Learn how police use science in criminal investigations and its role in the criminal justice system with this free online course.
This six-week course is designed to help the criminal justice student learn how to gather, analyze, and process data in the course of large scale criminal case investigations.
Topics include investigative techniques, photography, note taking, and sketching; identifying, collecting, examining, and processing physical evidence; and obtaining information about suspects as well as identifying and locating suspects. The FBI Major Case #203, “Pizza Bomber” investigation will be utilized as a case study for this course. Every investigative step taken during the course of the investigation will be analyzed and discussed. Each week will include engaging activities for course participants.
This open course contains discussion themes and images that some participants may find disturbing. Participant discretion is advised.
Topics covered include:
Week One: Rules and laws
Week Two: Organization of the Investigative Process
Week Three: The Preliminary Crime Scene Investigation
Week Four: The Crime Scene Search
Week Five: The Follow-Up Checklist
Week Six: Legal Processes
- Describe and discuss the duties and responsibilities of a criminal investigator.
- Discuss how the criminal investigator identifies the violations and jurisdictional boundaries associated with the investigation.
- Identify and discuss the initial response and the organization and control of an investigative crime scene.
- Discuss the importance of effective investigative case report writing and documentation.
- Outline proper procedures for the crime scene investigator involving the identification and collection of evidence.
- Describe the legal aspects of criminal investigative processes and articulate informed opinions about crime scene analysis and investigative searches.
- Examine the follow-up investigation process and resources that are available after initial crime scene determinations have been identified.
- Discuss the interviewing and interrogation processes as they relate to the criminal investigation.
- Outline the requirements for the case presentation of the established evidence to a Grand Jury for potential indictments.
- Identify the elements of a successfully prosecuted criminal investigation and discuss the proper procedures for trial preparation and courtroom testimony.
- Discuss the process of closing a criminal investigation, evidence destruction, and the benefits of a full scale case debriefing.
- Discuss criminal investigations and the media and demonstrate the appreciation the challenges of complex case investigations.