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6
Collection of Evidence and
Preservation of the Scene
I. INTRODUCTION
Standard investigative practice calls for the security ofcer to attentively protect the crime
scene and preserve the evidence. “Collection, preservation and the assurance of evidentiary
integrity
1
are central to the investigative regimen. This is true in any type of case consisting of
criminal conduct or civil injuries; insurance investigations for arson, fraud, and vehicular acci-
dents; terrorist acts; bomb threats; executive protection threats; intrusions into hotels, motels,
colleges, and universities; violent labor disputes; workerscompensation, as well as suspected
retail theft. The skills and competencies required of a public police ofcer apply equally to
the private security ofcer. This chapter presents a comprehensive analysis of methods and
techniques employed by security investigators who must ensure the integrity of evidence and
preserve the scene.
The security investigator requires certain tools” in order to accomplish a thorough and useful
collection of evidence at a scene. Some of these are:
Binoculars•
Blankets•
Brushes•
Bullhorns•
Cables•
Chains•
Chalk and chalkline•
Checklists•
Cutters•
First aid kits•
Flares or fuses•
Floodlamps•
Plaster of Paris•
Screwdriver•
Scribes•
Sketching supplies•
Spatula•
Sponges•
Sprays•
Stamps•
Steel measuring tape•
Swabs•
Syringes•
Tags•
Tape recorder•
Templates•
Thermometer•
Tinsnips•
Towels•
Transceivers•
Tubes•
Tweezers•
Vacuums•
Wax•
Wire•
Wrenches•
2
II. PRELIMINARY STRATEGIES AND RESPONSES
If the investigator is fortunate enough to have early access to the civil or criminal scene, securing
the scenes physical integrity—the conditions surrounding the occurrence and the preservation of its
evidence—whether evidence of personal injury, or damage to property, or contraband, is a critical
responsibility. This initial scene search should be a planned, coordinated, and competent action that
is legally permissible and does not interfere with or obstruct the function of public justice. To eluci-
date, investigators for insurance companies should be cautious upon approach and announce to pub-
lic law enforcement their status and intentions. Without exception, private investigators must give

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