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Crime Scene Operations. Temple College EMS Professions. Evidence Preservation. The most important part of evidence collection is protecting the crime scene. Evidence. Anything that can be used to connect: A victim to a suspect A suspect to a victim A suspect to a crime scene.

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Crime Scene Operations

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Crime Scene Operations

Temple College

EMS Professions

Evidence Preservation

The most important part of evidence collection is protecting the crime scene


  • Anything that can be used to connect:

    • A victim to a suspect

    • A suspect to a victim

    • A suspect to a crime scene

The Fundamental Principle

  • It is impossible to be on a crime scene without:

    • Leaving evidence of yourself on scene!

    • Taking evidence of scene with you!


Bite Marks

Broken Fingernails


Blood/Body fluids

Blood Splatters


Tool Marks

Fracture matches






Crime Scene

  • Location where any part of criminal act was committed

  • All entry/exit routes from area where crime was committed

Evidence Preservation

Patient care is FIRST priority of ALL responding agencies

Initial Approach

  • Minimum number of people necessary (one)

  • Minimum amount of equipment necessary

  • Minimum amount of contact required

One person approaches and determines course of action.

Rest of team stays back.

Evidence Preservation

A crime scene is no place for a crowd!

Evidence Preservation

  • Don’t disturb scene any more than necessary during assessment

  • Watch where you step

  • Pay attention to the floor

  • Avoid kicking anything lying on the floor

Evidence Preservation

  • Note transient details of scene as you approach patient

    • Lighting (on/off)

    • Drapes (open/closed)

    • TVs, radios (on/off)

    • Furniture position

    • Evidence of forced entry

Evidence Preservation

  • Wear gloves

  • If you must move something to get to patient or do assessment

    • Tell police

    • Note it in your report

  • If you move a DOA, note it in your report, tell police

Evidence Preservation

  • If you are there before police:

    • Safeguard scene

    • Seal off entire area

    • Record names of all people who came into contact with scene

Evidence Preservation

  • If you are there before police:

    • Try to hold all witnesses at scene

    • Limit conversation between them

Evidence Preservation

  • If you are there before police:

    • Record “first” statements by victim

    • Note who victim made statement to

    • Note statements by witnesses

    • Report to police; record in report in quotes

Evidence Preservation

  • Do NOT:

    • Smoke

    • Eat

    • Drink

    • Leave wrappers

    • Use bathroom

Evidence Preservation

  • Never cut through bullet hole, stab wound

  • Do NOT shake or turn clothing inside out

  • Bag or otherwise secure clothing so police can recover it at the hospital

  • If you try IV and miss, mark site and note in report

  • Be conscious of debris you leave on scene--needles, bandage packages, etc.

Evidence Preservation

  • Avoid handling bullets, bullet fragments

  • Place in plastic container

  • Turn over to police

Evidence Preservation

  • Leave firearms in exact position found

  • Assume ALL weapons are loaded

  • If firearm must be moved, only one person should handle

  • Outline weapon before moving if possible

Evidence Preservation

  • Do NOT handle weapon any way except by grips

  • Do NOT attempt to clear, unload weapon

  • NEVER place anything in gun’s barrel or inside trigger guard

Evidence Preservation

  • If victim reports scratching assailant, cover victim’s hands with paper bags; tape loosely at wrists

Evidence Preservation

  • Wet clothing should be placed in paper (not plastic) bag, turned over to police.

  • Wet clothing should not be allowed to stay in ANY kind of bag for >two hours.

Evidence Preservation

  • Victims of alleged sexual assault should not wash or use restroom until they are examined at hospital

Evidence Preservation

  • Do NOT let evidence leave your custody until it passes directly to a peace officer

  • Note in your report that you handled evidence and to whom you passed it

  • Provide your name, unit number to officer to include in his/her report

Evidence Preservation

If chain of custody on a piece of evidence is broken, it becomes inadmissible in court!

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