The Easthampton Police Department has several officers on staff that have received specialized training as Evidence/Identification Officers. In addition to their regular patrol or investigative duties, these officers perform departmental functions relating to the documentation, collection and processing and preservation of evidence.
Among the duties and responsibilities of Evidence/Identification Officers, they must:
• Become proficient in the science and techniques of fingerprinting, photography and the collection, preservation and presentation of all physical evidence;
• Provide photographic documentation of crime scenes, death scenes, serious car crashes and fires of suspicious origin, as well as any physical evidence identified within;
• Systematically search crime scenes for physical evidence at the direction of, and under the control of, a supervisor or detective;
• Collect, process and package physical evidence identified at a scene;
• Process all evidence collected or brought to the department;
• Coordinate the submission of physical evidence to the crime laboratory for further forensic analysis;
• Preserve for Court any and all physical evidence found at the scene of a crime;
• Establish and maintain accurate records of evidence collection.
Evidence/Identification Officers serve an important role in the investigative process, and every case is unique. They must carefully document each scene while being cognizant of relevant physical evidence. Furthermore, their ability to recognize and properly collect physical evidence is crucial not only in solving a crime, but successfully prosecuting the offender(s) as well.