CSI for the First Responder : A Concise Guide book cover
1st Edition

CSI for the First Responder
A Concise Guide

ISBN 9781439819227
Published December 16, 2010 by CRC Press
168 Pages 125 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $79.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Critical to the successful apprehension and prosecution of criminals, the job of collecting evidence at a crime scene requires knowledge, technical skills, patience, and perseverance. Often this task falls on just one individual — the officer on routine patrol duties who is the first to arrive at the scene of a crime. Written by an expert with seventeen years experience in law enforcement, CSI for the First Responder is a succinct guide on how to secure, search, identify, document, collect, and preserve physical evidence essential for solving a case and making the evidence stand up in court.

A practical, hands-on resource to all aspects of crime scene investigation, this book covers:

  • The approach to the scene
  • Securing the scene
  • Searching for and identifying evidence
  • Documenting the evidence through notes and reports
  • Photography and videotape
  • Sketches and diagrams
  • Collection and preservation
  • The investigative value of different types of evidence
  • Testimony and presenting evidence in court

Enhanced with real-life examples, the book presents case studies implementing the described techniques. The case studies include examples of successful scene security and documentation as well as cautionary tales of erroneous practices with lessons learned. Also included with this book is a Quick Reference Guide on the downloadable resources, which can be downloaded to patrol car laptops or printed and kept in a pocket for easy access. Spanning the entire scope of a case from initial discovery of evidence to courtroom presentation, this one-stop resource enables law enforcement to nail down the evidence they need to prove the crime and get the conviction.

Table of Contents

Crime Scene Approach
What Is a Crime Scene?
Securing the Scene
Rendering Aid
Establishing a Perimeter
Legal Considerations to Search and Seizure
Scene Assessment
Scene Search
Crime Scene Documentation
Title box
Floor plan
Elevation diagram
Exploded diagram
Perspective diagram
Methods of Measurement
Rectangular coordinates
Transecting baseline
Azimuth or polar coordinates
Notes and Reports
Collecting Evidence
Process for Latent Prints
Chain of Custody
What Is Evidence?
Direct Evidence
Indirect Evidence
Class Characteristics
Individual Characteristics
Biological Evidence
Scene Safety
Searching for Biological Evidence
Trace DNA
General Collection Tips
Presumptive Tests
Sexual Assault Kits
Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS)
Elimination Samples
Trace Evidence
Plant Material and Seeds
Impression Evidence
Two-Dimensional Impressions
Documenting Two-Dimensional Impressions
Collecting Two-Dimensional Impressions
Three-Dimensional Impressions
Documenting Three-Dimensional Impressions
Choosing the Right Scale
Casting Three-Dimensional Impressions
Tire Impressions, Special Considerations
Tool Marks
Databases and Other Investigative Aids
Firearms Evidence
Understanding Firearms
Individual Characteristics on Bullets
Shell Casings
Shotguns, Shells, and Wadding
National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN)
Gunshot Residue
Handling, Unloading, and Packaging Firearm Evidence
Computer Printers
Paper and Ink Analysis
Indented Writing
Collection and Preservation
Patent Impressions
Latent Impressions
Plastic Impressions
Searching for Fingerprints
Developing and Lifting Fingerprints
Photographing Fingerprints
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
Porous Items
Controlled Substances
Drug Identification
Field Tests
Prescription Drug Identification
Death Scene Investigation
Cause and Manner of Death
Jurisdiction over the Body
Postmortem Lividity
Rigor Mortis
Scene Documentation
Law Enforcement’s Role at Autopsy
Courtroom Presentation and Testimony
Preparation and Pretrial Conference
Courtroom Dress and Demeanor
Courtroom Exhibits and Displays
Adversarial System
Case Studies
Case Number 1
Case Number 2
Case Number 3
Case Number 4

View More



Jan LeMay has worked in law enforcement for seventeen years. He has served as a corrections officer and patrol officer, but the majority of his service has been spent working in a crime lab as a crime scene specialist and criminalist. He has experience at hundreds of crime scenes and dozens of homicide investigations. He is a member of a number of professional organizations and is board certified through the International Association for Identification as a crime scene analyst, forensic photographer, latent print examiner, and footwear examiner. He is an instructor at the Southern Institute of Forensic Science and the Weld County Law Enforcement Training Academy. He has instructed hundreds of students and law enforcement professionals in crime scene examination and documentation techniques. He has also published numerous articles in law enforcement as well as research projects and case studies in peer-reviewed forensic science journals.