Practical Crime Scene Investigations for Hot Zones: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Practical Crime Scene Investigations for Hot Zones

1st Edition

By Jacqueline T. Fish, Robert N. Stout, Edward Wallace

CRC Press

372 pages | 286 Color Illus.

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pub: 2010-12-16
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The work of Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) is made more complicated when the scene is contaminated by either Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNEs) or Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs). Special considerations must be observed when working at such scenes, whether they are the result of acts of terrorism, accidents, or natural disasters. Practical Crime Scene Investigations for Hot Zones contains guidelines and best practices for keeping CSIs safe and conducting a thorough crime scene investigation in these deadly environments.

A compilation of professional experiences and observations from CSIs who have encountered these challenges in the field, the book offers strategies for dealing with a host of scenarios. The expert contributors discuss practices and procedures validated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit and Laboratory. Topics discussed include:

  • Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats encountered by CSIs and other personnel
  • Laws, regulations, and standards that apply to working in a hazardous environment
  • Equipment for personal protection and evidence recovery
  • Roles and responsibilities of personnel on the scene
  • Collecting, processing, and documenting evidence
  • Decontamination of the scene

High consequence events (HCEs) have increased in recent years as terrorism and natural disasters have dominated the headlines. Enhanced with nearly 300 color photos, this one-stop reference supplies practical information to keep CSIs, first responders, HAZMAT technicians, incident commanders, and military and intelligence officials safe from the hazards they may encounter on the job.

Table of Contents

The Need


The Threats






Laws and Regulations


Part I: Training and Response

Part II: Weapons of Mass Destruction Statutes

Court Documents

The Protection



Respiratory Protection

Chemical Protective Clothing (CPC)

The Differences

The Equipment


Documentation Equipment

Recon Equipment

Evidence Recovery Equipment

Evidence Collection and Packaging Support Equipment

Equipment for Evidence/Equipment Decontamination

The Personnel (Members)

The CBRNE/TIC Crime Scene Investigation Unit


Roles and Responsibilities of the Command Staff

Roles and Responsibilities of the Operational Staff

The Recon

The Documentation

The Screening

Asceptic Techniques

Collection, Processing, and Packaging of CBRNE/TIC Evidence

Collection Protocols

Protocol for Visible Suspected Chemical Liquid Residue on Nonporous and Some Porous Surfaces

Protocol for Suspected Stratified (Layered) Chemical Liquid in a Container

Bulk Powder Protocol, Suspected Biological, on Nonporous and Some Porous Surfaces

Dry Swab Protocol for Visible Powder, Suspected Biological, on Nonporous and Some Porous Surfaces

Wet Swab Protocol for Visible Powder, Suspected Biological,on Nonporous or Porous Surface

Collection, Processing, and Packaging of Forensic Evidence

Latent Fingerprints

Hair/Fiber Evidence

DNA Evidence

Trace Evidence

Impression Evidence

Footwear, Tire, Tool/Weapon, Ballistic, and Bite

Impression Evidence


Types of Decontamination

The Crime Scene Wrap-Up

Search Entry Operations

Final Survey Operations

Final Briefing

Appendix A

Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-5 325


About the Authors

Jacqueline T. Fish currently serves as chair of the Criminal Justice Department and director of graduate studies in criminal justice at Charleston Southern University. Her career includes development oversight of the National Forensic Academy curriculum and seventeen years as a police officer in Knox County, Tennessee, where she invested the majority of her time as sergeant in charge of the Criminal Identification Division.

Robert N. Stout has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement and hazardous materials. His law enforcement experience includes serving as sergeant for the Virginia State Police, deputy/paramedic for the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, and in motor carrier safety/hazardous material team/environmental crimes investigations for the Virginia State Police.

Edward W. Wallace, Jr. served with the New York Police Department (NYPD) for more than 20 years and performed various law enforcement duties, including crime scene investigator and counter-terrorism investigator. Mr. Wallace held the coveted NYPD rank of Detective First Grade and spent 15 years in crime scene investigations, where he investigated numerous high profile crimes, including participating in the investigations of both World Trade Center attacks and the October 2001 anthrax attack. Mr. Wallace lead the development of the national curriculum of crime scene investigations for CBRNE/TICs for the National Center of Biomedical Research and Development at Louisiana State University and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

About the Series

Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology