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Arriving at the Scene

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Submitted By djfrith
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Arriving at the Scene: Initial Response/
Prioritization of Efforts
1. Initial Response/Receipt of Information
Summary: It is important for the initial responding officer(s) to be observant when approaching, entering, and exiting a crime scene.
2. Safety Procedures
Principle: The safety and physical well-being of officers and other individuals, in and around the crime scene, are the initial responding officer(s’) first priority.
Policy: The initial responding officer(s) arriving at the scene shall identify and control any dangerous situations or persons. Procedure: The initial responding officer(s) should:
a. Ensure that there is no immediate threat to other responders — scan area for sights, sounds, and smells that may present danger to personnel (e.g., hazardous materials such as gasoline, natural gas). If the situation involves a clandestine drug laboratory, biological weapons , or radiological or chemical threats the appropriate personnel/agency should be contacted prior to entering the scene.
b. Approach the scene in a manner designed to reduce risk of harm to officer(s) while maximizing the safety of victims, witnesses, and others in the area.
c. Survey the scene for dangerous persons and control the situation.
d. Notify supervisory personnel and call for assistance/backup.
Summary: The control of physical threats will ensure the safety of officers and others present.
3. Emergency Care
Principle: After controlling any dangerous situations or persons, the initial responding officer(s’) next responsibility is to ensure that medical attention is provided to injured persons while minimizing contamination of the scene.
Policy: The initial responding officer(s) shall ensure that medical attention is provided with minimal contamination of the scene.
Procedure: The initial responding officer(s) should:
a. Assess the victim(s) for signs of life and medical needs and provide immediate medical attention.
b. Call for medical personnel.
c. Guide medical personnel to the victim to minimize contamination/ alteration of the crime scene.
d. Point out potential physical evidence to medical personnel, instruct them to minimize contact with such evidence (e.g., ensure that medical personnel preserve all clothing and personal effects without cutting through bullet holes, knife tears), and document movement of persons or items by medical personnel.
e. Instruct medical personnel not to “clean up” the scene and to avoid removal or alteration of items originating from the scene.
f. If medical personnel arrived first, obtain the name, unit, and telephone number of attending personnel, and the name and location of the medical facility where the victim is to be taken.
g. If there is a chance the victim may die, attempt to obtain “dying declaration.” h. Document any statements/comments made by victims, suspects, or witnesses at the scene.
3. Emergency Care
i. If the victim or suspect is transported to a medical facility, send a law enforcement official with the victim or suspect to document any comments made and preserve evidence. (If no officers are available to accompany the victim/suspect, stay at the scene and request medical personnel to preserve evidence and document any comments made by the victim or suspect.)
Summary: Assisting, guiding, and instructing medical personnel during the care and removal of injured persons will diminish the risk of contamination and loss of evidence.
4. Secure and Control Persons at the Scene
Principle: Controlling, identifying, and removing persons at the crime scene and limiting the number of persons who enter the crime scene and the movement of such persons is an important function of the initial responding officer(s) in protecting the crime scene.
Policy: The initial responding officer(s) shall identify persons at the crime scene and control their movement.
Procedure: The initial responding officer(s) should:
a. Control all individuals at the scene—prevent individuals from altering/destroying physical evidence by restricting movement, location, and activity while ensuring and maintaining safety at the scene.
b. Identify all individuals at the scene, such as:
• Suspects: Secure and separate.
• Witnesses: Secure and separate.
• Bystanders: Determine whether witness, if so treat as above, if not, remove from the scene.
• Victims/family/friends: Control while showing compassion.
• Medical and other assisting personnel.
c. Exclude unauthorized and nonessential personnel from the scene
(e.g., law enforcement officials not working the case, politicians, media). Summary: Controlling the movement of persons at the crime scene and limiting the number of persons who enter the crime scene is essential to maintaining scene integrity, safeguarding evidence, and minimizing contamination.…...

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