What happens when you have an underwater crime scene?  The days of "snatch and grab" are gone.  The excuse that an item wasn't processed for latent fingerprints, DNA, trace evidence, etc., are long gone.  

The expectation is that an underwater crime scene will be investigated just as if it occurred on land.

On land, agencies have trained crime scene investigators who take classes, get certified and testify as to the evidence and what it did of did not yield.  They are constantly challenged about the sciences, the evidence, about how it was handled and the chain of custody.

The ERDI Underwater Forensic Ops unique specialty course trains those whose normal duties do not involve the documentation, collection, preservation and testimony about crime scenes.

The course was written by Joanne Rumbelow, an IAI (International Association for Identification) certified Crime Scene Investigator.  Joanne has 30 years of law enforcement experience in two countries.  Half of her career was as a sworn law enforcement officer and the remainder as a crime scene investigator in south Florida.

Joanne has extensive deposition and courtroom testimony experience ranging from the municipal infraction level to major felonies.  Joanne has extensive courtroom testimony up to and including at the Federal level.

Joanne has conducted crime scene investigations ranging from found property and homicide and assisted other local, State and Federal agencies in evidence processing and courtroom testimony.

Improper documentation and collection of evidence can have serious consequences to a team and a case.

Crime scene investigations are long, detailed and very focused.

If you don't have a trained and experienced crime scene investigator assigned to your team, the duty to conduct these investigations falls on your team.  If you don't conduct these investigations as part of your normal duties, do you have the training and experience to do so just because the crime scene happens to be underwater.

Testifying about these investigations, what was or wasn't done, possible contamination of the evidence, chain of custody challenges fall on your team in an underwater crime scene investigation. Do you have the knowledge, training and experience to survive this?

If you do have a crime scene investigator assigned to your team, are they certified in conducting underwater crime scene investigations.  This class will provide additional knowledge and experience as well as certification for courtroom purposes.

This course will teach you the sequence of crime scene investigation, the tools used to conduct these investigations, documentation by means of photographs, videos, drones and diagrams, collection of items, Locard's Principle and how to mitigate it, chain of custody, etc.

The course will also teach you what to expect at deposition and trial and how you can prepare for these experiences.

Crime scene investigators spend almost as long as detectives testifying on some occasions and usually longer than the responding officers.  Their testimony can be more complex and involved.  Are you prepared for this?

If you don't document, collect, preserve and transfer the recovered evidence properly, the case may be lost.  That could be a blow to your team and their reputation.

This course involves classroom and water work to teach and reinforce the concepts learned during this course to assist your team to a better outcome for their investigations and prosecutions.