Crime Scene Investigation: Guides for Law Enforcement

These guides are intended for use by law enforcement and other responders who have responsibility for protecting crime scenes, preserving physical evidence and collecting and submitting the evidence for scientific examination.

Follow Agency Policies!
Actions taken following these guides should be performed in accordance with department policies and procedures and federal and state laws.

Jurisdictional, logistical or legal conditions may preclude the use of particular procedures contained herein.

If crime scene investigators do not act methodically, they risk contaminating or losing evidence. Approach a crime scene investigation as if it will be your only opportunity to preserve and recover evidence. Combine a scientific assessment of physical evidence with case information and witness statements as you assess the scene.

The steps presented on these Web pages are a guide to recommended practices for crime scene investigation. 

For general crime scene guidance, see Crime Scene Investigation Guide, published by the National Forensic Science Technology Center with support from NIJ, BJA, and NIST.

Call in Help!
For potentially dangerous situations, such as biological weapons or radiological or chemical threats, contact the appropriate agencies.

Special Circumstances. In addition to general  procedures, you also can find guides for investigating crime scenes where:

Date Created: July 12, 2017