yields important clues for crime laboratory examiners. Therefore, the first MP to arrive at the scene of
the crime has the critical duty of securing the crime scene.
b. The MP on patrol is normally the first to arrive at a crime scene. The rules of conduct at the
scene are always the same. The seriousness of the crime is of minor importance. When the MP finds
the site where a criminal has left clues, he must not destroy or change anything which may serve to
reconstruct the crime. It may he useful as evidence against the offender. The MP must also be careful
not to inadvertently add material to the crime scene which may be misleading to the investigators.
c. There is no set rule defining the dimensions of the scene of a crime. However, the best
physical evidence is normally found at or near the site of the most critical action. It is more likely to
find such evidence in the area close to the body in a homicide case than at some distance away.
Similarly, the site of forcible entry into a building, or the area right around a cracked safe, normally has
the greatest potential for yielding evidence. While it is possible that the dimensions of a crime scene
will be large, there will be priority areas that should be given prompt protection. On the other hand,
valuable evidence may be discarded or deposited by the criminal at some distance from the scene of the
crime. Thus, the area to be protected may be expanded.
d. The success of an investigation depends considerably on the observations and actions of the
first MPs to arrive at the scene. The circumstances of the particular case will govern the action taken by
the MPs to protect and preserve the physical evidence. There are valid guidelines to follow. If injured
persons are discovered, giving them aid is a matter of first priority. If enough police are available, the
immediate measures necessary to protect the crime scene should proceed along with giving aid to
injured persons, or examining apparently deceased persons.
e. Immediate protection measures include roping off certain critical exits, posting guards to
control spectators, and covering areas that would be affected by smoke, rain, snow, wind, or direct
sunrays. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to move objects from areas where they would otherwise
be destroyed or drastically affected by the elements. However, movement of evidence prior to the time
it has been fully examined and processed should be avoided whenever possible.
f. The purpose of protecting the scene of a crime is to preserve its physical aspects. It may then
be reviewed in detail by the crime scene investigator(s). Thus, the major tasks of the MPs is to prevent
certain actions. Prevent unnecessary walking about. Special precautions must be taken to avoid
walking in areas that are likely to bear the impressions of foot or tire prints. Prevent touching items or
surfaces that are likely to yield latent fingerprints. Prevent any item from being removed from the
scene, to include bodies of deceased persons without the specific permission of the investigator.