Law Enforcement Specialties >> Special Units (K9, SWAT, etc.) >> Any good advice

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Any good advice

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Posted about 4 years ago

 

What good advice do you have for a student getting his associetes degree in criminal justice that wants to be a Crime Scene Technician?

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Well to start, you could post an introduction and tell us a little about yourself like. . . . .what it is about law enforcement that caught your attention, where do you wish to work (location wise that is), what is your background. . . . .anything else that you can think of that might be of help for those "in the know" to assist you in pointing you in a direction to get to you desired goals.  Obviously, the more specific you get, the more specific the answer you could expect to get.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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Good evening Jobseeker.  If you could, please click on this link to post an introduction:  http://policelink.monster.com/discussions/130-introductions/topics


Could you please give us some more information like how long you have been in school.  Are you just starting out or are you half way through your degree?


I"m not a cop but I"ve been in college before.  My best advice to you is to do the best you can in school.  If I were you, I'd go to my local PD or SO and ask questions.  This is a great website to learn, but also you will gain a wealth of information with your local PD.  Good luck in your future endeavor.  Just a little FYI.... the CSI shows on tv aren't very accurate, just a lot of Hollywood glam stuff.  


 


jobseeker90210 says ...



What good advice do you have for a student getting his associetes degree in criminal justice that wants to be a Crime Scene Technician?



The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head
- Proverbs 20:29

Nemo me impune lacessit

YaYa SuzieQ

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If you want to be a Crime Scene Technician, getting a degree in Chemistry,Physics or another science is what you need, no Criminal Justice... oh and Crime Scene Technician are not special units.

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ernswat says ...



If you want to be a Crime Scene Technician, getting a degree in Chemistry,Physics or another science is what you need, no Criminal Justice... oh and Crime Scene Technician are not special units.



  If not special units what are Crime Scene Units under?

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Yeah they are with Harris County as well, special units with deputies assigned to that unit who have special training, certificates, and specially equipped county vehicles specific to that division...and thats all they do is work crime scenes county wide. And as far as I know, the county's crime scene people (at least that I have come in contact with) are all commissioned peace officers. Now I have heard that other agencies employ specific non sworn professionals for work in their crime labs but not sure how that works.

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ShockUSMC87 says ...



jobseeker90210 says ...



ernswat says ...



If you want to be a Crime Scene Technician, getting a degree in Chemistry,Physics or another science is what you need, no Criminal Justice... oh and Crime Scene Technician are not special units.



  If not special units what are Crime Scene Units under?



Not to step on Ernswats toes.......but they are in fact special units.



Just so I'm not stepping on any toes here. . . . .but I think it kind of depends on the department.  Here in Michigan there are only a few departments that even have the personnel to commit to anything that can be as laborious and time consuming as Crime Scene Investigators.


I work for the State Police here and most of our "Techs" are troopers that do regular police work until they are needed to do the "tech thing".  If I arrive on a scene that, say for instance is too large for one person to work OR could be a high profile type of case, then the "tech" comes out to my scene, documents the scene (photographs/sketches/measurements/etc. . .), does the fingerprint thing, searches for any other type of "clues" or items of an evidentiary nature and once they are certain they have obtained all of the information that is available. . . .send that information to the lab and then turn the "case" back over to me, or the detective that may have come to the scene to take over.  For the most part, we (the road trooper) work our own cases to their natural conclusion.


The Michigan State Police has 8 laboratories located throughout the state and a good portion of the "slots" taken up in these labs are taken by troopers that had an interest in a particular department in the lab (i.e. latent prints, tool marks/impressions, firearms, polygraph, etc. . . .). These troopers can at anytime (assuming a slot is open) transfer back to the road if they choose.  Anything related to chemistry or DNA or blood pathogeons and the like are usually done by chemists that have been hired by the department specifically for that purpose and have been through an extensive background and the like because of the "chain of custody" issues.  It is highly unlikely that these "specialists" will ever come out to a scene to "gather" evidence. . . .they usually only process it.  Again, it depends on the scene, how big it is or any other considerations that the brass deems is important enough to send these specialists out.


Again, this type of work can take up a lot of resources that many departments just do not have so they will develope their own "techs" and anything big, they request our assistance (or one of the other "big" departments that have labs) to come out, do the crime scene work that their people were too over burdened to do and then turn it back over to the local department for the balance of the investigation.  Our labs (and yes the couple of departments with their own labs) have done great work in "finding" the pieces necessary to prosecute bad guy but. . . .the State of Michigan in general does not have the resources for the CSI type of specialty units that do nothing but do "everything" from beginning to prosecution like they do on television.  Too many small towns in the state.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

I guess I spoke too soon. It was very early hours of the morning.


And no nobody stepped on my toes.


I also mistake a forensics specialist with a Crime Scene Tech ( wish can be the same thing or two different people)


So my bad everybody!! I was thinking along the lines of something completely different!


 


 

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I agreed with Ern, she was correct by my dept. Here they are civilians with science degrees that make half as much as the officers salarywise and 90% of the time just take pictures of assault vics or burg scenes, IMO officers could do photos and just last year they gave out some patrol cameras. Not to knock the CSI, they do good work, just how it is here.

ernswat says ...



