Over the past several years Crime Scene Investigations police television shows have popularized the application of the forensic sciences in the collecting, processing, and analyzing of evidence in criminal investigations. The forensic sciences play an important role in criminal investigations today, but in real life criminal investigations the evidence is not always able to be identified and collected in cases and we almost never have the crime solved in an hour as it happens on television.
Today, we do focus a much greater degree of our time on identifying and collecting all the evidence at crime scenes as a critical element in our criminal investigative process. With that goal in mind, in 2008, we reorganized our crime scene processing capabilities and established the Lakeville Police Crime Scene Unit (CSU).
The CSU is a team of nine Lakeville officers who receive specialized training in the core areas of crime scene processing and documentation. These specially trained officers have to be able to identify and collect all types of evidence at any crime scene ranging from lifting fingerprints to collecting DNA evidence. In addition, these officers receive specialized training in digitally documenting and diagraming crime scenes.
To make sure that our officers have the necessary instruments and tools to properly process crime scenes required that the CSU be provided with a specialized CSU vehicle (a converted medical ambulance) that transports all the specialized instruments and equipment to the crime scene for use by the CSU officers. The current CSU team officers are Josh Berkebile, Nic Stevens, Jim Dronen, Sandy Thoeny, Michelle Roberts, Brad Paulson, Mike Lamm, Mike Katzovitz, Jason Haider, and Sgt. Mike Sheady.
The CSU officers continue their training on an ongoing basis in multiple forensic disciplines to make sure that they are knowledgeable in the most current techniques and processes for collecting evidence. This past week for example, the CSU team spent one day training at the Dakota County Medical Examiner’s Office in Hastings. So far this year, the CSU team has worked on 78 crime scenes.
NEW DCC DISPATCHER IS LPD ALUMNI
Community Service Officer (CSO) Nicole Martin completed her last day at LPD this week and has been hired as the newest 911 dispatcher at the Dakota County Communications Center. CSO Martin has served with distinction at LPD for the past four years in the Community Services Division as a CSO and most recently, also on a part-time basis in the Police Records Division. We wish Nicole well in her new career and look forward to hearing her voice on the radio again soon, in her new role as a dispatcher.
WEEKLY LPD SNAPSHOT
Sampling of LPD activity for the week of Nov. 17 to Nov. 21, 2012
Traffic crashes: 12 Alarms: 35 Animal Calls: 30 Medical Emergency Calls: 34 Thefts: 20 Traffic Stops: 205.