What do Police Detectives do?
Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
- Provide testimony as a witness in court.
- Secure deceased body and obtain evidence from it, preventing bystanders from tampering with it prior to medical examiner's arrival.
- Examine crime scenes to obtain clues and evidence, such as loose hairs, fibers, clothing, or weapons.
- Obtain evidence from suspects.
- Record progress of investigation, maintain informational files on suspects, and submit reports to commanding officer or magistrate to authorize warrants.
- Check victims for signs of life, such as breathing and pulse.
- Prepare charges or responses to charges, or information for court cases, according to formalized procedures.
- Obtain facts or statements from complainants, witnesses, and accused persons and record interviews, using recording device.
- Prepare and serve search and arrest warrants.
- Note, mark, and photograph location of objects found, such as footprints, tire tracks, bullets and bloodstains, and take measurements of the scene.
- Preserve, process, and analyze items of evidence obtained from crime scenes and suspects, placing them in proper containers and destroying evidence no longer needed.
- Question individuals or observe persons and establishments to confirm information given to patrol officers.
- Secure persons at scene, keeping witnesses from conversing or leaving the scene before investigators arrive.
- Take photographs from all angles of relevant parts of a crime scene, including entrance and exit routes and streets and intersections.
- Analyze completed police reports to determine what additional information and investigative work is needed.
- Obtain summary of incident from officer in charge at crime scene, taking care to avoid disturbing evidence.
- Provide information to lab personnel concerning the source of an item of evidence and tests to be performed.
- Examine records and governmental agency files to find identifying data about suspects.
- Block or rope off scene and check perimeter to ensure that entire scene is secured.
- Summon medical help for injured individuals and alert medical personnel to take statements from them.
- Observe and photograph narcotic purchase transactions to compile evidence and protect undercover investigators.
- Organize scene search, assigning specific tasks and areas of search to individual officers and obtaining adequate lighting as necessary.
- Participate or assist in raids and arrests.
- Coordinate with outside agencies and serve on interagency task forces to combat specific types of crime.
- Note relevant details upon arrival at scene, such as time of day and weather conditions.
- Maintain surveillance of establishments to obtain identifying information on suspects.
- Notify command of situation and request assistance.
- Videotape scenes where possible, including collection of evidence, examination of victim at scene, and defendants and witnesses.
- Notify, or request notification of, medical examiner or district attorney representative.
- Monitor conditions of victims who are unconscious so that arrangements can be made to take statements if consciousness is regained.
- Schedule polygraph tests for consenting parties and record results of test interpretations for presentation with findings.
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