What’s been in the news lately? Well, besides politics, which is no place for The Knowledge Nook, it’s safe to say that high profile crimes and investigations usually pop up during a daily newsfeed. Never far behind these sensational stories is the work of forensic specialists - the people, and technology, in the background, helping solve crimes.
Someone new to forensics, or crime scene investigations, might benefit from this quick description from howstuffworks.com.
“Crime scene investigation is the meeting point of science, logic and law. ‘Processing a crime scene’ is a long, tedious process that involves purposeful documentation of the conditions at the scene and the collection of any physical evidence that could possibly illuminate what happened and point to who did it. There is no typical crime scene, there is no typical body of evidence and there is no typical investigative approach.”
Duties – and titles – for a crime scene investigator can vary widely. Whether the job title is called an investigator, an analyst or a technician – all forensic field professionals are strategic players in crime solving and are integral and valuable employees in the departments they serve.
Crime scene analysts are tasked with the responsibility of helping other law enforcement professionals collect, preserve and protect the evidence necessary to solve a complicated crime. Some professionals in this field work primarily in a lab, analyzing collected evidence, filing reports, and preparing for an upcoming trial in which the findings at the crime scene will play a major role in the outcome of the verdict.
A crime scene investigator will have knowledge pertaining to things such as
- Scene investigation
- Forensic photography
- Collecting trace evidence
- Collecting impression evidence
- Crime scene sketching
- Forensic biology
- Sexual assault evidence procedures
- Death scene investigation
- Firearms evidence analysis
- Courtroom testimony
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries and job opportunities can vary, depending upon education and experience. There are several paths to a career and all are worth investigating. Many crime scene investigators have previous law enforcement experience. Many others drawn to the field with no previous law enforcement experience, but they may have a background or interest in forensic science.
Salaries for crime scene investigators vary and are based on employer, experience and education. Investigators are also lifetime learners and are often expected to continue studying the newest technologies as they emerge.
Have you thought about a career in forensics? Do some research and learn all you can about salaries, job requirements and working conditions. And look for more details, coming soon, about PDI’s Forensics Academy.