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Thread: Real CSI

  1. #1
    Death Detective is offline I work for the victim
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    Real CSI

    My wife and others have been having a discussion about the CSI programs on TV. I told her that in real life and smaller departments the officers or detectives work the crime scene. That in larger department with a crime lab the technicians may come to the scene and process it. The argument comes in when I tell her that the lab techs do not carry a gun and do not have the power of arrest. Do any of your departments who have a full lab give the lab techs power of arrest and allow them to carry a wepon?

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    Jenna's Avatar
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    Surely the technicians are at least armed with stakes to deal with the vampires that reanimate corpses!

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    from a smaller Dept I will say that excluding a murder the officer on duty catches the case, medium depts have investigators that get handed the cases. We call in the state BCA (crime lab) for murders and other oddball cases and they have investigators. The only people who carry guns are police officers, CSI makes it look like the CSI guys investigate and interrogate and arrest oh and they can lift a print off of anything and everything. There always seems to be an expert on something no matter how obscure. Real life CSI's gather evidence sort through it and hand it over to the detectives or investigators and that is all. Here is a web site that tells you all about CSI http://www.crime-scene-investigator....-response.html


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    THE LAW's Avatar
    THE LAW is offline Around the next turn
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    Around here they are. No matter what degree they have is they have to attend the academy if they have any chance of responding to the scene. Alot of the ones that never leave the lab are certified also.

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    Small town here, so we work our own cases, unless it's murder. At which point we call in BCI and our detective assists.

    My wife HATES when I watch CSI with her. All I do is sit and bitch about what's not real, etc. I actually enjoy the show for the entertainment value, but over time I've totally come to hate Horatio Caine on Miami. The always dramatic bullshit gets old.
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    bikecop3141 is offline Officer First Class
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    I work at a small dept. with 1 detective. The officers (mainly me now, since I went to crime scene class) do a lot of the processing but he gets at least a phone call, and comes out for some things at night. Larger stuff such as murder, we call Metro Nashville to sent thier ID guys. Most of them are LEO's, but they are so short now they have started hiring civilian ID techs, who are unarmed and drive vehicles with amber lights on them. Even the striping is different. They have to have an officer stand by for protection, so I don't quite see the point. Anyway, they seem to be starting to hire more civilians for jobs such as ID techs and helicopter pilots.

    As for CSI: Miami, you have to admit, Emily Procter is HOT!!

  7. #7
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    We have several defectives at our dept. We work our own scenes and solve our own murders. We dont have a local lab so it either gets mailed to the State Crime Lab or driven.

    Yeah, if you watch CSI they make you think that you can lift fingerprints off a drop of rain and tell where a sus[ect bought their shoes from simply by the tracks they leave behind.
    "Sometimes people need a little help. Sometimes people need to be forgiven. And sometimes they need to go to jail."


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    Our local medium-sized (50+ officers) agencies have civilian evidence techs who process major scenes and act as evidence custodians, no guns, no interviews, no arrests. Smaller agencies just have the detective(s) double as evidence tech. Property crimes and basic investigations, the officer handles it. Lab work is done at various state-operated crime labs. Depending on what exam you need, it could be a long drive.
    Watching CSI makes me grind my teeth.

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    Jks9199 is online now The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    As you've probably gathered by now... There's no real rule on this. Some agencies only use sworn personnel with full law enforcement authority to do crime scene work, and this includes some large departments. Others use civilians... And this includes at least one pretty small department I know of!

    Other than time spans for results (I'd love to get latent print hits back in the same week that they're submitted, let alone the same hour!), the biggest "flaw" I see in CSI is that the evidence collection techs also do much of the lab work. That's not typically realistic, once you move beyond basic processing like dusting for latent prints. When you get into chemical analysis and things like that -- you need someone with an appropriate science background to do it. On CSI, the evidence techs do it all -- and handle everything, from crash reconstruction (a discipline all its own) to entymology and zoology... and then they sit in on interrogations, too!

  10. #10
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    Coloradocop is offline It's the PoPo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Death Detective View Post
    My wife and others have been having a discussion about the CSI programs on TV. I told her that in real life and smaller departments the officers or detectives work the crime scene. That in larger department with a crime lab the technicians may come to the scene and process it. The argument comes in when I tell her that the lab techs do not carry a gun and do not have the power of arrest. Do any of your departments who have a full lab give the lab techs power of arrest and allow them to carry a wepon?
    I'm in a big department and our evidence (fingerprints, DNA, etc) is processed by our Crime Lab. The crime lab is staffed by crime scene detectives... So, yes they do have powers of arrest. They are police officers, and they wear a gun/badge/handcuffs as do most of our detectives in other units.

    The only lab techs we have that would compare to your description do behind-the-scenes work in the lab environment only. Anytime we need evidence collected on-scene (burglaries, violent crimes, robberies, traffic fatalities, etc) the crime lab detectives collect this evidence.

  11. #11
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    We have both. Some sworn and some civilians. We do collect our own prints and those are sent to the State lab. Some prints are abled to be identified through a link to the state lab.

  12. #12
    cntryboy0531 is offline THE five-oh
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    With us, our CST's are all civilians with no arrest authority, however, when they are on scene, one of us has to stay with them for protection.

    We're a pretty good size agency of between 600-700 Sworn Deputy's. Commong Burglary's, Thefts, we'll take fingerprints and pictures if need be. With persons's crimes such as battery (fighting basically) we'll take the pictures of the injuries. In cases of great bodily harm where there is a risk of death or disfigurement, crime scene and detectives are called out.

    Robbery's, Occupied Burglary's with battery or assault that are extensive, Homicides, Rapes, any major person's crimes, or a very major property crime, a detective and crime scene will respond out to. Crime scene collect's the evidence, processes what they can at our lab, and sends off anything they can't process, to the state lab. Findings are then given to the detective working the case.

  13. #13
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    In my last department, 1000 officers etc. we had out own crime scene unit. They did fingerprinting, crime scene photos, eveidence gathering, etc. We had all types of Defectives, ooops I mean Detectives. Burglary, Robbery, homicide, Narco, Crime Scene were sworn officers also. We also had plainclothed det.s at the stations to handle the little stuff like Robberies and drug investigations, and any minor to moderate followup investigations.
    In my new dept. we have 3 detectives who do nothing, I mean do everything. Everything that the PATROL MEN DONT DO...
    We do it all...
    A monday morning lunatic, disturbed from time to time. Temporary catatonic madman on occasion..

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    phoenixrose is offline Firebrand
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    Quote Originally Posted by armygrnt502 View Post
    We have several defectives at our dept. We work our own scenes and solve our own murders. We dont have a local lab so it either gets mailed to the State Crime Lab or driven.

    How long does it usually take before you get the info you want, back from them?
    phoenixrose
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  15. #15
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    We have FETs...I think that's a sexy TV show title.

    Seriously though....on a big call. COV (Crimes of Violence - formerly Homicide) detectives take over the investigation, the Medical Examiner handles the body, FET's (Field Evidence Techs) collect/document the evidence, the Crime Lab techs "process" anything and do the fingerprint analysis. And Traffic Investigator is a seperate role too.

    Oh, and I think our FETs have specialised roles, so there may be a firearms FET called out, as well as a scene FET.

    And our crime lab is very well lit...not all dark and spooky...and the whole thing would probably fit in the lobby of the Miami CSI office.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  16. #16
    Death Detective is offline I work for the victim
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    Thanks to everyone for sharing how your departments handle crime scenes. It's like I thought somewhat nationwide. You have all helped me win my argument with my wife. Now....I don't have the heart to tell her what real medical examiners offices and morgues are like as compaired to TV.

  17. #17
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Here's an article about the San Diego ME's office, with a couple of pics....

    http://www.forensicmag.com/articles.asp?pid=75
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  18. #18
    Pudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikecop3141 View Post
    As for CSI: Miami, you have to admit, Emily Procter is HOT!!
    She's the main reason I watch brother!!
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  19. #19
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    I found an old organization chart.

    http://www.sdsheriff.net/crimelab/orgchart.pdf

    I guess we do have CSI!
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

 

 

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