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Chapter 3 notes

Chapter 3

the first responders

duties of the first responders

patrol officer typically the first responder to arrive.

The outcome of the investigation may rest on their shoulders.

Respond and take charge

officers are expected to respond to the scene

evaluate the situation

firmly take control

determine the status of the victim.

What is the basic medical condition of the victim?

Is the victim actually dead or are they still alive? If they are alive provide first aid and transportation to a medical facility.

When medical personnel are on the scene is unavoidable for them to create scene contamination.

The victim is still alive, they may be able to provide important information.

If the victim makes a statement and later dies their statement may be admissible as a “dying declaration”.

Dying declaration

  1. was the victim competent, rational, and in control of their mental faculties?

  2. Did the victim believe there was no hope of recovery and that death was imminent?

  3. Did the statement referred directly to what happened or who was involved? The declaration is contingent upon victim’s actual death.

Law enforcement should accompany the victim in the ambulance.

If the victim is deceased, some medical personnel may still be required to evaluate the victim.

In these cases it may be possible to escort just one ambulance crew member and equipment in order to confirm that the victim is dead thus reducing scene contamination.

Try to limit the number of persons allowed into the scene to attend and view the body.

Arrest the suspect

if the suspect is on the scene it is important to take them into custody search them handcuff them and remove them from the scene as soon as possible. Be aware that the suspect may have important physical or forensic evidence on their body which will still need to be collected and protected.

If the suspect has left the scene, provide information about the suspect to other officers as quickly as possible.

Pay attention to anything suspect might say or do.

Note any unusual behaviors or emotions.

https://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2015/02/middletown_man_gets_30_years_for_killing_wife_with.html

Res gestae: involuntary exclamations also known as excited utterances are an exception to the hearsay rule.

For example an offender may initially say one thing and then later change that to a different story.

Secure the scene

determine if there are any other victims or witnesses at the scene and make sure no one else is there.

Use caution to ensure that officers do not damage evidence or alter the scene.

Identify and separate any witnesses

responding officers should do an initial interview and canvas the area.

Significant witnesses: witnesses able to provide first-hand information, personal observations, or other important information.

All witnesses should be separated from each other. Each witness should provide only what they saw or heard.

#18 video

Protect and define the scene

general rule is that it is always easier to collapse the scene or make it smaller than it is to expand it and make it larger.

Establish a double perimeter around the scene.

Perimeter one is the exclusion zone: only detectives and crime scene personnel can enter.

Perimeter to the outer scene: creates a standoff barrier to rent the public media extra officers from interfering with the scene.

Stones throw rule: establish an outdoor outer perimeter as far as you can throw a rock or stone 360° surrounding the crime scene.

Sometimes these outer perimeters can include areas where people who are not involved have cars or items located. During the duration of the investigation, those items will be off-limits

protecting the scene includes protecting fragile evidence.

Fragile evidence is anything that might be lost, damaged or destroyed if not protected.

Always report anything that is added or altered to the scene to the responding detectives or crime scene techs.

Contact detectives and crime scene personnel to respond.

Note taking

recording observations and activities is crucial.

Record any events that occurred at the scene after responders arrival.

List all persons who were present at the scene, witnesses, any actions by the first responders, identify fleeing suspects.

Note all changes to the scene. Note every detail lighting conditions unusual odors weather conditions.

See page 44

establishes scene security log

security log all personnel who have entered or departed the scene it should be initiated as soon his practical and continued until the scene examination is completed the security log is helpful to reduce the number of police “tourists”.

Primary purpose is to avoid crime scene contamination.

Locard’s law: the theory of transference. Whenever you enter scene you bring something with you from the outside and when you leave you take something with you.

Do not list:

  1. do not talk to the media witnesses, or others about the scene or case

  2. do not use the phone or toilets at the scene (see page 47 case study three – one)

  3. do not use a blanket or sheet from the residence to cover a body.

  4. Do not add anything to the crime scene (no smoking leaving chewing gum wrappers cigarette butts other trash or even spitting.

  5. Do not touch or otherwise move weapons at the scene.

  6. No reason to unload or make safe a weapon

  7. do not cover the body: leave the scene the same condition it was found

be suspicious and curious.

Many examples of suspects altering or staging a homicide scene to resemble a suicide or accidental death. Unfortunately there are probably many cases where first responders were lured into believing that a death was a suicide or natural death only to find out later that it was actually a homicide.

