This Article is About
scene response
private security officers
command presence
bowling alleys
perpetrator
office buildings
second chance
Crime Scene Response For Security Personnel, Third Article In A Series
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Crime Scene Response for Security Personnel, Third Article In A Series

Do it right the first time, because you won’t get a second chance.

“With more than 2 million private security officers across the country protecting everything from shopping centers and office buildings to high-rise parking structures and bowling alleys, it is almost certain that sooner or later a security officer will be the first responder to a crime scene. Like police officers who encounter crime scenes, the actions taken or not taken by security personnel can literally make the difference between identifying the perpetrator(s) and successful prosecution or the case ending up in a cold-case file indefinitely.”

This article is the third in a series of three articles designed to give the security officer, whether he or she is new on the job or has many years of service, a fundamental and practical primer on crime scene response. The first article introduced the reader to several fundamental forensic principles and discussed the first priorities of security personnel upon discovering any crime scene. The second article discussed the importance of immediately establishing a command presence at crime scenes and the importance and challenges of securing a crime scene. This final article will discuss turning over control of the scene to law enforcement, documenting actions and observations, and assessing the response.

Turning Over Control of the Crime Scene to Law Enforcement

As a security officer, whether you assumed control of the crime scene for just a few minutes or for hours, when law enforcement arrives you will need to hand over control and give investigators all the information you have. Being able to communicate with responding law enforcement officers is a key skill of handling a crime scene. Most responding officers will appreciate the care and effort you took in securing the scene and will be receptive of any information you can provide them. Unfortunately, some may seem less than appreciative. Don’t take it personally.

Your role is to brief officers and investigators on how you discovered the crime scene, what you did upon arriving at the scene, and provide any information you have about the victim or possible suspects. If any evidence has been disturbed or moved, let them know. Quite simply, tell them everything you know.

After providing responding law enforcement officers everything you know and providing your contact information, ask the officers or investigators if there is anything more they would like you to do. Likely, you will get a response like: “If we need anything, we will contact you.” That’s fine, you did your job.

Document Your Actions and Observations

After turning over responsibility for the scene to law enforcement, you should immediately create a written record of all of the activity that occurred. Even if your company policy does not require a formal report, you should write one. Information jotted down in a notebook is better than nothing but is not a substitute for a comprehensive report. A well written report of what transpired will ensure that you do not forget anything and will serve as a touch stone to memory should you be called to be a witness in a judicial proceeding.

At a minimum, your report should include the time you learned of the crime, the time you arrived at the scene, actions you took at the scene, including observations about the crime scene and information about the location, people, and items involved with the scene. Your report should be descriptive including notes about lights, doors, windows, furniture, sounds, smells, temperature, etc. The notes should also include statements of any witnesses you may have contacted and their contact information, such as names, addresses, and contact numbers.

Analyze the Response

After the event, even if the crime scene was not particularly notable, take a day or two to think about what occurred. Ask yourself, “What did I do well?” and “What could I have done better?” If possible, meet with co-workers who were also at the scene and with your supervisor and review how the incident was handled. Don’t be overly critical of your actions. You did your best. Be mindful that even experienced law enforcement personnel can miss things at a crime scene and the only way you can improve your performance next time is to recognize the things that could have been handled better.

Keep An Eye Out

Long after the police have left the scene, your duties are not finished. In the days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years that follow, you should be especially alert following the perpetration of a crime for any further suspicious activity. In your security role, you likely know the area better than anyone. It is not uncommon for criminals to return to the sites of their crimes to satisfy their own curiosity or to check on the progress of the investigation. It is also possible that initial investigators could have overlooked some piece of evidence that may not have seemed important at the time. Report all suspicious activity or newly discovered evidence promptly to investigators. Even the smallest detail could prove the key to cracking a case.

Summary

Private security officers have many roles when discovering a crime scene. Turning over control of the crime scene to law enforcement is an important role that should be done

deliberately, with forethought, and in a professional manner. Simply leaving and returning to assigned duties when law enforcement arrives is not professional.

Security personnel should realize that following their involvement at any crime scene, they could receive a subpoena to testify at a Grand Jury, trial, or even a civil action. A complete report, written shortly after the incident, will help in remembering facts and actions taken. After the incident is over, involved security personnel should critique their response and keep a continual eye out for new evidence or information that could aid investigators in solving the crime.


