This may include victims and even property owners/managers.
OFTEN TIMES, BYSTANDERS MAY CONTAMINATE OR CORRUPT UNSEEN EVIDENCE (FINGERPRINTS, FOOTPRINTS, DEBRIS) THAT MAY BE ABLE TO AID IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF SUSPECTS.
Even law enforcement personnel keep high ranking members out of a crime scene unless investigators have established an entry log and ensured that their presence is necessary.
While this might sound difficult, explaining to property owners, managers, and victims that their entry could possibly hinder the identification of suspects or the recovery of missing items should assist in allaying concerns until the police arrive and can determine who may be needed within the scene to assist in identification of damaged or missing property.
SET UP PHYSICAL BARRIERS OR CALLING UPON OTHERS TO ASSIST WITH CONTAINMENT.
Tape, ropes, and cones can assist in providing physical indicators of where persons should not access.
If enough personnel are available, encircle the scene and maintain an outer perimeter of approximately 25 feet or more.
In the event that none are available, calling upon the assistance of others, including possible witnesses (once they are made aware of the need to prevent entry and removal) may aid in ensuring the integrity of the scene.
Chain of Custody refers to the chronological documentation or paper trail, showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of physical or electronic evidence.
Unless absolutely necessary DO NOT handle (touch) the evidence if you don’t have to due to protection of evidence:
Notify the first police officer on the scene
Turn over evidence to him/her
Write down all their information
If circumstances require the Security Officer to touch possible evidence (closet doorknob to ensure suspects are not present, weapon that is near and possibly dangerous to the proximity of a victim, etc.), make sure to note the time and location where recovered and notify the first law enforcement officer on the scene.
If a weapon has been secured in your possession, try to handle as sparingly as possible and turn the evidence over to law enforcement at that time.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU NOTE THAT PERSON’S INFORMATION (NAME, BADGE NUMBER, DEPARTMENT) AND THE TIME THE EVIDENCE WAS SURRENDERED.
Follow company policy when dealing with the media.
Because of the nature of the scene and events that may have transpired, media may be present.
MAINTAINING PRESENCE AT CRIME SCENE
Follow the directions of the peace officers on the scene
Leave your post only when ordered to do so
Be highly visible
Until relieved by management or excluded by law enforcement, the property owners that have contracted the security services provided expect for those services to be carried out.
Being highly visible alerts the public, including any other would-be offenders, that security is on site and ready to deter any future criminal acts.
PROTECTING THE CRIME SCENE
The security officer’s most important responsibility of evidence preservation is protecting the crime scene.
This is to keep the pertinent evidence uncontaminated until it can be recorded and collected.
Important: Occupations Code 1702.102 (b) states that a person licensed only as a security services contractor may not conduct an investigation other than an investigation incidental to the loss, misappropriation, or concealment of property that the person has been engaged to protect.
Field notes will assist the security officer to obtain the relevant information during any interviews.
The questions asked should be limited to: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
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