Benjamin Ambrosio spent almost eleven years of his career working as a police officer in the New York City Police Department and has experience of gathering “preliminary investigation as a first responder to crime scenes.” These initial moments are crucial, as failure to preserve the scene can lead to clues being lost. If you are new to the role, or have little experience as a first responder, followthis advice to preserve the scene.
Keep People Away
Once you have established that everybody at the scene is okay and nobody needs medical attention, your first goal is to clear onlookers away from the scene. In doing this you also need to separate witnesses from those who have just arrived, so that investigators can quickly start questioning people once they arrive.
In the majority of cases the first responder should not be involved with evidence collection. This should be left to forensics teams and other trained professionals, as a lack of training could lead to evidence being damaged. However, there are some cases where you may need to take action. For example, if somebody has attempted to commit suicide with a firearm at the scene, you may have to remove the weapon from the victim’s hand. Furthermore, if the crime scene is located in an area where severe weather conditions are currently a problem, such as a severe thunderstorm, you may need to shield bloodstains and other evidence to the best of your ability.
Benjamin Ambrosio is a police officer who has experience as the first responder at crime scenes.