by M/Sgt Hayden B. Baldwin, Retired
Illinois State Police

The success of an investigation involves a definable crime scene, the initial observations and actions of the first officer at the scene, the trained evidence technician and the investigator. This course addresses the issue of a well trained evidence technician. The evidence technicians most important task at the scene is to prevent the destruction or diminish the value of evidence that may lead to the apprehension of the criminal and the solution of the crime.

This unit of instruction addresses the important task of proper procedures in the processing of a crime scene. The basic crime scene processing course is set up to give intensive three day training on the basic fundamentals of crime scene processing. The course is designed so the student will receive training by lecture, slide presentations, and hands on experience.

Upon completion the student will have the knowledge to thoroughly process crime scenes such as stolen cars, criminal damage to property, thefts, residential and business burglaries, and armed robberies. The student will also receive an introduction to crimes against people such as sexual assaults, battery, and death investigations. The student will be required to provide his own camera and processing equipment.

First Day
Introduction to crime scene processing
Securing the Crime Scene
Examining the Crime Scene
Crime scene sketches
Crime scene photography
Second Day
Processing the Crime Scene
Trace evidence
Fingerprints and palm printing
Latent print processing
Footwear and tirewear
Third Day
Crime Scene Practical
Report writing
Evidence packaging
Overview of the Crime Laboratory
Crime Scene Test

Crime scene protection: This unit of instruction addresses the important task of recognizing a crime scene and its evidence, and protecting the scene until additional assistance arrives.

Crime scene search: This unit of instruction is intended to enable the student to properly search a crime scene for physical and testimonial evidence.

Crime scene processing: This unit of instruction is designed to instill in the student an understanding of the importance of physical evidence. This course also prepares the student to recognize, evaluate, and collect physical evidence.

Crime scene photography: This unit of instruction is intended to develop basic skills in preparing effective crime scene photographs. It is designed to instruct the student in the types of photographs necessary, as well as the lighting techniques needed for good crime scene photography.

Crime scene sketching: This unit of instruction is designed to develop basic skills in preparing crime scene sketches. Various types of sketches will be explained to achieve specific objectives.

Protecting and collecting Footwear and Tire track evidence: This unit of instruction will expand crime scene photography into specific items of evidence. It is designed to instruct the student in the proper methods of collecting impressions through photography and plaster casts.

Collection and preservation of fingerprints: This unit of instruction is designed to teach the student the value of fingerprints and to instruct the student in identifying fingerprints. The student will become familiar with various methods of recovering fingerprints and obtaining inked impressions.

Crime scene reporting: This unit of instruction attempts to make the student aware of basic differences between crime scene reporting and other police investigative reporting. This instruction is designed to educate the student in the proper methods of recording items of evidence in logical order for investigative officers and court proceedings. Preservation of evidence: This unit of instruction will demonstrate the proper packaging techniques to protect physical evidence. The student will be familiar with and able to use the different packaging techniques in order to preserve evidence and reduce destruction and contamination that can occur between the crime scene and the crime laboratory.

An Overview of a Crime Laboratory: This unit of instruction will enable the student to evaluate the evidence collected based on the capability of the forensic laboratory system. The student will know the potential value of evidence collected and be able to identify the forensic analysis that can be performed.

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at
This page created with Netscape Composer, updated 11/01