Forensic Investigation Unit
The Forensic Investigations Unit is a highly technical unit that is responsible for the professional processing of crime scenes in an attempt to document all facets of crime thereby providing a solid framework for the reconstruction of the crime. The investigators are able to establish the sequence of events involved in the crime, determine where, when and how the crime was committed as well as who committed the crime. The Forensic Investigations Unit utilizes the natural sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Biology, etc.) plus mathematics to establish the facts of the case and then testify about them in court.
The Forensic Investigation Unit is composed of 8 Forensic Investigators I and II, 2 Lead Forensic Investigators and 1 Forensic Service Manager. The members of this unit are an integral part of the investigative team which seeks to effectively resolve investigations. The actions of this unit can provide facts and/or information not available from other investigation team members.
The Forensic Investigations Unit is divided into three distinct functions.
The Automated Fingerprint Identification System is commonly referred to as "AFIS." During this phase of the investigation, latent prints from a crime scene can be entered into the statewide or federal database. The system searches all arrest files for possible matches. If the system finds a possible match it alerts the Garland Police Department Forensic Unit. If the comparison is a positive match, the Forensic Investigator will notify the Detective assigned to the case of the positive match of a suspect.
Forensic investigations are not limited to the offense location alone. Some investigative techniques require a precisely controlled environment to maximize evidence collection and analysis. Often times, evidence collected at crime scenes will be analyzed and processed at the Garland Police Department's state of the art forensic processing area.
During the on-scene investigation the Forensic Investigator is responsible for:
- Locating, documenting, marking, and collecting physical evidence.
- Ensuring the chain of custody of evidence is maintained.
- Associating persons to the scene of the crime.
- Completing detailed sketches of the crime scene.
- Taking accurate measurements of the crime scene.
- Reconstructing the Crime Scene.