Roles of the first attending officer.

Essay by gumbootUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2005

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What are the roles and responsibilities of the first attending police officer at a crime scene?

Of all the roles and responsibilities police hold, one of the most important any officer could have, would be that of the first attending officer at a crime scene. The ability of the first attending officer to perform their duties accurately is vital for the outcome of evidence collection to be successful. The importance of the evidence collected can help the investigation in many ways, it can be used to determine if there was a crime committed, help link suspects with the crime scene or victims, assist in establishing any proofs/elements of the crime, support witness/victim testimony's and more importantly help exonerate the innocent.

Errors made by the first attending officer may never be amended. That is why it is important that the first attending officer adhere to the crucial steps required for preserving the crime scene.

Regardless of the officers ranking or the severity of the crime, the duties that are required remain the same. They include; the safety of ones self and all others present at the scene, identification and preservation of the crime scene, notifying radio (VKG) on the extent of the crime and request required assistance, determine potential witnesses and suspects and finally to make sure detailed notes on all aspect of the crime are kept updated in their notebook.

The key to an officer's survival when arriving at a crime scene or incident is the assessment of the situation for safety hazards. This assessment is an ongoing role that does not stop until they have finished at the scene. It is when an officer becomes complacent that their safety is compromised. Once the officer has assessed the situation and feels it is safe to enter, they can then start...