Crime Scene Investigations Section
The Crime Scene Investigations Section is made up of Sergeant Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs), District Evidence Specialists, quality assurance CSIs, First Sergeant Crime Scene Investigations Supervisors, and a Lieutenant Section Commander.
The Section is responsible for responding to crime scenes for not only the Indiana State Police (ISP), but other criminal justice agencies across Indiana. The CSIs respond to any request for crime scene investigation where specialized evidence identification, collection, and preservation is needed. There are several CSIs with expertise in Blood Pattern Analysis, Crime Scene Reconstruction, Shooting Reconstruction and Trajectory, and 3D Crime Scene Imaging. The CSIs process, on average, approximately 1200 crime scenes per year. Those crime scenes range from burglaries and thefts to death investigations and murder. The CSIs are issued specialized vehicles to carry the large amount of equipment necessary to investigate many types of crime scenes.
There are fourteen District evidence storage facilities across the State that are managed by the ISP Evidence Specialist. Each facility maintains large amounts of evidence that is contributed by ISP troopers, detectives and CSIs. The management of each highly important piece of evidence is critical to the success of criminal cases. The Evidence Specialists are specialized in evidence handling practices like packaging, storage, chain of custody, organization, retrieval, and laboratory submission. The Evidence Specialists are knowledgeable about all types of laboratory analysis and assist the investigating officers with submissions of physical evidence items for forensic analysis. Because of the high volume of evidence submitted to these facilities, the Evidence Specialists continually stay on top of evidence dispositions in order to purge items that are no longer of value.
The three members of the Crime Scene Investigations Quality Assurance Unit administer comprehensive training in crime scene processing to local law enforcement agencies as well as Indiana State Police CSIs. The Unit assists the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in certification of CSIs for agencies throughout the state. The Unit annually audits each of the fourteen ISP District evidence storage facilities. Each evidence storage facility has a Complete Inventory Audit every two years, which is a comprehensive review to account for every item stored at the facility. The Unit is occasionally called upon to audit a local law enforcement agency’s evidence system. These audits are completed when there is a criminal investigation involving internal issues with the physical evidence stored at the location. Additionally, the Unit semi-annually assesses the work of all ISP CSIs. As part of the quality assurance program to ensure competency and properly functioning equipment, each CSI is given a proficiency test annually under the supervision of the Unit.