten or arrest the security for touching the evidence, even though they weren't trained any better. Of course, this practice is popular in Dallas and Houston.
      I would seriously like to see state-mandated training on proper evidence preservation.
      There should be nothing said if police arrive and you announce the scene is just the way you found it and no one else had entered the scene. Accurately describe your approach and exactly what you did. Follow that up immediately by a call to your supervisor and write a factual statement for both your company and police.
      N.A.'s advice is worth implementing.
      Enjoy the day,
      Bill

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 1stWatch
        Texas gives absolutely zero training to security officers in the way of protecting a crime scene...
        I agree that much more training needs to be done in this area. Nevertheless, there is a global security company operating in Texas (Granted, it's not state training) that does give some basic training to s/o's about protecting crime scenes. I'm not going to identify the company for privacy reasons, but I did want to advise you that it's being done. It's just not as common as it should be.
        Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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        • #5
          The training is indeed available, but not regulated or recommended by the state. There is even a seminar you can take from LEAPS in this area. Aside from that, the burden of training falls on the individual security company. Unfortunately, that training is not realized or recognized by any agency outside the company.
          "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

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          • #6
            Pa does not have that type of training but I know the crimes commission has joined in on the training.

            About nine years ago I had ordered some video training tapes.. Knowing that we had a low budget, I was able to get the crime scene preservation, weapon Id and work place violence, with the little quiz form. It gave a little more imput to the personnel that were new to the security industry.

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            • #7
              crime scenes

              state doesnt require trainings, companies i worked for never gave trainings, Ive been in actual crime scenes often involving police crime lab folks coming down and snapping pictures, and no ive never had any formal training, which could be bad because had i not taking precautians, as my years of watching court tv, had tought my becareful were you step, and what you touch, or walk through i have never destoried any crime scene evidence, it was funny though one night pd came out to respond on an assualt case they took some crime scene photos the two cops that showed up their flashlight batteries were just about dead, i told them it had been awhile since i charge my light, so i wasnt sure about the longtevity of the light, however out of all the lights mine held beam for the longest although it died about 10 mins later :P so sometimes cops forget things too :P
              Its not how we die that counts.....
              Its not how we lived that counts....
              all that matters is how we saved that one life that one time by being in the right place at the right time....

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              • #8
                I've had training on crime scenes, evidence collection and on the 18th crime lab training. I am certification and training happy, and for this i've focued my company on training security officers in my area. However, most could really careless about "actually" knowing what the heck to do. One night, I was out with a police department and heard a call go out for a stabbing. Security advised that they "had the crime scene". It's definitely one thing to "sound" cool by saying you have the crime scene, yet a totally different situation if you have no clue about crime scene preservation.
                "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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                • #9
                  The biggest problem for the security officer is the situation in which a potential crime scene MUST be entered in order to deal with immediate life-threatening or life-saving issues, which ALWAYS take precedence over any other considerations, including any possible future criminal investigation. Human life is your first concern, always.

                  All of what follows presumes, of course, that you've done a scene size-up and it is safe for YOU to enter. If not, DO NOT ENTER; we do not need responders joining the list of victims.

                  Assuming entry is safe AND necessary, do so. The idea that you will "spoil trace evidence" or otherwise spoil the crime scene for investigative purposes by making necessary entry is less true than "CSI" would have you believe...providing your entry is limited and you document where and what you do.

                  If you must enter the scene in order to render aid or evacuate people:

                  1. Minimize the number entering - preferably, only one. Enlist the aid of other officers or bystanders to prevent others (except medical responders) from following you into the area. This job will be assumed by police on their arrival.

                  2. Take one path in and out, if possible, watching where you step.

                  3. Disturb evidence as little as possible.

                  4. Note anything that you or medical responders must move or alter in order to render aid.

                  5. Make mental note of transient evidence that you might encounter, such as odors, vapors, rapidly-evaporating liquids, etc.

                  6. Take care of the immediate life-saving business and get out.

                  7. Make immediate notes about your activities in the crime scene and share this information with the investigator-in-charge. Include the information in your after-action report, as well.
                  Last edited by SecTrainer; 09-12-2007, 11:39 AM.
                  "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                  "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                  "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                  "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
                    Did you recieve training from your state or your company on operating in potential crime scenes? Can you recongize a crime scene, and if so, do you know how to take steps to preserve it?

                    Police Magazine has a very good article on "Crime Scene Response for the Patrol Officer," which focuses on initial response by law enforcement officers to the scene of a crime.

                    This article mirrors the training that the State of Florida gives on Crime Scene Management for Private Security.

                    Both stress such things as: Identify the elements of the crime scene, including secondary scenes. Secure the scene. Limit access. Preserve evidence using any means available - especially if the scene may be degraded by enviornment (snow/rain/wind/sun/etc). Begin an event log with accurate times.

                    What crime scene training have you recieved, and if you haven't recieved any, what is your "gut instinct" about operating in a potential crime scene enviornment?

                    This is something that has come up multiple times in my career. Everything from a welfare check on a resident turning into a forcible entry/burglary investigation to criminal traffic accidents. Knowing how to operate in the scene without causing massive disturbance is important - it allows us to complete our protective mission (Is the resident injured/dead/under attack?) vs. the law enforcement mission of investigating the criminal offense (Are there prints/door position/items disturbed).
                    Nathan~
                    CIS' SOPs basically mirrors the state's training. Identify the scene.....call LE.
                    " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall

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                    • #11
                      There was some crime scene training in the state mandated training I took.

                      This was a problem when I was an emt too. "But maybe he only looks dead". Sometimes you just back off and secure the scene (and I wish I had some flagging for that) but those other times you just try and preserve what you can while doing your job.

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                      • #12
                        As a young Detective one of the first things I learned when viewing a crime scene of a dead body - was it homicide or suicide?
                        Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                        Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                        Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by craig333 View Post
                          There was some crime scene training in the state mandated training I took.

                          This was a problem when I was an emt too. "But maybe he only looks dead". Sometimes you just back off and secure the scene (and I wish I had some flagging for that) but those other times you just try and preserve what you can while doing your job.
                          My friend is an Investigator with the fire department. He knows they have to tear things down to put out the fire (Investigatos in Montreal have to be firefighters-in lots of other olaces they are members of the fire prevention branch of the service). But he gets really upset when they have done so much damage that he can't determine the cause of the fire. (The fact that the fire department removed the red flashers from their vehicles hasn't helped - the department decided there was no reason for them to respond as an emergency )
                          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                          • #14
                            It is possible to do you job and protect the crime scene. When I was with CDF they always said if you see a device at the fire scene, toss your hat over it, then continue on putting the fire out.

                            Another thing, if its anything with blood or fluids, dead or alive, I'm wearing gloves before I touch anything.

                            Theres no need to act like a bull in a china shop.

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                            • #15
                              Securitas offers only cursory training in crime scene managament. However, in one of my first criminal justice classes, our teacher issued each of us copies of a manual for police to use to train first responders (i.e. security guards, E.M.T.s, police patrol officers) in crime scene preservation. I have reviewed it several times and always keep it in my vehicle. While my hard copy is probably out of date, those of you interested in reviewing the information can find a more recent edition (but not much) online. http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/178280.pdf
                              "A good deed’s like pissing yourself in dark pants. Warm feeling but no one notices." - Jacob Taylor

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