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How to Stock a Forensics Toolbox

Part of the Forensics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Crime scene investigators and forensics specialists are called to all types of crime scenes and at all hours. If you’re an investigator, you need certain tools and equipment to perform your duties, and a well-stocked toolbox that contains the items you most often need is a necessity.

The box may literally be a tool or tackle box, but can be anything you can easily carry to the scene of a crime. Your toolbox should contain the items in the following list:

  • Crime-scene tape to cordon off the area

  • A flashlight

  • Latex gloves and paper shoe covers

  • A magnifying glass and tweezers for collecting trace evidence

  • A pen, logbook, and sketchpad

  • Measuring tapes and rulers

  • A camera with black & white and color film and several different lenses

  • An assortment of paper, plastic, and glass containers to store collected materials

  • Sealable evidence bags

  • Portable alternative light sources — laser, ultraviolet, and infrared

  • Basic fingerprint kit with powders and lifting tape

  • Casting kit for three-dimensional shoe and tire impressions.

  • Gunshot residue detection kit

  • Chemicals to locate occult bloodstains — such as Luminol

  • Serology kit for sampling blood and other biological fluids

  • Rape kit

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