How To Process A Crime Scene – Choosing The Right One
Crime scene clean up is not an easy task. It involves sanitizing dangerous materials and cleaning up blood, body fluids, chemicals and toxins. It is best left to trained professionals and specialized equipment to deal with this gruesome scene. If the scene of death is in a relatively peaceful neighborhood then you can probably get by with off the shelf chemical cleaners or even household bleach. But for a violent death, even ordinary chemicals can be hazardous to your health.
There are plenty of books on the subject of processing a scene. But do your homework and find out as much as possible about the equipment that is used. There is no point in having all that expensive equipment if it’s not going to be of any use to you. The local police and federal law enforcement agencies usually have a lot of information about the equipment they use. You should also try and get some independent advice from people you know who have been through this.
In addition to police blotters, you should also collect photos of the crime scene. These photos will be crucial when trying to figure out where items should be placed after processing the scene. Remember to save all documents, paperwork and any other material which could be of significance. You should also keep track of any personal items like jewelry, money and etc.
Next, you need to compile a list of everything you will need when processing the scene. This may include items such as a police blotter, cctv tapes, blood stains, etc. Do some research online to learn about the proper storage of these materials. If you are storing them at home, make sure that they are all together in one place. If you will be mailing them to the police department then you may want to keep a box that has labels for ease of mailing and retrieval.
If you will be using a processing company, such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems) or map software, be sure that your computer software is compatible with the computer system used by the company. Make sure that your digital images are all in one folder. If you are processing a police blotters, you may have to upload the entire police blotter into the program so that it can be organized properly.
Another option available to you is to hire a professional who will assist in the processing of a crime scene. Before hiring one, however, it is important to ensure that the firm you hire is reputable. Ask friends and family members if they have any recommendations. Once you have found a few potential firms, you will want to research each one very carefully. Ask questions concerning their experience and the processing of crime scenes.
Be prepared to pay for services on a case-by-case basis. If your particular processing needs are not urgent, you may be able to go with a non-forfeiture firm. However, if you need immediate processing on a blood or homicide scene, you may find that a forfeiture service is your best option. It is also important to realize that hiring professionals will cost you money; therefore, you will want to know what your options are prior to making your decision.
Once you are ready to start processing your crime scene, it is important to have an idea of the overall processing time. You may want to conduct some preliminary research on the firm you are considering to ensure that they have the experience and equipment to meet your expectations. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find someone to process your scene who is late. If the firm is several days late, that will mean that they have already potentially lost you as a potential customer! Therefore, it is imperative that you ask how to process a crime scene so that you will know whether or not to go with the company that was promised.