I guess I spoke too soon. It was very early hours of the morning.


And no nobody stepped on my toes.


I also mistake a forensics specialist with a Crime Scene Tech ( wish can be the same thing or two different people)


So my bad everybody!! I was thinking along the lines of something completely different!


 


 


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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

All of out crime scene techs are civilians. I dont know anything about be police officers first. Now are Medical Examiners were all certified officers. And they are not apart of any specialized unit, they are assigned to CID. Some colleges like AIU and ITT Tech have a criminal justice program that majors you in Forensic Science.


R.I.P "Macho Man" Randy Savage

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Ten8 says ...



All of out crime scene techs are civilians. I dont know anything about be police officers first. Now are Medical Examiners were all certified officers. And they are not apart of any specialized unit, they are assigned to CID. Some colleges like AIU and ITT Tech have a criminal justice program that majors you in Forensic Science.



It is interesting that your crime scene techs are citizens. . . . .I'm assuming they do receive plenty of training on that little "chain of custody" thingy that courts find so important.  I find it interesting also that your medical examiners ARE certified officers.  My understanding of medical examiners is that ANYONE can do an autopsy but a medical certification is not a prerequisite in most. . . .if not all states.  For us, if there is a need for the evidence inside the body (i.e. DNA, bullet or some other foreign material), or to identify the body, an officer is present during the autopsy and "seizes" the item(s) as they are removed from the body after documenting where they were and/or the path they took to get there.  Once the item(s) have been "seized", the officer then transports the item(s) to the lab for the forensics.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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msp1672 says ...



Well to start, you could post an introduction and tell us a little about yourself like. . . . .what it is about law enforcement that caught your attention, where do you wish to work (location wise that is), what is your background. . . . .anything else that you can think of that might be of help for those "in the know" to assist you in pointing you in a direction to get to you desired goals.  Obviously, the more specific you get, the more specific the answer you could expect to get.



Watch out msp1672. You don't want to get Patrolman86 ryaled up. he might lump you in with my "Introduction Police".


>walks away grumbling and gritting teeth<

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BSL1123 says ...



msp1672 says ...



Well to start, you could post an introduction and tell us a little about yourself like. . . . .what it is about law enforcement that caught your attention, where do you wish to work (location wise that is), what is your background. . . . .anything else that you can think of that might be of help for those "in the know" to assist you in pointing you in a direction to get to you desired goals.  Obviously, the more specific you get, the more specific the answer you could expect to get.



Watch out msp1672. You don't want to get Patrolman86 ryaled up. he might lump you in with my "Introduction Police".


>walks away grumbling and gritting teeth<



I remember him. . . . .thought I would try the "soft" approach on this one just to see if it strokes that cat backwards or not.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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I looked into Forensics for a brief period- one of the guys that went to my church was a forensics specialist...


I was told that- mind you this was years ago- that his department didn't honor a degree in forensics- they only hired people with chemistry, physics or other common science degrees. He's reasoning was that yes a forensic degree sounds awesome but they don't hold up in court.


But that was a long time ago- so i'm sure times have changed

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ernswat says ...



If you want to be a Crime Scene Technician, getting a degree in Chemistry,Physics or another science is what you need, no Criminal Justice... oh and Crime Scene Technician are not special units.



BIG BUMP on that...!! Then again, most of them don't like Physicc and Math.....


By the way: You are NOT so wrong after all, because not all departments classify them as "Special Units" In fact, in some Departments they are not even LEO's, but Civilians...


And to jobseeker,


You better forget about that AS... That's only 60 Credits and that's not gonna do it... Gotta get a BS or a BA if you want to be up to the competition... Think about this: Many Departments are asking now for an AS or 60 College Credits or equivalent just to be considered for a Police Officer position... In NY or South FL you won't get anywhere with that HS Diploma... Not anymore.

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

Thankyou all for the gret advice it's definitly helped out and showed me that i have alot more research and studing to do on this so thankyou all again and if any of you have any more comments or advice on this topic i would gladly like to hear them. Thanks again Everyone.

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fplasencia says ...



ernswat says ...



If you want to be a Crime Scene Technician, getting a degree in Chemistry,Physics or another science is what you need, no Criminal Justice... oh and Crime Scene Technician are not special units.



BIG BUMP on that...!! Then again, most of them don't like Physicc and Math.....


By the way: You are NOT so wrong after all, because not all departments classify them as "Special Units" In fact, in some Departments they are not even LEO's, but Civilians...


And to jobseeker,


You better forget about that AS... That's only 60 Credits and that's not gonna do it... Gotta get a BS or a BA if you want to be up to the competition... Think about this: Many Departments are asking now for an AS or 60 College Credits or equivalent just to be considered for a Police Officer position... In NY or South FL you won't get anywhere with that HS Diploma... Not anymore.



Big Bump!  Here in Ark, they are considered as special units but you'll never make it in the door w/o a four year science major degree.

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

Just goes to show you how things change in LE from state to state and even from agency to agency. What the public just doesnt (and will never) get is that unlike the military, law enforcement isnt one giant monolithic agency all playing by the same rules....states and individual agency SOPs define the specs of that particular agency.