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There's no margin of error documenting evidence

Published on Tuesday, June 5, 2012

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Taylor Bowen is attending CSI Day Camp at the Greer Police Department. The rising senior at Blue Ridge High School describes how to process a crime scene.

Taylor Bowen is attending CSI Day Camp at the Greer Police Department. The rising senior at Blue Ridge High School describes how to process a crime scene.

Broken glass, a white powder substance, and a swab of blood, all waiting to be tested.

Today we learned how to document a scene, pretty easy stuff, or at least that’s what I thought. When the class starts, we go right into a power point. I mean, come on, this is summer time, who is doing power points when we’re not even in school? They weren't your typical power points though. You got to see what officers do at a crime scene, how they scope out for evidence and search the surrounding areas.

The first officer to arrive at the scene of a crime rounds up the witness or witnesses to a secure area, yellow tape the perimeter and make sure no one is on the scene that isn't supposed to be there.

Lt. Jim Holcombe explained that when a homicide or suicide happens, the family members rush to the scene hysterically trying to get in. As much as I understand, if it was my little brother or sister or whoever, I would want to go in, too. A crime scene is off limits to all family and civilians until further notice.

The second officer on the scene is charged with getting the information from the first officer, everything from witnesses to suspects to the noisy neighbor who saw everything that happened while she was gardening.

After you get all that, you need to examine the area where the body is and take a full photograph of the scene. You can never take too many photos. You need to get a set of long distance, midview and close-up photos. Collect your evidence and talk to all witnesses you’re accountable.

When it comes to a crime scene, it seems like you don't really have to do a lot, but you have to do so much to make sure you have everything. Law enforcement officers face a lot of pressure they catch the right criminal.

It is one thing that I can honestly say would scare me and I admire all the officers who do this as a living.

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