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What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence

Investigators and Evidence Technicians

Officer Responsibility: Documentation

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Preliminary Documentation and Evaluation of the Scene

When conducting a crime scene assessment:

  • Talk to the first responding officer regarding hid/her observations and activities
  • Determine the entry and exit points to the crime scene
  • Document every person who is entering and exiting the crime scene and evaluate any biohazardous safety issues that should be considered
  • Identify possible locations and sources of DNA evidence
  • Thoroughly document the scene with diagrams and photographs (with scale in view when appropriate)
  • Document if evidence is wet or dry when discovered
  • Document any bloodstain patterns, with reference points, before collection

These factors can be very important to the future investigation of the case.

NOTE: An alternative light source may be used to locate stains, such as semen and saliva, on evidence before the processing begins.

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