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Essay Example: The Process of Investigating Homicide

3 pages
769 words
Boston College
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The initial actions considered by the first responding officer in the homicide crime scene has a significant bearing on the success or failure of the investigation. The officer ought to arrive safely at the scene, provide security and handle any challenging situation at the site, ensure crucial medical assistance, identify suspects and eyewitnesses, and finally ask for any appropriate aid.

On arriving safely at the scene, Douglas et al., (2013) direct that the officer observes keenly the activities taking place around. The safety arrival is critical, for instance, suppose the officer crashes a car along the way to the scene, the resources meant for the investigation will be deprived as they will be channeled elsewhere, it further delays the response to the scene. Consequently, this may hinder the officer making some crucial observations, getting vital evidence, or eyewitnesses to help unfold what occurred on the site. Nevertheless, the responding officer must consider the policy, thus proceed quickly but cautiously to the homicide scene, park in a manner that disturbs not the scene, appropriately absorb the scene details in the correct time, and note virtually every observation (what the officer sees, hears, smells, etc.). The cautious procession is crucial to avoid contamination or destruction of the potential evidence.

Secondly, the officer provides safety at the scene; the security should not be compromised.To ensure this all the security parameters should apply to every individual at the scene. The main aim is to carefully identify and counteract any threatening situations to the active investigation. The officer should consider the fact that the site may encompass: suspects, secret weapons and assaults or actions related to the homicide still in progress. For such incidents to be avoided the officer present at the site should scan the area for hazards and if any is found, ask for help to neutralize the effect (Four and six, 2015).

Moreover, while at the scene the responding officer should make arrangements for medical assistance. The primary goal instilled in every law enforcement officer save and marmalade life. The driving policy at this point is ensuring medical aid to the injured persons, both victims, and suspects. Although lifesaving is given the priority, other vital responsibilities should not be neglected. These activities include taking into account: the identity of the medical personnel present at the scene, arrival time, and directing them to those in need of their assistance (Four and Six 2015). Narrowing the entry and exit to one helps reduce contamination of the crime scene. Further precautions need to be considered, such as: Establishing instruments or persons moved from the scene without your knowledge since all these information need to be meticulously documented. This also helps minimize the disturbance level without barring the lifesaving efforts. In case the victim sustains life-threatening injuries and may succumb to it, the officer should obtain the dying declaration, promptly informing the victim that for the statement to be used he or she must be aware of the life-threatening injuries sustained.

Also, according to Douglas et al., (2013), the responding officer should consider apprehending any suspect.This helps the law enforcement officers holding into custody the people linked to the homicide. However, if the defendant is present at the scene on arrival, carefully weigh between making the arrest alone or calling for backup, this reduces the chance of becoming a victim of another homicide. If the suspect is successfully arrested, the officer should let the detectives conduct the interrogation. In a case where the defendant has to undergo transportation, the officer should ensure that no questions are posed to the defendant by the officer in charge of transportation.

Lastly, the responding officer calls for assistance. Though this step is taken in union with other duties, it is noted separately to illustrate the actions that must be done by various people present at the scene. According to Four & Six (2015), the central role of trained and experienced personnel in the crime scene is radically enhancing investigation process. The policy further dictates that it is the sole duty of the initial responding officer to ask for additional personnel to aid control the crowd, maintain the area, gather information from the witness, transport witnesses and suspects, and other tasks. The officer is also to follow some procedure like letting the communication unit be aware of the location and also relay information of the resources required to perform an active investigation.



Four, D., & Six, D. (2015). Crime scene investigation and reconstruction.

Douglas, J., Burgess, A. W., Burgess, A. G., & Ressler, R. K. (2013). Crime classification manual: A standard system for investigating and classifying violent crime. John Wiley & Sons.


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