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Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Crime Scene Processing

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the crime scene program is to aid and assist law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Minnesota in the investigation of violent crimes.  The role of the BCA Crime Scene Team is to advise the requesting agency in methods of securing the crime scene prior to arrival; to document the scene with photography, video, and diagrams; to ensure the proper identification, handling, collection and packaging of physical evidence found at a scene; and to perform specialty examinations that would aid in reconstructing the events of the crime.

Response Criteria

The Crime Scene Team will respond to requests for assistance in cases where there has been a violent crime against a person and that person is not able to immediately or effectively aid investigators in the investigation.
A.  Typically, the Laboratory Crime Scene Team will respond to:
  • Homicides
  • Attempted Homicides
  • Abductions
  • Death Investigations
  • Officer Involved Shootings
  • Clandestine Grave Body Recoveries
B. The Crime Scene Team will not typically respond to:
  • Burglaries
  • Criminal Sexual Assaults
  • Assaults
The Crime Scene Team will process vehicles that are brought to the Laboratory garage by a law enforcement agency.  Standard crime scene response criteria do not need to be met and can include any felony offense.

Crime Scene Team Personnel

The Crime Scene Team is comprised of forensic scientists from the Laboratory and special agents of the BCA regional field offices. The Laboratory response will typically consist of two individuals, one of whom is designated as the crime scene team leader and the other as the team member. Field agents typically act as photographers and videographers. Field agents may assist scientists in sketching when acting under the direct supervision of a trained member of the team.

General Categories of Evidence Collected at Scenes

B.  Latent Print Evidence

C.  Firearm and Toolmark Evidence

D.  Impression and Patent Print Evidence

E. Trace Evidence

F. Questioned Document Evidence

G. Shooting Scene Reconstruction

H. Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

I.  General Equipment used in Processing Scenes