Trace Evidence Collection at Blast Scenes
Focus Area: Crime Scene Response
Description: During investigations of terrorist-caused explosions, proper collection and processing of the trace evidence at the blast scene is critical to forensically develop the maximum information from the site. In addition to possibly identifying the responsible terrorists, the trace evidence can also characterize the type of explosive device and the materials used. Each scene presents its own challenges, and investigators have many factors to consider. Having access to the latest available information, research, and a well organized best practices guide is invaluable to those responsible for processing the blast scene. Analytic Services, Inc. researched and published a comprehensive reference that describes the best practices for the identification, collection, and preservation of trace evidence at blast scenes. The reference includes an explanation of the forensic examinations and tests that are available for the different types of evidence. This reference was used to produce a condensed ruggedized guide for trace evidence best practices that fits in the cargo pockets of military uniforms and is easily carried to blast scenes. The reference and the pocket guide emphasizes the best practices to use in the non-ideal situations seen in a combat theater, such as having few persons to process the scene, a lack of equipment, short processing times, and life-threatening security issues.
Project Cost: $450,000
Project Duration: 19 months
Operational Impact: Makes screening questioning and other standard questioning more efficient and productive and allows interviewers to have a record of questioning with better efficiency.
Deliverable: 40 hard copies of the TEMRG; 150 hard copies of the TEMRG and electronic copies
Performers: Analytic Services, Inc.
End Users: Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency, and state and local law enforcement agencies
Transition: Distributed copies to various law enforcement and federal agencies. It will eventually be available through the Government Printing Office.