Citizen Police Academy 2017-11-07

Today we studied the Crime Lab.  The Baltimore Police Department Crime Lab has four supervisors, one administrative supervisors, 38 technicians, and two assistants.  They respond to 17,000 requests per year.

In a crime scene, there should be only police personnel there.  Although evidence is important, the first thing is to preserve life.  Safety is paramount.  Scene security is also a major factor.

When a patrol officer responds to a scene, his main purpose is safety.  The body worn camera is about interaction with the public.  They do not meet the standards for evidence. 

The staff uses dSLR and the brand is Nikon, the same brand that I use.  The staff has to remain unbiased and impartial.  Their report becomes a court document and it can be used by both prosecutor and defense.  The Crime Lab is there to gather evidence.  The detective does the interviews later.  The detectives walk through with the crime scene technicians to make sure that they have the right information.

Evidence is something legally submitted to a competent trier of fact as a means of ascertaining the truth of any alleged matter under investigation.  There are four types of evidence:  testimonial, demonstrative, circumstantial, and physical.  Juries expect physical evidence to be present but these cases are harder to rove.

Besides photographs, the technicians make sketches of the scene and take photographs.  They first photograph the scene is as, from Overall, Mid-range, and Close-up.  They then mark the evidence and photograph the scene again with the evidence markers in place.

If there is a body on the scene, the Crime Lab cannot touch the body.  Only the Medical Examiner's Office can do that.

We were also taught about finger prints.  If a bottle or glass is evidence, it is first swabbed for DNA and then dusted for fingerprint, definitely not the other way around.  We had a class on types of fingerprints and lifting them off the evidence.

We ended the day with a "crime scene."  I think that we all missed some evidence, but that is OK since we are not crime lab technicians but just beginning the basics.  But it was very educational to all of us.

The previous weekend one of my classmates greeted me at the Greek Festival.  She and I both love going to ethnic festivals.  I go only to those where there is no admission charge.  I go to expand my horizon as well as to have a good time and to try new and interesting food.  However, I go to the Greek Festivals also to support the churches.  This is really my main reason for going to these.
 

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