Notes for the Occasional Major Case Manager

By Rothwell, Gary | The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, January 2006 | Go to article overview

Notes for the Occasional Major Case Manager


Rothwell, Gary, The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


Day-to-day administrative responsibilities consume the time of most law enforcement managers, causing them to lose touch with the tactical and strategic aspects of criminal investigations. Many do not directly respond to crime scenes and seldom manage investigations. Further, they may find that previous supervisory training rarely addressed such situations. This holds especially true in the thousands of agencies that only occasionally encounter major crimes.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

To this end, a brief reac-quaintance with basic investigative concepts will help managers react to these incidents with increased confidence by knowing what to do initially, as well as through familiarity with case management practices that enhance opportunities for investigative success. To coordinate investigations, managers can use these fundamental approaches seldom addressed in formal training and often forgotten or overlooked in actual operations. Measures include initial-response organizational tasks and investigative principles that can contribute to a successful outcome.

ORGANIZATIONAL TASKS

Anecdotes and experience appear to indicate that errors happen more often at the outset of criminal investigations than at any other time. This dilemma frequently occurs if investigators fail to ensure order at crime scenes or neglect to create it in their own approaches to investigations. Therefore, managers should ensure that investigators accomplish the following tasks early in an investigation.

Secure the Crime Scene

Supervisors should anticipate that a scene is not protected prior to their arrival, then take measures to secure it as soon as possible. This means clearing it of unnecessary personnel and identifying and interviewing all individuals previously present to determine whether they were involved in or witnessed the crime, as well as if and how they may have contaminated or altered the scene. This step proves especially important with emergency medical personnel, firefighters, and coroners; managers should ensure that their personnel determine not only what these first responders did while inside the scene but also what they saw that may have changed before police arrival. Securing the scene includes establishing a perimeter, with uniformed personnel if possible, to limit entrance to and exit from the area to authorized personnel and keeping a record of those persons who access it. When establishing the perimeter, managers should make sure it is sufficiently comprehensive--evidence often is missed because examined areas were too constricted.

Deploy Sufficient Personnel

Nearly all agencies face lean budgets and limited staffs. However, few things can slow down an investigation as quickly as assigning an insufficient number of personnel to perform investigative tasks in a timely manner. Managers should ensure the allocation of an adequate amount of officers to simultaneously conduct several investigative functions. Generally, at least four should cover scene security, evidence processing, witness interviews, and case supervision. The location and complexity of the crime scene, number of witnesses, and other factors can affect workforce requirements. Therefore, managers should err on overstaffing, relieving any unnecessary personnel when needed, and consider assistance from other agencies if necessary.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Establish Command and Investigative Structures

Managers should choose an individual, not necessarily an investigator, with sufficient authority to secure and allocate personnel and resources to facilitate the investigation and remain in charge. Further, supervisors immediately should assign a lead investigator who serves many purposes, such as providing a conduit through which investigative data is assimilated and leads are assigned to appropriate personnel. Information rapidly loses value when no one views the big picture and coordinates the gathering of additional pieces of the investigative puzzle. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Notes for the Occasional Major Case Manager
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.