Phoenix Homicide Clearance Project

In July 2004, the Phoenix Police Department transferred four crime scene specialists from its crime lab to the department’s homicide unit. Responsibilities of the crime scene specialists were to collect evidence at homicide scenes, prepare scene reports, develop scene diagrams, and perform other support activities. The primary objective was to improve homicide clearance rates by increasing investigative time through the addition of crime scene specialists.

The study demonstrated that crime scene specialists from the department’s crime lab could be as effective in collecting forensic evidence as homicide investigators. The use of crime scene specialists did not increase overall clearance rates of homicides but increased the clearance rates for more difficult cases that require extensive investigative time.
View the following reports related to this project:
Source: NIJ
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Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

SKELETONIZED REMAINS that were carefully unearthed from the desert sands of Iraq tell their own story: the bones of an adult, still dressed in a woman’s apparel, lie supine. The skull is perforated by a bullet hole. Tucked in the space between the ribs and the left humerus is a much smaller skeleton, bones in the skull un-fused, and the fully clothed body partially swaddled in a blanket.