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  • A protected, well-managed crime scene allows for

    the presentation of credible evidence in court that can establish the guilt or innocence of
    a suspect.

    Evidence

    is anything that tends to prove or disprove an alleged fact.

    TWO types of evidence at a crime scene?

    Testimonial evidence and physical evidence

    Testimonial evidence

    is evidence gathered from witnesses

    physical evidence

    consists of objects or perishable evidence such as
    fingerprints, blood, or tire tracks.

    Testimonial evidence is generally less reliable than

    physical evidence because people perceive events differently, do not remember accurately,
    or lie.

    When you correctly identify, protect, collect, preserve, transport, and analyze the physical evidence, it cannot

    deliver false results.

    An investigation occurs when

    you make detailed and systematic inquiries or
    observations.This process begins upon your arrival at the scene of a reported crime and usually ends when you file the initial report, turn the matter over to a detective or
    investigator, or testify in court.

    911 dispatch

    also known as the public safety telecommunicator

    Dispatch may also inform you if someone is

    injured.

    (responding to a crime scene)
    While driving to the scene, formulate some
    key questions that will help you assess the situation adequately: (8)

    โ€ข What is the location?
    โ€ข Are any weapons involved?
    โ€ข Has the complainant indicated the suspect's location?
    โ€ข How many individuals are involved?
    โ€ข How many officers are necessary to safely contain or control the situation?
    โ€ข Do you need additional services?
    โ€ข Do you need special equipment?
    โ€ข Are any special concerns or dangers associated with the call?

    The size of the crime scene depends on the: (3)

    type of crime, the type of evidence, and the location of the evidence.

    Use personal observations and statements from victims and witnesses to assist in

    determining the extent of a crime scene.

    Crime scene perimeters should be larger rather than

    smaller.

    It is easier to reduce the size of a perimeter than to

    enlarge it

    A larger crime scene also helps keep

    crowds away from the evidence.

    Attempt to locate and identify the point of the suspect's

    entry to and exit from the crime scene by visually
    inspecting the scene.

    Evidence of entry or exit might include:

    broken glass or pry marks around doorways.

    Identify the pieces of evidence _____ from the center of the crime scene.

    furthest

    Once a survey of the area is completed, who (?) might decide to adjust the original boundaries or perimeter of the crime scene, based on the size and the type of structure or property they are searching?

    a supervisor or investigator

    Establish boundaries for the crime scene and guard against unnecessary entrance by:

    cordoning off the area with crime scene tape.

    Once the crime scene perimeter is established, do not allow

    allow any unauthorized removal or alteration of any
    evidence.

    Alert officers

    will help protect the scene and the evidence it contains from unnecessary intrusion or handling.

    Curious unauthorized people

    can damage, contaminate, or destroy evidence at a scene. Do not allow them to enter the secured crime scene area.

    Prevent intrusion by anyone who

    knowingly or unknowingly approaches the crime scene perimeter by using verbal commands and directions
    to enforce the perimeter.

    Instruct people to move behind the crime scene tape, advising that refusal may result
    in

    arrest.

    You have the authority to arrest any individual who, after receiving a warning,

    crosses an area marked by crime scene tape

    Protect the crime scene until you can

    photograph and document it.

    in the case of an outdoor crime scene involving degradable, easily destroyed, biological, or trace evidence, protect the evidence from

    weather elements such as rain, hail, lightning, or wind.

    Prior to entering the crime scene to process evidence, determine if the scene location is

    public or private property.

    Public property

    is for the use and enjoyment of the public and is open to the public.

    Private property

    belongs to an individual and is not open to the public.

    A person occupying private property has an expectation of privacy that no one can violate without a

    search warrant or a valid exception to the warrant requirement.

    There is no crime scene exception to the

    Fourth Amendment search warrant requirement.

    who will designate one point of entry and exit for the
    crime scene, and will assign an officer to maintain a crime scene log at that location?

    The primary officer or investigator

    Officers not assigned to the crime scene do not have

    access just because they are law enforcement officers.

    The officer posted at the access point must document these details in the crime scene log:

    the name, rank, and agency of each person entering or leaving the scene, the date and time of the person's entry or exit, and the reason the person was at the scene.

    crime scene log

    provides proof of security and validates the evidence collected at a crime scene.

    If evidence is contaminated or altered in any way,

    document the incident in the contamination list or your report. Include information about the original
    condition of the evidence and the events leading to its damage or destruction.

    who will usually coordinate duties such as evidence collection, securing the scene perimeter, and other assignments.

    The supervisor or investigator

    Larger agencies have

    specialized crime scene units that can process the scene and collect evidence.

    A complainant

    is a person who alleges that a crime has been committed or can be the person who calls the police.

    A victim

    is a person harmed by a crime.

    A suspect

    is a person believed to have committed a crime
    or offense.

    A witness

    is a person who sees, knows, or vouches for something and may make a sworn statement about that information.

    You may not have the time or the resources to question all subjects at the scene;

    determine who has the most information and knowledge of the incident.

    In your field notes, document all witnesses, victims, complainants, and suspects present by

    writing their names, dates of birth, addresses, sexes, races, and telephone numbers.

    Witnesses are often hesitant to get involved they like to

    stay around for the excitement but will often try to leave or
    remain in the background when police attempt to ask them questions concerning their
    knowledge of the event.

    It is extremely important to keep victims, complainants, and witnesses ________ in a criminal investigation.

    separated

    Do not allow the involved parties to

    talk to each other.

    Blocking such communication prevents them from

    discussing the incident and coordinating their accounts of what happened.

    involved parties can be isolated within one large room by placing them

    on opposite sides of the room with their backs to each other.

