Police identification and records office cops play an important role in crime scene analysis, from the gathering of evidence to the close of the case. These officers all share similar traits, and all have the ability to use many different tools and types of technology in the field. Many have the same education, as well as the same police training, math and science training for analytical purposes. While many officers in the police identification and records office do play an active part in information and evidence gathering, many also work in the laboratories, piecing together missing information by using the evidence collected at the crime scene.
The first step any efficient police identification and records office cop follows is photographing the scene of the crime and sealing it off from outside sources that could contaminate the scene and make evidence unusable in court, even if the suspect is apprehended. This means that any evidence collected must be stored and retrieved so that it can be redistributed as needed to superiors and court officials at the time of a trial.
Crime scene analysis begins with evidence collection. This is one of the most important jobs a police identification and records officer has. This is because sometimes the smallest evidence can be the biggest clue. Some types of evidence collected from a crime scene can include hair, saliva, semen, regurgitation, blood stain patterns and any other way to identify a suspect by DNA. Other types of evidence can also be found, such as fingerprints or footprints.
Once there is a list of suspects based on evidence and circumstances, it is the police identification and records office cops job to reduce the number of suspects by tracing a timeline using such methods as researching phone records, credit card records, interviewing witnesses, interviewing suspects and other such activities.
Due to the various tasks of these officers, it is important that they have more than basic training. In addition to the basic police training, these officers take additional math and science courses in order to better analyze the evidence they collect.
Due to the extremely diverse nature of job tasks of these officers, it is important to have a diverse knowledge base. Many of these topics an officer should be educated in are public safety and service, law and government, English, victim care, suspect interrogation, computers, clerical training and evidence training. This is why all officers are required to have a high school diploma, and it is preferred that officers continue their education to obtaining a Bachelor’s degree.
As with the knowledge base officers are required to have, there are many skills that an officer needs to have in order to be an efficient and successful police identification and records officer. These skills typically deal with interacting with the public. These skills include listening actively, thinking critically, comprehending reading materials, talking effectively, learning actively, decision making, noticing and understanding the reactions of victims, witnesses and suspects, complex problem solving and monitoring the performance of self and surrounding other officers.
There are many different types of abilities that these officers must have in order to be successful in the field. These abilities include oral and written comprehension, inductive and deductive reasoning, information ordering, near vision, far vision, oral expression with speech clarity, the ability to understand a problem is arising or is likely to arise, and the ability to detect a pattern hidden in distractions.
There are many different activities that these officers are expected to participate in daily. Some of these include documenting or recording information that they have gathered while processing, analyzing and evaluating it; identifying timelines and the points thereon; evaluating information in regards to standards; communicating within the department; using updated, relevant knowledge; making decisions and solving problems; and using computers and systems to complete the former tasks.
There are several different types of tools that each officer needs to have a working understanding of. Several of these include blood collection kits; DNA collection kits; camera lens filters such as orange, yellow or wide angle camera lenses; laser trajectory pointers and portable lasers; laptop computers or mobile data computers; as well as high and low wavelength UV lights.
Technology has become a constantly increasing part of life in both personal and professional lives. The jobs of police identification and records office professional are no different. Several of these types of technology include Microsoft Office Visio as charting software ; DataWork Plus Digital Crime Scene, Integreated Automated Fingerprint Identitifaction System, National Crime Information Center database and National Integrated Ballistics Information Network for database user interface; DeChant Consulting Services iWitness, DesignWare 3D EyeWitness, Digital Image Management Solutions Crime Scene, and The CAD Zone The Crime Zone for graphics or photograph imaging software; and Microsoft Office software.
There are several questions that are important for an applicant to consider before proceeding with the application process. Some of these questions can change the mind of some applicants. How accurate or exact can I be while doing this job? Am I capable of handling almost constant interaction with individuals or teams? Am I confident in my decision making skills, especially when my decisions affect other people, financials, or the image of the corporation? Am I comfortable handling telephone conversations as related to the job? Am I confident with my ability to deal with external customers or the public? Do I feel comfortable with freedom to make decisions without supervision? Am I capable of performing team or group work? Am I comfortable with the possibility of being exposed to contaminants, some of which could be potentially either harmful or even fatal?
Some of the most important personality traits of these officers include integrity, honesty, attention to detail, dependability, self control, stress tolerance, adaptability, independence, analytical thinking, cooperation, and persistence.
While it is true that the job of police identification and records office personnel officer is diverse and sometimes extremely stressful, it is also a very important job which has many diverse needs and understandings.