The Tools of the Trade for Crime Scene Investigators - dummies

The Tools of the Trade for Crime Scene Investigators

By Douglas P. Lyle

Part of Forensics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Crime scene investigators are called to all types of crime scenes and at all hours. Because they need certain tools and equipment to perform their duties, criminalists usually keep a well-stocked toolbox, which contains the items they most often need. The box may literally be a toolbox or tackle box, but can be anything that is easily carried to the scene. Here’s what’s in it:

  • 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

  • Digital camera, as well as a camera with black and 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 such as 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