Capstone #5

When you see a police car zoom by with their sirens on, do you ever wonder what happened? Well that’s what happens with me. I will tell you about some of the ‘behind the scenes’ work of what might happen. I have many questions, but my biggest question is my main inquiry question. My question is, What are the techniques used by detectives and how have they evolved over time? There are different types of ranks in the police force. A detective is a high ranking. To become a detective you have to go through four to five years of experience.


So, what does a detective do? No matter what crime scene a detective is investigating, they follow the same steps. Detectives do a walk through so they can get a rough idea of what happened. Then they interview suspects or even witnesses. Detectives then begin to look for evidence such as, markings, hair, bloodstains, fibers, and footprints at the crime scene. In some movies, the methods detectives use can be what detectives do in real life. If there are screws in a door, it might be necessary to take the door off in case there is anything on it. Wet materials like blood have to be dried out so it won’t get any chemicals on it. A detective does all of this while wearing gloves so that the evidence is not changed.


Now, you know what a detective does. It is important to know What detectives use to figure out some of their cases. Through the years, technology has been improved to help in the solving of crimes, even social media, like Facebook. Detectives can go on Facebook and easily get a license plate. Some methods used to look for fingerprints are when they sprinkle the fingerprints with a special powder and then pick the print up with a special tape. Detectives have a database just for shoes! That shoe database updates 4 times every year about 2,000 shoe prints added to the system annually! These last two paragraphs show the ways that it is determined that an individual committed a crime.


So, is it easier or harder to convict a criminal now or in the past? Back then there were some of the same procedures as there are now Some of  the equipment has changed but it’s the same concept. Like in 1910, Edmound Locard from France, created the first forensics lab. But those labs have been upgraded ever since. The compound microscope used to be something small and portable but now it is bigger and has more lenses to look at the object with. Well, what about the finger print? Fingerprinting is one of the most important parts about solving a crime. Fingerprinting used to be ink and now you just scan your finger.


After all of this, you might be thinking… ‘okay, we know what detectives do, we know what they use, and we know how far some of the equipment has come but what is the process when it comes to  convict someone?’ The answer to that question is going to court. Court is the government opportunity to put someone in custody. But before anyone is punished for a crime, it has to be proven,‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. This means the jury cannot have the slightest doubt that he/she didn’t do it. There is always different jury’s. A person is tried in court in front of a group of their peers. To be chosen to be in a jury, you get asked questions by attorneys. Based on his/her responses they can be excused from the jury or assigned to the case. What a judge does is collect evidence from both sides. That is how  they determine if he or she actually committed the crime.


All in all, there is a lot of steps to a crime. You might just see a police car zoom by but that could be to get to a car crash or even to a robbery. If it is a robbery it can be as easy as watching the people leave the place or as long as a couple months to find out who did it. If it has to do with driving like speeding, looking at your phone, or alcohol, those do not take that much time. As the technology has improved over time, it has become easier to solve crimes. The coolest thing in my opinion is, how all of the equipment evolved over time.

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