What is the Definition of a Crime Scene Technician?

The definition of a crime scene technician is a person who works with law enforcement to evaluate evidence left at the scene. The primary responsibilities of a crime scene technician include collecting evidence, analyzing data, and providing written and oral reports on their findings. How does a crime scene technician differ from a crime scene investigator? How does it differ from a crime scene cleaner?

Crime Scene Technician Job Description

"Crime scene technicians crime scene technicians collect and preserve the physical evidence found at crime scenes, including:

  • Collect, process, and analyze fingerprints
  • Collect such physical evidence as bodily fluids and weapons
  • Create crime scene sketches
  • Decide which items should be collected at the crime scene
  • List evidence and prepare it for safe transfer to the crime lab
  • Take photographs"

"In smaller law enforcement agencies, CSI technicians may also be called to:

  • Photograph crime scenes and physical evidence
  • Engage in evidence-gathering techniques to secure physical evidence
  • Identify fingerprints at the crime scene and lift latent fingerprints
  • Photograph and fingerprint suspects, victims and witnesses
  • Prepare court presentations of physical evidence"

Crime Scene Technician vs. Crime Scene Investigator

Differentiating between a crime scene technician and a crime scene investigator depends on the department for which you work. Most commonly, crime scene technicians are considered to be a branch of crime scene investigation.

crime scene technician definition aftermath onsite cleanup crew

Other branches of crime scene investigation include:

  • Medical examiner. Duties include performing autopsies, determining cause and time of death, and issuing death certificates. At least 7 years of higher education is usually required.
  • Forensic engineer. Duties include determining how accidents occurred or how equipment failed.
  • Forensic analyst. Duties include testing and analyzing evidence and maintaining the integrity of the investigation by handling all evidence according to established procedures.

Crime scene technicians/investigators are considered first responders, meaning they arrive to a crime scene as soon as it is reported to preserve the scene and collect uncompromised evidence.

Crime Scene Technician vs. Crime Scene Cleaner

Many people have questions about what happens after a crime occurs — more specifically, what happens onsite after the emergency personnel drive away, the police and investigators leave, and the evidence is collected and bagged. As second responders, crime scene cleaners arrive after the area has been evaluated with two main goals:  

  1. Thoroughly clean the scene and restore it to a sanitary condition.
  2. Offer support and compassion to the family.

Although crime scene cleaners do not work for the police department, their services are often suggested to families by the police officers, law enforcement, and investigators.

Aftermath, a nationwide industry leader in crime scene cleanup, is dedicated to emergency rapid response. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, we are the only national bioremediation and biorecovery company offering crime scene cleanup, tear gas removal, and other specialty sanitizing services.

Please reach out to us day or night.

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Sources:

CrimeSceneInvestigatorEDU.org: http://www.crimesceneinvestigatoredu.org/csi-technician/
Criminal Justice Degree Schools: http://www.criminaljusticedegreeschools.com/criminal-justice-careers/crime-scene-technician/
Chron: http://work.chron.com/difference-between-crime-scene-technicians-forensic-scientists-14185.html
Forensicanalyst.org: http://www.forensicanalyst.org/Forensic-Analyst-Salary.html

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