Types of computer equipment and media may include
tablets, laptops, desktops, thumb drives, external drives, network systems, removable disks, tapes, digital cameras, and other data storage equipment.
You may also find cell phones at crime scenes; however, you cannot access information contained in a cell
phone unless you have a
it is unconstitutional to search a cell phone without a search warrant unless there are
officer safety concerns or exigent circumstances.
The toxicology section of a laboratory analyzes
samples of blood, to determine chemical and alcohol content, and urine, to detect chemical content.
Toxicology also analyzes alcoholic beverages for suspected
chemicals, such as
date-rape drugs or alcoholic levels.
You should be able to identify a wide variety of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia by
sight or odor.
When collecting drug paraphernalia, package
sharp objects such as
needles or syringes in
puncture-proof packages clearly labeled with the words "WARNING:
SHARPS." Personal protective equipment is essential for an
officer who encounters any chemical or biological substances.
Document analysts use
a variety of scientific methods to examine documents for
alterations, obliterations, handwriting analysis, indentations, ink comparisons, and machine impressions.
Should you suspect that the money is counterfeit currency, document it as such and
forward it to the United States Secret Service.
The United States Secret Service maintains
a database of counterfeit
currency with information such as any suspects that may have already
been under investigation; any information that may lead to the
apprehension of the counterfeiters; and the denomination, serial number,
and the location that the
suspect passed or transacted the money.
chain of custody
is a documentation of everyone who handled the evidence as well as when, why, and what changes, if any, were made to it.
A chain of custody documentation
the evidence submitted in court is the same evidence you collected at the crime scene.
Florida Statute s. 918.13
states that it is a felony to alter, destroy,
conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing with the purpose to impair its truth or availability in a criminal trial or investigation.
is the process of making detailed and systematic inquiries and observations about a criminal complaint.
The purpose of an investigation is to
recreate what happened during the incident, identify and locate the suspect, and develop enough evidence to establish probable cause to make an arrest.
responsibility for follow-up investigations may fall to the
primary patrol officer dispatched to the call.
The preliminary investigation focuses on
establishing whether a criminal act has been
committed and, if so, what type and when and where it was committed.
After reviewing the report, a follow-up investigation can include
contacting witnesses,victims, and suspects, reviewing evidence, locating additional evidence, and writing a
capias request, arrest affidavit, or arrest warrant.
is a legal order for an arrest issued by the clerk of courts at the request of the state attorney's office.
The first steps in a follow-up investigation are establishing a
case file, reviewing the information gathered during the preliminary investigation, and identifying and pursuing leads. Locate and interview individuals who may have additional information pertinent to the investigation.
The investigative case file is the repository of all
information derived from both the preliminary investigation and the follow-up investigation
There are several ways to perform surveillance on a suspect's location: 3
moving, stationary, and electronic.
is following a person of interest on foot or in a police vehicle. It requires a safe distance, more than one police officer, more than one police vehicle, and a coordinated approach, none of which can draw undue attention to the officers' presence.
A drive-by at a specific location involves
an officer behaving as though passing by this area is just a part of a normal driving routine. A patrol officer looking for a wanted person often performs this surveillance.
involves parking your vehicle some distance away in a location that allows an approach
to the area on foot in a covert manner.
From a concealed position, conduct the spot checks or set up a fixed location and maintain it
involves monitoring a person of interest through tracking devicesโcell phone or credit
card useโwhich typically requires a court order.
Leads may be
physical evidence, further suspect information, witness statements, anonymous tips, and information gained while interviewing and processing existing information.
A lead is valuable when it
corroborates or disproves the physical evidence, statements,and/or confessions.
is a door-to-door inquiry of all possible sources of information in a given area. It may require additional officers, depending on the size of the area
Walk the perimeter of the crime scene to identify places where people may have been
able to see or hear what happened; consider which houses have a clear view of the crime
scene and are within
Document what witnesses were able to say about the crime; even if a person reports knowing nothing about the crime, it will be important if the person later claims to have
been a witness
Be sure to document when a residence is either vacant or there is no
response to your inquiry; a non-responsive house may require
An address is essential to
verifying that the witness actually lives at the location where you the contact, and is not just a guest.
Without the address and the occupants'
you will lose time locating the witness again.
The Department of Corrections (DOC) lists
inmates released or the supervision status
of former inmates and provides web-based information on all incarcerated and supervised offenders.
such as a company's employment records, employees' medical, dental, or financial
records, or the records of any private organization, business, or another type, are not
meaning mode of operating or MO, refers to how someone does something, usually repetitive in nature.
When comparing modus operandi, consider the following:
โข Does this appear to be a well-planned incident or one committed impulsively?
โข If entry to a building or vehicle is involved, was it forcible, or was a key or
lock pick used?
โข Were tools used? If so, what kind of tools?
โข If this was a crime against a person, what weapon, if any, did the suspect use?
What verbal commands did the suspect give? What was the physical description
of the suspect?
โข If theft was involved, what, and how much, property did the suspect take?
โข What damage was done, and why? Did the suspect do malicious damage to items
he or she could not take away? Did the suspect do careless damage to things that
got in the way, or purposeful damage to gain access to a door or fence?
โข What was the motivation for the crime? Profit, revenge, fun, opportunity,
โข Were any other resources used in the crime?
โข Were any unexplained items left at the scene?
โข Were there eyewitness accounts to the crime?