I feel like I have to reference "The Wire." I first saw the show while working for the Crime Lab. When I saw it, was shocked; I couldn't believe how accurate it was. Of course there are dramatic liberties taken, but the show captures so well the essence of the crime problem facing the city, the organizational problems facing the BCPD, and the spirit of the few great police that go above and beyond their job descriptions (not to mention their pay grades).

 
Investigation so often starts with latent prints.

Investigation so often starts with latent prints.


I was assigned to the Mobile Unit, which means that we actually responded to crime scenes. The Baltimore City Police Department Laboratory Division also maintains 9-5 specialty divisions for firearms, drug analysis, trace evidence, and photography.



In the lab we had a firearms library full of confiscated weapons--like every model of every gun ever. Guys, you HAVE to stop leaving casings everywhere.

In the lab we had a firearms library full of confiscated weapons--like every model of every gun ever. Guys, you HAVE to stop leaving casings everywhere.


From 2003 through 2006 I was a crime scene investigator for the Baltimore City Police Department. I was assigned to the Mobile Unit in the Criminal Investigations Division ("Detective Division"). Every two weeks shifts rotated. 6AM-2PM. 2PM-10PM. 10PM-6AM.

My job was to respond to and "process" crime scenes. Processing of scenes included the discovery/documentation/recovery of relevant evidence and, more often than not, providing real-time leads to patrol officers and detectives for investigative followup.

Detectives really do wear nice suits.

Detectives really do wear nice suits.

I learned so much about Baltimore and about life in general working for the police department. 

 

Being a crime scene investigator means solving puzzles every day. Often, these puzzles are emotionally challenging and time-sensitive. The skill set you build translates into almost any problem-solving endeavor.

 

 

She loves that shoe.

She loves that shoe.

This is actually a fairly well outfitted vehicle. Fewer high-tech toys than nowadays, but you can still process a lot of scenes with the stuff you see here.

This is actually a fairly well outfitted vehicle. Fewer high-tech toys than nowadays, but you can still process a lot of scenes with the stuff you see here.