Broken glass is everywhere. You see evidence of a struggle. You notice the cash register is open and empty. The cashier is being wheeled past you in an ambulance. The media is waiting outside behind a string of yellow tape that reads "Police Line Do Not Cross." Everyone around you is working: taking photos, collecting evidence, asking questions. All of this work is colluding together for one purpose, which is to find the people who committed this crime. Crimes like theft and murder take place every day, no matter where we live. Fortunately, there are those in the criminal justice system who are committed to using their talents of observation for investigating the locations where crime hits so that justice can hit back. If you earn your Associate's Degree in crime scene investigation, you will gain access to the other side of that yellow police line, that side where talented investigators work together to make sure that whoever does wrong will be appropriately brought to justice. A degree in this field provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to be successful serving the greater good in this role.
One of the first important skills that crime scene investigators need to master is that of observation. Many times individuals might look at a particular situation and see nothing, but a talented observing will be able to look at even the little details and understand what kind of conclusion he needs to arrive at. A degree in crime scene investigation focuses on training individuals to recognize, document, interpret, and collect the physical evidence of a crime scene. Once you're trained to use your eyes, you will possess the foundational skill that leads to other essential techniques in properly approaching crime scenes.
Crime scene investigation is not merely a skill of observation. It is becoming more and more scientifically based. Training also focuses on criminal justice, forensic science, chemistry, and biology. The more data that can be collected from a crime scene means the higher the chance that the criminal will be prosecuted and the nature of the crime understood.
Crime scene investigators are often directly employed by a community police department, although they might have careers working within higher roles in the justice system, or working for the federal government on particular crime scenes that fall under its jurisdiction. Crime scene investigators must master the use of equip that leads to accurate securing and interpretation of evidence. They often are responsible for taking pictures, collecting samples, acquiring evidence, and analyzing this all both at the crime scene and inside of the criminologist laboratory. Constructing reports, working with police departments, and testifying in court also fall under the common responsibility of crime scene investigators. While many investigators are hired directly into their position, others might begin as a police officer and steadily earn promotions into this role. Possessing adequate understanding of anatomy, general science, physics, chemistry, and forensics are all necessary, and are part of an Associate's Degree training program that prepares individuals for this incredibly important responsibility.
When you walk into a crime scene, what will you see? Will you see the obvious; the same clues that everyone else witnesses? Or will you be able to look at these details with more significance and attention? An Associate's Degree in crime scene investigation is designed to equip your eyes and your mind with the power of sight, so that you can quickly enter an area where a crime has been committed and assess the evidence. From learning about science to mastering the latest technological techniques for acquiring evidence, your talents will stand out as yet one more reason why criminals should think twice before committing a crime in your jurisdiction.
- Evidence Processing
- Fingerprint Technology
- Running a Crime Scene
- Biological Evidence
- Report Writing
- Blood Analysis
- Forensic DNA
Laboratory Technician – You’ll work with others helping them treat or cure diseases. Use your experience examine cells or blood.
Insurance –Investigate automobile crashes that caused a fatality. This could be part of a CSI division that is mobile and you can work with local law enforcement or insurance companies.
Forensic Science Technician – Work on crime scenes. You’ll work sometimes on-site as well as back at the lab. Work with a team to even collect evidence including blood, fiber, fluids, fingerprints and more.
It is important that enroll in a school that is accredited from one of the top accrediting agencies. By doing so it will protect you as a student as these agencies keep track of and measure completion rates, placement rates and the quality of degree program.
WASC - http://www.acswasc.org/
HJLC-NCA - https://www.hlcommission.org/
Middle States Commission - http://www.msche.org/
NWCCU - http://www.nwccu.org/
NEAS&C - https://www.neasc.org/
SACS COC - http://www.sacscoc.org/
Outlook for a crime scene investigator is good and will average 15+% increases over the next 10 years. Higher crime areas are yielding the most pay as the need to qualified individuals is in more demand. Crime scene investigators with 5+ years of experience can make approx. $62,446. Forensic scientist – 47,553- $67,520.
Crime Scene Investigation Resources
International Crime Scene Investigators Association - http://www.icsia.org