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Department of Forensic Sciences

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Crime Scene Sciences Division

The Crime Scene Sciences Division (CSS) is in the process of hiring, training, and certifying civilian crime scene scientists who will analyze, collect, process, and preserve evidence in criminal cases.

Crime scenes are the primary point of detection, collection, and preservation of evidence. Time doesn't stop; all things degrade, dissolve, or change with time although the rates differ (plastic degrades slower than ice, for example). All of the methods and processes employed at a scene are geared toward "stopping the clock", that is, keeping the scene and the evidence as much as it was when the crime was committed as possible until it can be recorded and documented. The evidence should be viewed in the context of the crime, the persons involved, and the environment (both physical and temporal). Science applied at the scene can generate data for later analysis, provide quicker answers, and facilitate better analysis in the laboratory.

Technology employed at crime scenes now include alternate light sources across multiple bandwidths, three-dimensional laser scanners, reconstructive software for complex scenes, chemical and physical developers for fingerprints, biometric devices for fingerprint searches and many more.