Maintaininga chain of custody is significant and begins when the evidence iscollected until the time of disposal of the evidence. This procedurehelps to prove that no alterations or changes have been made to theevidence. This paper will analyze the procedure on how to handle aweapon as physical evidence.
Thisaim of this procedure is to give out accurate accounting in how therequired evidence was acquired, preserved, and transported and bywho, the date, location and the reason.
Statement of Purpose
Maintaininga chain of custody is significant and mostly starts with evidencecollection by the investigator. First, the weapon will be marked andlabeled. The chain of custody helps to ascertain any persons who hadget in touch with the evidence. Secondly, it helps to ascertain thetime and date the evidence was touched. The chain of custody alsohelps to find out the circumstances that led to the handling of theevidence and finally, if they are any changes made in the evidence(Skelton, 2010).
Terms and Definitions:
Termsused in this policy include Chain of evidence which is described asmaintenance of the physical evidence custody from collection to finaldisposal. Impounding officer is another term used in this policy todescribe a member of the law enforcement agency who in the beginningreceives the evidences and starts maintaining the chain of custody.Physical evidence include substance, material, sample recovered atthe crime scene and includes and not limited to fingerprints,bloodstains, fabric and marks (Zucker, 2012).
Applicability and Scope
Thechain of custody policy ensures the collected evidence is accountableand admissible in the court. It is only applicable to sworn lawenforcement officers
Crimescene protection is a significant aspect that helps to keep therelevant evidence away from contamination until the time of recordingand collection. The first step of protecting the crime scene beginswith the arrival of the police officer at the crime scene until whenthe scene becomes released from the custody of the police.
Evidencecollection is a major step that helps to find out items used incrime. Items that can be found include weapons and drug. In the eventthese items are found officer should investigate them by collectingthem using gloves and putting them in a plastic bag or an envelopeand seal them. The evidence stored in an envelope or bag is properlymarked to reveled clear information of the content, where the itemwas found, and the date and time of finding the items. A chain ofcustody form helps to prove integrity in maintaining the evidence.This form shows the name of the police officer who first received theevidence, the time, date and the location this evidence was received.Additionally, this form show the name of the custodian of theevidence and description of the data obtained form the crime scene.Storage of evidence should be done in an efficient manner with liquiditems requiring to be transported in containers that arenon-breakable and leak proof. Finally, submitting evidence forforensic testing is the last step and requires all evidence to besubmitted in a sealed package that is tamper proof. Evidence is thensubmitted to a laboratory for testing. Specialized techniques areused to find and interpret the relevant date and the investigatorcomes up with a hypothesis of what happened at the crime scene.Presentation is then done before the jury for actions to be taken(Gardner & Anderson, 2009).
Gardner,T. J., & Anderson, T. M. (2009). Criminalevidence: Principles and cases.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Skelton,R. R. (2010). Asurvey of the forensic sciences.Raleigh, N. C: Lulu.
Zucker,S. (2012). Chainof custody.Bloomington, IN.: Authorhouse.