Your heart is pounding. You turn the corner, slowing the car, seeing all the police vehicles flashing at the end of the street, and the crowd held back by the cordon of street cops.
A house in a suburb, a car with the driver’s door open. The first victim you see is half in, half out of the car, multiple wounds. Every cop on the crime scene stops and looks up as you park your car and grab your Crime Scene briefcase. You make your way through the staring eyes of the excited crowd.
You are passed through the police barricades, and the first look confirms what the police dispatcher said. A panicky call to 911 by a male. Gunshots. Silence. No one on the scene can be sure what went down, how or why. They all watch you begin your work.
Three victims, one male, two females. Two guns on the scene, one in the car, another in the hand of the male victim.
The homicide detectives are interviewing the locals, canvassing any potential witnesses. You nod to them, briefly, and do your thing— you dust the scene for latent prints, you take DNA samples, you digitally photograph every angle, you search for hair and fibers, you secure the weapons for x-ray forensics and ballistics, you search for ID, scars, tattoos, birthmarks, and you itemize all data for the most important work of all— computer forensic applications.
You are the brain trust of the investigation. How did you become such a person? Where did you learn crime scene analysis?
The fact is, the criminal investigative detectives studied Forensic Science, the crime lab detectives too, just as you did. You each got the job because you had the degree. You each are on the department’s fast track, because you know what you know, and apply it to fight crime.
Each of you on the crime scene is a different fit, each to a degree program specific to your chosen field. The choice of knowledge is critical to your ultimate success.
For some, there is toxicology, DNA, and other crime lab specialties. Chemistry and biology are fundamental for a bachelor’s degree program with a clinical focus.
Forensic Science field work— such as crime scene investigation— require the kind of knowledge acquired from a degree in forensic science. Studies will necessarily include such courses as advanced math, chemistry, biology, psychology, evidence collection, courtroom presentation and sociology.
Forensic science is a highly competitive job field. The pay is great, and the work is fascinating, never boring, but requires the kind of mindset that is probing, methodical, and resolute. If this is the kind of person you are, consider the field.
Crime is an ever-growing area of human endeavor, and criminal forensic science must keep pace.
There are many fine forensics science programs offered at a number of universities and colleges, whether one near you, or a distance learning institution online. You will find degree programs in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Investigation.
Again, this type of degree program prepares students for forensic science field work in a law enforcement setting. You will gain the tools needed to step into a criminal world and master it.
And when you step into a crime scene, you are the brain trust, because you earned it.