Top 8 Qualities & Skills of a Crime Scene Investigator
For solving any type of criminal case, an investigating officer has a fundamental role to play. Even a slightest mistake on the part of a forensic investigator can make or break a case. This is because a crime scene investigator is responsible for examining the crime scene and the evidence he collects helps in determining the course of the investigation.
The investigator gathers evidence and thoroughly analyzes details of the crime scene. A minor error or negligence could derail or delay the investigation. Because of this, crime scene investigators must be thorough, methodical and stay calm under pressure. Considering the intricate nature of crime scene investigation, the CSI is required to possess certain character traits to solve the case successfully and effectively. For a police investigator, an FBI agent, or private CSI, the following qualities and skills are necessary to effectively solve the cases.
1. Analytical Skills
A crime scene investigator must have analytical skills so that he can formulate theories around the collected pieces of evidence. He/she must be able to identify hidden clues and uncover the minor items. It is necessary that the person is able to drive information from clues and fit them into the larger puzzle to drive a logical conclusion.
2. Great Communication and Teamwork Skills
An investigating officer is supposed to deal with numerous people, including first responders, a team of lab technicians, and law enforcement officers. For dealing with other police officers, the CSI need excellent verbal communication skills to discuss the collected evidence. Also, sometimes the CSI needs to appear in the court as an expert witness.
To determine origin and cause of a case, the CSI needs to remain objective and keep his personal emotions and beliefs at bay. It’s crucial that the person remain detached and don’t get emotionally involved in the case. The emotions and personal beliefs of the investigator can hamper the judgment of the case. The CSI needs to approach the scene methodically and remain objective throughout the investigating process.
4. Well-Versed With the Law
The crime scene experts know each and every legal detail related to the case. Depending on the nature and type of the case, the professional must understand what is legally acceptable in order to investigate the case. This is because if the investigative procedure is conducted in the wrong way, it could result in dismissing the evidence altogether. In addition to this, the CSI may also be charged with legal prosecution.
5. Researching Abilities
A great crime scene investigator is a good researcher. The professional needs to patiently find and analyze various aspects and consider the background information as well. The investigator should also be able to utilize all the relevant resources to conduct thorough research.
6. Proficient Writer
The collected evidence needs to be written down to form a narrative. The investigator must be able to clearly record and describe the crime scene in the written report. It is crucial to prepare this report methodically because this document will serve an important element in the court. For this reason, the CSI needs excellent, clear, and accurate written communication skills.
7. Poise Personality
An investigating officer needs to work under pressure and face extreme conditions. There are some extremely brutal murder cases and some unbearable crime scene. To face such disturbing situations, the CSI should have poise, focused, and calm attitude. In addition to this, some cases are also extensively covered by media which means the investigator should be able to handle every possible kind of situation.
8. Problem-Solving Skills
An investigating officer is essentially a problem-solver. To solve a case, the investigation specialist makes use of analytical skills, critical thinking, and science aptitude. All these skills are employed together to drive interpretation from the collected evidence.