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Criminal Justice Articles

What Do Crime Investigators Do?

Many people believe they have an idea of what crime investigators do but that idea is usually just a small portion of what they really are involved in.  We all believe, in summary, that they investigate and put clues together to solve a crime.  That is definitely true but the details and the ‘behind the scenes’ activities are much more complex than that.   They must be very analytical and careful to bring the answers to light that crimes create.  It is just like solving a complex puzzle.  It takes time, logic, and creative thinking to make it all come together.

A criminal investigator is a professional within law enforcement who attempts to identify and detain suspects, prevent crimes of a similar fashion from happening, and ultimately try to solve the crime.  They can either work alone or in many cases they can work in specialized teams to uncover facts.  Some criminal investigators have a specific expertise that is an asset to an investigations unit.  Some are experts in giving interrogations and human intelligence; some are experts in analyzing chemical data, conducting research, surveillance, and others for critical thinking.  Depending on the specialty of the criminal investigator, they choose to delegate the obligations of the person with the highest specialty depending on the requirement.  They all work together to ensure the facts are uncovered about the case and any and all evidence is intensely examined. 

Experts in the field of investigating crimes are often technicians that hold at least a bachelor’s degree in laboratory assignments.  The evidence that they analyze within the laboratories can be weapons, clothing, fingerprints, blood, and anything relevant to the nature of the scene.  Experiments are tested on the samples or replicates of the samples to see how the particular piece of evidence can be identified as a solution to the equation.  After the evidence has gone through an extensive testing and forensics evaluation, the investigator must put together a report to document the findings.  Many times the reporting investigator will have to appear in court to testify on behalf of their findings as expert witnesses.

The surveillance that an investigator will do can be long and uneventful, but prove to be a paramount activity within the solution of identifying a criminal.  They take measures of installing monitoring equipment with audio and visual techniques that can be watched at all times.  Along with bugging the suspects that are in question, they will also don disguises to collect intelligence on the subject to get closer observation on them. 

Security and convoy techniques are used when traveling and trailing a suspect that enables them to blend into the environment and society so that they will not be giving up their own reconnaissance.  Careful measures are taken by the criminal investigators when becoming close to a subject so that the case doesn’t bust and become self-evident to the criminal at large.  While conducting a surveillance mission, the suspect’s phone calls are also monitored, recorded, and reviewed as they move forth with further investigations.  They will also do background checks on all persons that are in contact with the suspect while doing Internet researches as well.

When the information that the investigators have collected justify a search warrant, the suspect’s home and belongings will be searched and be used in a court of law.  Crime investigators will need to bring criminals to justice and giving victims the closure that they need by the information that they provide.  By detailing the scene and the evidence, they take what is left and the clues that are given and they piece it all together.

Schools Offering Criminal Investigation Courses:

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