GP

Chapter 3 notes

Chapter 3

the first responders

duties of the first responders

patrol officer typically the first responder to arrive.

The outcome of the investigation may rest on their shoulders.

Respond and take charge

officers are expected to respond to the scene

evaluate the situation

firmly take control

determine the status of the victim.

What is the basic medical condition of the victim?

Is the victim actually dead or are they still alive? If they are alive provide first aid and transportation to a medical facility.

When medical personnel are on the scene is unavoidable for them to create scene contamination.

The victim is still alive, they may be able to provide important information.

If the victim makes a statement and later dies their statement may be admissible as a “dying declaration”.

Dying declaration

  1. was the victim competent, rational, and in control of their mental faculties?

  2. Did the victim believe there was no hope of recovery and that death was imminent?

  3. Did the statement referred directly to what happened or who was involved? The declaration is contingent upon victim’s actual death.

Law enforcement should accompany the victim in the ambulance.

If the victim is deceased, some medical personnel may still be required to evaluate the victim.

In these cases it may be possible to escort just one ambulance crew member and equipment in order to confirm that the victim is dead thus reducing scene contamination.

Try to limit the number of persons allowed into the scene to attend and view the body.

Arrest the suspect

if the suspect is on the scene it is important to take them into custody search them handcuff them and remove them from the scene as soon as possible. Be aware that the suspect may have important physical or forensic evidence on their body which will still need to be collected and protected.

If the suspect has left the scene, provide information about the suspect to other officers as quickly as possible.

Pay attention to anything suspect might say or do.

Note any unusual behaviors or emotions.

https://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2015/02/middletown_man_gets_30_years_for_killing_wife_with.html

Res gestae: involuntary exclamations also known as excited utterances are an exception to the hearsay rule.

For example an offender may initially say one thing and then later change that to a different story.

Secure the scene

determine if there are any other victims or witnesses at the scene and make sure no one else is there.

Use caution to ensure that officers do not damage evidence or alter the scene.

Identify and separate any witnesses

responding officers should do an initial interview and canvas the area.

Significant witnesses: witnesses able to provide first-hand information, personal observations, or other important information.

All witnesses should be separated from each other. Each witness should provide only what they saw or heard.

#18 video

Protect and define the scene

general rule is that it is always easier to collapse the scene or make it smaller than it is to expand it and make it larger.

Establish a double perimeter around the scene.

Perimeter one is the exclusion zone: only detectives and crime scene personnel can enter.

Perimeter to the outer scene: creates a standoff barrier to rent the public media extra officers from interfering with the scene.

Stones throw rule: establish an outdoor outer perimeter as far as you can throw a rock or stone 360° surrounding the crime scene.

Sometimes these outer perimeters can include areas where people who are not involved have cars or items located. During the duration of the investigation, those items will be off-limits

protecting the scene includes protecting fragile evidence.

Fragile evidence is anything that might be lost, damaged or destroyed if not protected.

Always report anything that is added or altered to the scene to the responding detectives or crime scene techs.

Contact detectives and crime scene personnel to respond.

Note taking

recording observations and activities is crucial.

Record any events that occurred at the scene after responders arrival.

List all persons who were present at the scene, witnesses, any actions by the first responders, identify fleeing suspects.

Note all changes to the scene. Note every detail lighting conditions unusual odors weather conditions.

See page 44

establishes scene security log

security log all personnel who have entered or departed the scene it should be initiated as soon his practical and continued until the scene examination is completed the security log is helpful to reduce the number of police “tourists”.

Primary purpose is to avoid crime scene contamination.

Locard’s law: the theory of transference. Whenever you enter scene you bring something with you from the outside and when you leave you take something with you.

Do not list:

  1. do not talk to the media witnesses, or others about the scene or case

  2. do not use the phone or toilets at the scene (see page 47 case study three – one)

  3. do not use a blanket or sheet from the residence to cover a body.

  4. Do not add anything to the crime scene (no smoking leaving chewing gum wrappers cigarette butts other trash or even spitting.

  5. Do not touch or otherwise move weapons at the scene.

  6. No reason to unload or make safe a weapon

  7. do not cover the body: leave the scene the same condition it was found

be suspicious and curious.

Many examples of suspects altering or staging a homicide scene to resemble a suicide or accidental death. Unfortunately there are probably many cases where first responders were lured into believing that a death was a suicide or natural death only to find out later that it was actually a homicide.