    Another possible interview controlled area is

    inside a patrol car. However, due to space limitations only place one person in each car.

    Ensure that while victims or witnesses are giving statements, no one can

    intimidate them visually or verbally.

    Some involved parties may have an unknown motive to mislead officers; These type of people

    may want to help the suspect by diverting any possible evidence of involvement away from them.

    People who feel intimidated by you or
    others may say

    little or nothing so that they can leave the scene quickly

    Involved parties may also try to pass
    evidence, such as

    a weapon or contraband, to each other in order to hide it.

    Separating family members during a crisis might make a bad situation

    even worse.

    If an interviewee is suffering from physical or mental
    trauma,

    make a note to interview this person later when he or she has recovered.

    always maintain visual contact with

    victims, witnesses, complainants, and suspects.

    If the victim does not require immediate first aid, ask direct, fundamental questions about how the victim sustained the injury, such as the following:

    โ€ข Who hit you?
    โ€ข What did the suspect use to hit you?
    โ€ข When were you hit?
    โ€ข Where were you hit?
    โ€ข Where were you standing when being hit?
    โ€ข How were you hit?
    โ€ข Why were you hit?

    victim is to notify law enforcement for further documentation if

    bruising intensifies.

    Record the names of medical personnel who provide services to the victim, because

    the court may call any of them as a witness.

    Brief Chain of Command: Share information with your supervisor or investigator to include the following:

    โ€ข when the incident occurred
    โ€ข how the incident occurred
    โ€ข where the incident occurred
    โ€ข all evidence gathered or specific items that are still the focus of a search
    โ€ข descriptions of all property involved in the incident (obtained from complainants, victims, or witnesses
    who can identify the property)
    โ€ข names and descriptions of victims, witnesses, and possible suspects
    โ€ข description of the suspect's vehicle, if applicable and if known
    โ€ข special concerns on the scene such as biohazards, a hostile crowd, at-large suspects, and severe injuries
    โ€ข how the scene is being handled and protected
    โ€ข the scene's boundaries and protection measures
    โ€ข plan for the continued investigation of the incident and the search for evidence
    โ€ข identity of the public information officer who is communicating with the media (When dealing with
    the media or designating an assigned authorized spokesperson on the scene, refer to agency policies
    and procedures.)

    Use your agency digital camera with a

    flash

    Avoid using a cell phone camera;

    the phone may be impounded. (evidence)

    Include a scale, ruler, or identifier in each

    close-up photograph you take.

    Keep extra batteries for both the camera and the flashlight. Florida's climate is particularly hard on
    batteries, as ___ deteriorates batteries.

    heat

    You can use a flashlight for extra

    lighting when taking photographs.

    Photographing the crime scene allows the

    court and the jury to obtain an accurate understanding of how it looked on the day you responded.

    Photos and videos provide a

    visual record that may be stored indefinitely and is readily available when needed.

    Photographing the crime scene is the ____ event that should take place before any detailed crime scene work begins.

    first

    perishable evidence can include

    blood, footwear, and tire impressions, or trace evidence such as hair or fibers.

    Transitory evidence is

    evidence that can blow or wash away.

    Fragile evidence can include

    a bullet hole in glass held into place by a thin window tint.

    When photographing specific items such as blood drops, weapons, or tire marks, place a

    scale or identifier in the photograph with the evidence to establish the original positions and draw attention to relevant objects or evidence for photographing and
    sketching.

    Use a scale or identifier to

    illustrate size and other valuable information relevant to the scene.

    Other examples of scales or identifiers are

    Miranda cards, dollar bills, coins, or rulers that you
    can use as a standard of measurement.

    The overall flow of crime scene photography moves from

    general to specific; use overall, midrange, and then close-up photography.

    Begin at the perimeter of the crime scene and
    take sequential shots by

    framing a panoramic or four-corner view of the scene.

    The midrange view shots

    show the relationship between the evidence items within the scene.

    Close-up view shots

    show the details of a specific item of evidence and must include a scale or identifier.

    The objects you are photographing and the scale or identifier both need to be in

    focus

    Proper lighting provides

    good exposure for the photograph, so that it is neither too dark nor too light for the visibility of detail.

    Proper lighting will also avoid

    glare and flashback from a mirror or glass.

    Standard camera flashes will only project

    9 to 12 feet.

    Consider flood lighting with a flashlight or using the vehicle spotlight or headlights if the overall picture requires you to photograph the scene from

    more than nine to twelve feet away.

    Photographic framing

    is composing the photograph so that it depicts what you are trying to document.

    *For example, in overall or midrange photography, overlap the photos to show the relationships of items in the crime scene.

    Include the case number, location, date and time, and your name when submitting

    photographs

    Avoid including,_____, ____ ______, ____ _______ , or___ in crime scene photographs.

    bystanders, other officers, your equipment, or pets

    A crime scene sketch supplements your

    field notes and photographs and helps with report writing.

    Crime scene sketches are a means of

    documentation that aid in the reconstruction, explanation, and permanent recording of an incident.

    Sketches can show

    relative positions (spatial relationships) of objects within the crime scene that are not readily
    visible in photographs.

    Items used to construct a sketch include a

    blank sheet of paper or graph paper, pen or
    pencil, tape measure, and a template or a ruler

    If you are going to diagram the crime scene, this is the _______ event that should take place after photographing the scene and before any detailed work begins.

    second

    The most common method of SKETCHING is using the

    bird's-eye-view

    bird's-eye-view is also the

    downward observation perspective.

    is the most common method of SURVEYING

    Triangulation

    Triangulation

    is the method that measures objects from at least two fixed points, forming a triangle

    surveying

    (measuring and documenting) objects within the
    crime scene.

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