Procedure for Photographing a Crime Scene Directions: While a policy describes a principle or rule to guide decisions that should result in some desired outcome (describes what and why), a procedure outlines the steps to achieve the desired outcome (describes what, how, where, and when). Use the outline below to create a procedure for photographing a crime scene. If you wish, you make the procedure specific to either still photographs or video. 1. Procedure Statement: In general terms, what should the procedure accomplish? 2. Statement of Purpose: It should address the importance of maintaining a proper chain of custody and having the photo be admissible in court–think relevance, authentication, how gruesome can the photo be, and nudity. 3. Terms and Definitions: These are the terms used in this policy and their definition. 4. Specific Responsibilities: You may add more under this heading if you feel it is necessary. a. Crime Scene Protection: Describe the initial steps to be taken in securing the scene and preparing to photograph. b. Equipment: Describe what equipment you would normally take along, such as a camera and lighting. c. Safety Precautions: What do you need to do to ensure your safety? d. Types of Photos: Think long shots to take in as much of the crime scene as possible and close-ups to show detail. What notes, such as camera settings and distance to object, will you keep concerning the photo? e. Photo Identification: Describe how you will ensure that you can identify the photo at some later date. Remember that you must be able to verify that the photo is a fair and accurate representation of the crime scene. f. Chain of Custody: If you must release the photos to someone else, what steps/forms will be used to maintain the chain of custody? g. Storage of Photos: Describe how the photos will be preserved and precautions that must be addressed. What format will you use (TIFF, Bitmap, JPEG)? h. Reconstruction of the Crime Scene: What will you do if you arrive at the scene and find that the crime scene has been altered or objects moved? i. Presentation at Trial: Describe how the photos can be presented at court. What type of presentation is best for what kind of photos? Note: You may use your favorite search engine to collect additional information for formulating your procedure. Use the search term(s) crime scene photography, forensic photography, etc. Use the following checklist to ensure that you have addressed all of the requirements for this activity. The checklist will also be used by the instructor to evaluate your submission. 1. A brief description of what the procedure will accomplish is included. 2. The Statement of Purpose describes the importance of maintaining the chain of custody and other considerations that will promote the admissibility of the photo at trial. 3. The terms (Terms and Definitions) used in the procedure are adequately addressed. 4. The items under Specific Responsibilities are adequately addressed. 5. Your document is reflective of the written communication skills required of a college student in that it is accurate, concise, and professional in appearance with proper spelling and grammar. 6. NOTE: APA formatting is not required, nor is there a requirement for a minimum/maximum word count. The goal is to create a workable and understandable procedure that will guide the officer in preparing photographs that will be admissible in court. Although APA formatting and the inclusion of sources are not required, all sources used must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations. Again, it is not a requirement to include outside sources within this assignment. Plagiarism is the offense of using another’s work as your own. To avoid plagiarism, identify the work of others (if it is within your document) and use your own words and ideas to create the majority, if not all, of the assignment. APA Style is simply the style used to identify the work of the original owner/author. For this assignment, you will choose the format (i.e., headings, fonts, spacing, etc.) because this is not a research-based assignment. Use a format that is professional and easily legible. Procedures that are difficult to read will not be useful for officers. Save the procedure document and submit it as one of the following file formats: DOC, DOCX, or PDF
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