Crime Scene Awareness Training
Instructor: Randy Merriman
The success of any criminal investigation rests with the initial observations and actions of the first officer to arrive at the scene. That first responding officer is the most important person of the entire case.
Crime Scene Awareness training is designed to give the 1st responder the ability to recognize, identify and preserve evidence at any scene and the surrounding environment where a crime has been committed. The student will learn the proper procedures to protect crime scenes by observing, analyzing and understanding indicators left by human activity.
We have developed a training program that gives the student the ability to increase their evidence identification & collection skills with up to an 80% increase in effectiveness. It enhances performance in observation skills and situational awareness. The foundation of the course centers on teaching the students various forms of visual recognition skills used to observe, locate and interpret crime scenes and is being offered in a three day Level 1 and five day Level 2 training format.
The Crime Scene Awareness Training program is a designed method of identifying human activity through ground sign awareness techniques and human behavior pattern analysis. Since humans by nature tend to follow predictable patterns of behavior, these signatures can be readily identified and exploited by the keen observer. We give the students the tools necessary to make assessments of crime scenes by utilizing criteria and formats developed by Subject Matter Experts. Being able to apply this knowledge while assessing crime scenes will give students the ability to accurately identify actions, intentions and motives of suspects.
During the 3-day Level 1 program, we teach the student enhanced observation skills where they learn why things can be observed and why they sometimes go unobserved. This phase includes a lecture followed by an ongoing barrage of unique enhanced observation exercises developed by qualified subject matter experts. This will aid the student in determining and reconstructing the sequence of events at any location without prior knowledge or observation of the actions taking place. The students will become proficient in their ability to approach disturbances and indicators on the ground and through analyzing and interpretation of that disturbance, be able to accurately assess the actions that took place. It will make the student more aware of incident scene surroundings and enhance the ability to detect subtle evidence and clues left behind by the suspect.
Exploitation/Crime Scene Processing - Exploitation involves the immediate collection, prioritization of items of potential evidence value and recording the information. The Level 1 program will familiarize the student with the ability to properly process a site for evidence value without contaminating or destroying important information. They will understand the different formats of reports and how they are dictated for courtroom testimony and directives based on the student’s departmental protocols. They will learn how to process, log, categorize, and exploit gained information to the best of their abilities in support of the criminal case and how to pass it through the chain of command to the appropriate level for inclusion into case file and intelligence records.
Forensic Identifiers - Our program teaches the importance of forensic identifiers and the procedures for processing and applying these identifiers to the department’s information database and methods to protect the “chain of evidence”.
Practical Exercises Covering all Skills - Since crime scene assessments can be an information and evidence gathering asset, enabling a student to reconstruct events long after the event has taken place, we will spend considerable time reaffirming these “attention to detail” skill sets through complex practical exercises covering all areas of the skill set. Crime Scene Assessment course provides an appropriate mix of classroom and practical exercises with an abundance of the program dedicated to practical field exercises covering all skills learned. The instructor will present information in the classroom and reinforce the main learning points during the practical exercises.