10Mission-SpecificCompetencies: Evidence Preservation and Sampling
10 Objectives (1 of 3)• Understand the role that all first responders have in preserving evidence• Identify when a hazardous material/WMD incident could be a violation of criminal law• Identify the law enforcement agencies that could be involved in an investigation
10 Objectives (2 of 3)• Describe the various types of evidence including physical and trace evidence• Understand the difference between evidence preservation and sampling• Describe the chain-of-custody and its importance
10 Objectives (3 of 3)• Understand how witnesses are identified• Describe the key concepts to be taken into consideration when analyzing, planning, and implementing an evidence preservation and sampling response
10 Evidence (1 of 2)• Information gathered to help determine cause of incident• Forensic evidence is used in legal process• Strict procedures must be followed
10 Evidence (2 of 2)• Important for identifying person(s) responsible for event• Evidence preservation should never impede: – Fire suppression – Life-saving operations
10General Indicators That a Crime Is Involved• Anonymous threats before incident• Nearby notes or graffiti claiming responsibility• Suspicious activity on scene
10 Letters and Packages (1 of 2)• May hold explosive or hazardous materials• Causes for suspicion: – Excessive postage (to ensure package is not returned to sender) – Threatening messages on package – Leaks or stains
10 Letters and Packages (2 of 2)It is important to check suspicious packages for visible leaks or stains.
10 Illicit Laboratories (1 of 2)• Produce methamphetamine and other drugs• Construct explosive devices• Manufacture chemical agents• Culture biological agents
10 Illicit Laboratories (2 of 2)• Causes for suspicion: – Fences – Excessive window coverings – Enhanced ventilation/filtration systems – Chemical storage cylinders – Lab equipment
10 Environmental Crimes (1 of 3)• Intentional release or disposal of hazardous materials – Air – Ground – Water systems
10 Environmental Crimes (2 of 3)• Causes for suspicion: – Containers discarded at site – Staining or odors near street drainage systems – Dead or dying plants, insects, animals nearby
10 Environmental Crimes (3 of 3)Crop-dusting equipment can be used as a means to commit environmental crimes.
10 If No Crime Was Committed• Evidence collection is still important• Basis for lawsuits victims may file
10 Investigative Jurisdictions (1 of 2)• Criminal investigations start with Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)• It determines who has investigative authority• Multiagency task forces may be formed
10 Investigative Jurisdictions (2 of 2)• Agencies that may be involved: – Postal Inspection Service – Drug Enforcement Administration – Federal Bureau of Investigation – Environmental Protection Agency
10 Types of Evidence• Physical evidence• Trace (transfer) evidence• Demonstrative evidence• Direct evidence• Circumstantial evidence
10 Physical Evidence (1 of 2)• Observed• Photographed• Measured• Collected• Examined in a laboratory• Presented in court
10Physical Evidence (2 of 2)Physical evidence can be observed.
10 Trace (Transfer) Evidence (1 of 2)• Minute quantity of physical evidence• Conveyed from one place to another
10 Trace (Transfer) Evidence (2 of 2) A side-by-side comparison of the color and texture of soil caneliminate a large percentage of samples as not being matches.
10 Demonstrative Evidence (1 of 2)• Used to validate a theory• To show how something could have occurred• Example: Cast of tool mark found at scene
10Demonstrative Evidence (2 of 2) A cast of a tool mark.
10 Direct Evidence (1 of 2)• Facts observed or reported firsthand• Statements• Videotape• Can include physical evidence
10 Direct Evidence (2 of 2)A videotape of a person committing a crime is considered to be direct evidence.
10 Circumstantial Evidence• Based on facts observed firsthand• Can be used to prove a theory• Common at fire scenes
10 Evidence Preservation• Process of protecting potential evidence• Until it can be documented, sampled, collected• Responders should leave it in place• Move no more debris than necessary• Cover to protect if necessary
10 Contamination• Evidence should not be contaminated• Use new tools to collect each piece of evidence• Investigators use special containers to store evidence
10 Chain of Custody (1 of 3)• Other terms – Chain of evidence – Chain of possession• Continuous possession and control of evidence• From discovery until presented in court
10 Chain of Custody (2 of 3)• Every transfer of possession must be documented• Leave evidence where you find it• Report to a senior official
10 Chain of Custody (3 of 3)Evidence should remain where you find it until you can turn it over to an officer or investigator.
10 Identifying Witnesses• Interviews conducted by: – Incident investigator – Law enforcement officer• If neither is present: – Get witness’s name, address, phone number – Give to investigator
10 Rumors and Reporters• State opinions on probable cause only to investigator – Rumors circulate easily• Statements to reporters are made by official spokesperson – After investigator and IC agree on accuracy
10 12 Steps of Evidence Sampling (1 of 2)1. Preparation2. Approach the scene3. Secure and protect the scene4. Initiate a preliminary survey5. Evaluate physical evidence possibilities6. Prepare a narrative description
10 12 Steps of Evidence Sampling (2 of 2)7. Describe the scene photographically8. Prepare a diagram or sketch of the scene9. Conduct a detailed search10. Record and collect physical evidence11. Conduct the final survey12. Release the scene
10 Sampling Team• Consists of three people – Sampler – Assistant – Documenter
10 Securing, Characterizing, and Preserving the Scene• Necessary as soon as incident identified as criminal• Limit access• Early characterization of the scene• Preserve evidence• Notify law enforcement agency
10 Document Personnel and Scene Activity• Document identity/purpose of personnel – Present when you arrive – Who enter after crime scene is so characterized• “Tag in/tag out” records work• Record initial on-scene observations
10 Notification• Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel• Law enforcement agency having jurisdiction
10Identifying Samples to Be Collected• Indicate where evidence is located• Colored cones or tape• Nondestructive markings or identification
10 Collecting Samples• Collecting all potential evidence may be too much• Use various sampling techniques• Nondestructive field screening methods• Prevent secondary contamination
10 Documentation of Evidence• Document sampling/collection process – Photographs – Videotape• Note name of person sampling• Note location, time sample was collected• Note physical state, quantity, container
10 Sampling and Field Screening Protocol• Plan must be followed• Ensure that evidence is safe before it enters laboratory
10 Labeling, Packaging, and Decontamination• Place in appropriate container• Label as to type of hazard• Perform technical decontamination
10 Summary (1 of 2)• Responders need to consider calls they respond to might be the result of criminal activities• Local law enforcement must be notified• Preserve, sample, and collect evidence so that it can be used in prosecution
10 Summary (2 of 2)• Types of evidence are physical, trace, demonstrative, direct, and circumstantial evidence• Sampling, preservation, and documentation must be given due attention