Street Talk

keon  

Nice article that touches upon many good points. Must read for all who work campus security. Thanks.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
You May Also Like
Crime Scene Response for Security Personnel, Second Article In A Series
Do it right the first time, because you won’t get a second chance. “With more than 2 million private security officers across the country protecting everything from shopping centers and office buildings to high-rise parking structures and bowling alleys, it is almost certain that sooner or later a security officer…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   Jun 11, 2012  
0
  Likes: 4

Crime Scene Response for Security Personnel, Do it Right the First Time, Because You Won't Get A Second Chance
With more than 2 million private security officers across the country protecting everything from shopping centers and office buildings to high-rise parking structures and bowling alleys, it is almost certain that sooner or later a security officer will be the first responder to a crime scene. Like police officers who…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   Jun 08, 2012  
2
  Likes: 5

Crime Scene Response for Security Personnel, Second Article In A Series
Do it right the first time, because you won’t get a second chance. “With more than 2 million private security officers across the country protecting everything from shopping centers and office buildings to high-rise parking structures and bowling alleys, it is almost certain that sooner or later a security officer…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   Jun 11, 2012  
0
  Likes: 4

Crime Scene Response for Security Personnel, Second Article In A Series
Do it right the first time, because you won’t get a second chance. “With more than 2 million private security officers across the country protecting everything from shopping centers and office buildings to high-rise parking structures and bowling alleys, it is almost certain that sooner or later a security officer…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   Jun 11, 2012  
0
  Likes: 4

Crime Scene Response for Security Personnel, Second Article In A Series
Do it right the first time, because you won’t get a second chance. “With more than 2 million private security officers across the country protecting everything from shopping centers and office buildings to high-rise parking structures and bowling alleys, it is almost certain that sooner or later a security officer…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   Jun 11, 2012  
0
  Likes: 4

Swimming Pool Safety
If you have a swimming pool, something that you may be thinking about is the safety of the swimming pool area. One way to keep people safe at your swimming pool area is by installing a wireless security camera around the swimming pool. If you are looking for a wireless…
By: Edward Thompson in  Business  >  Security   Jun 06, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

10 Things to Remember When Using Security Seals
The proper use of security seals can be, at the very least, a confusing endeavor. Depending on your industry and what you’re shipping, you may have requirements for which types of seals you need to purchase. You might think that once you have that part figured out, you’re home free!…
By: Andrea Neil in  Business  >  Security   Jun 01, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Physical Security Consultant - What Benefits Can they Bring to Your Business?
Why should you hire a security consultant? What can a security consultant do for your business? You are an expert in your business, but not necessarily an expert on physical security. While you may have some thoughts or ideas on your security needs, you recognize that effective security involves a…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   May 29, 2016  
0
  Likes: 2

IP Cameras Can Help With Garage Fires
People do not put smoke detectors or fire alarms in their garages and a fire inside your garage can quickly catch into your home. One way to keep tabs on your garage in case there were to be a fire is the use of an IP camera. Put an IP…
By: Edward Thompson in  Business  >  Security   May 23, 2016  
1
  Likes: 0

Fences That Deter Burglars – An Effective Compromise
In one of my previous articles, “Invisible Dogs that Deter Burglars” I wrote about residential burglaries and how people can use an Invisible Barking Dog alarm as part of an overall layered security “system” to deter burglars. As good as any alarm system may work, all security measures can be…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   May 17, 2016  
1
  Likes: 2

Invisible Dogs That Deter Burglars
Before I became a private investigator and physical security consultant in my home state of Oregon I spent 34 years in law enforcement. Much of that time was spent investigating residential burglaries. I caught burglars who were stalking neighborhoods looking for an easy target. I confronted burglars as they were…
By:  in  Business  >  Security   May 15, 2016  
0
  Likes: 2

Keeping Kids Safe at School
In today’s crazy world, the safety of student’s while they are traveling to and from and while they are in school is a serious problem. The safety of many students is jeopardized every single day. One way to help with keeping students safe is the use of a wireless security…
By: Edward Thompson in  Business  >  Security   May 10, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Top Spots to Place Your Hunting Camera
A hunting camera is not going to stumble through your bedding area, leave scents or exaggerate on the size of a buck. It is important to place your hunting camera in the perfect spots to help you how exactly about the buck you are looking for. There are many different…
By: Edward Thompson in  Business  >  Security   May 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Secure Any Outdoor Festivals With These Tips
As the summer approaches, so does the festive season. Big, summer weddings, Fourth of July festivals and many other such outdoor events are great attractions for summer months. However, along with the such festivities, comes the problem of security. It is quite challenging to provide security for such events, without…
By: April Hernandez in  Business  >  Security   Apr 27, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

C - tpat And The Importance Of Security Seals
There is no question that supply chain management is the most difficult part of the transportation process. Maintaining compliance on local, statewide, regional, national and even international laws is a daunting task that requires a lot of patience and research. How a transportation business remains competitive and stays on top…
By: 15STMKTG in  Business  >  Security   Mar 21, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1140    Report this Article