Criminal Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Homicide Investigation Overview
The first officer on the scene of a homicide, or any crime scene, is most often a uniformed patrol officer. The Fort Lauderdale dispatcher receives a 911 telephone call, and he assigns the case to the next patrol officer on the rotation. Depending upon the severity of the crime and the danger level, more than one officer may be assigned to the same case.
Upon his or her arrival at the scene of a crime, a responding officer must first, if necessary, defend herself or others against attackers. It’s then his or her responsibility to provide first aid to the injured and protect the scene and the remaining victims, or witnesses, from harm. It’s her duty to make the necessary arrangements to contact emergency personnel, the medical examiner, the crime scene investigation team, and the detectives on duty or on call.
In Fort Lauderdale each patrol car is equipped to properly safeguard a crime scene, and each responding officer should have the knowledge and ability to process the entire scene in the event that all detectives or crime scene investigators are busy elsewhere. The following basic crime scene equipment can be found in each responding police vehicle:
Fort Lauderdale patrol officers carry basic crime scene equipment in the trunks of their vehicles.
• consent-to-search forms
• crime scene barricade tape
• personal protective equipment
• first aid kit
• paper bags
• notebook or note pad
• tape recorder
• plastic bags
• tape measure
• traffic cones
• hand cleaner
• cell phone
As a criminal lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I have had the occasion to review hundreds of cases that have involved some form of evidence collection at a crime scene. Every crime scene is different, each with varying levels of procedural guidelines that must be followed. In the last decade we have seen significant changes in the way that law enforcement engages in this activity due to the fact that a mistake in evidence collection can prove to be devastating to the criminal prosecutor’s case.