CITY OF CHESTERFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT GENERAL ORDER EFFECTIVE: MAY 5, 2011 CANCELS: GENERAL ORDER

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1 CITY OF CHESTERFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT GENERAL ORDER EFFECTIVE: MAY 5, 2011 CANCELS: GENERAL ORDER TO: ALL PERSONNEL INDEX AS: DNA EVIDENCE COLLECTION OF EVIDENCE EVIDENCE - DNA CRIME SCENE PROCESSING I.D. OFFICERS SUBJECT: I. GENERAL DNA technology has become an increasingly powerful forensic tool for identifying or eliminating suspects, when biological evidence such as saliva, skin, blood, hair or semen is left at a crime scene. DNA testing has expanded the types of useful biological evidence. All biological evidence found at crime scenes can be subjected to DNA testing. II. PURPOSE The purpose of this General Order is to outline the responsibilities of first responders and designated Departmental Crime Scene Officers regarding the safe guarding, identification, collection, storage, transportation and submission of DNA evidence in criminal cases. Additionally, to set the level of training required for first responders and designated Departmental Crime Scene Officers regarding DNA evidence and crime scenes. III. DEFINITIONS A. DNA: The abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the genetic material present in the cells of all living organisms. DNA is the fundamental building block for an individual s entire genetic makeup. A person s DNA is the same in every cell (with a nucleus). The DNA in a person's blood is the same as the DNA in their skin cells, semen and saliva. B. Physical Evidence: Any tangible object that can connect an offender to a crime scene. C. Biological Evidence: Biological evidence, which contains DNA, is a type of physical evidence. However, biological evidence is not always visible to the naked eye. DNA testing has expanded the types of useful biological evidence. All biological evidence found at crime scenes can be subjected to DNA testing. Samples such as feces and vomit can be tested, but may not be routinely accepted by laboratories for testing.

2 PAGE 2 IV. CRIME SCENE INTEGRITY FIRST RESPONDER RESPONSIBILTIES & PRECAUTIONS It shall be the primary responsibility of the first responding officers on a crime scene to identify potential sources of DNA evidence and to take the necessary steps to protect such evidence until a designated crime scene officer can collect and preserve the DNA evidence. Protection of the crime scene is essential to the protection of evidence. Safeguarding and preserving evidence is fundamental to the successful solution of a crime. Because DNA evidence is more sensitive than other types of evidence, law enforcement personnel should be especially aware of their actions at the scene to prevent inadvertent contamination of evidence. Be aware that all personal actions can compromise evidence at a crime scene. It is important for all law enforcement personnel at the crime scene to make a conscious effort to refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, littering, sneezing, coughing, use of phones that belong at the scene or any other actions which could compromise the crime scene. The use of a face mask be considered for individuals with a cold, the flu or those who are otherwise prone to sneezing or coughing. The risk of contamination of any crime scene can be reduced by limiting incidental activity. Therefore, evidence should only be moved if it would otherwise be lost or destroyed. Avoid touching anything, such as opening doors or windows, or using the telephone at the crime scene, unless absolutely necessary. These actions may contaminate valuable DNA evidence. If you must, for example, close a window because rain is pouring into the crime scene, DOCUMENT every action that is taken. While documenting evidence at the crime scene, officers shall include descriptions of whether evidence was found wet or dry. An example of this documentation would include blood spatters V. DESIGNATION OF INDIVIDUALS AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT DNA EVIDENCE Departmental crime scene officers shall process the majority of crime scenes within the city limits of Chesterfield, especially those scenes which might potentially contain DNA evidence to be seized for submission to the lab for analysis. Crime scene officers that have received the advanced level of DNA evidence training as outlined in Section X of this General Order shall be utilized to collect and submit DNA evidence from a crime scene whenever possible. As a matter of policy, homicides or serious assaults that have the potential to become homicides shall be processed by crime scene personnel from the St. Louis County Police Department. The on-duty Watch Commander or other officer in charge of a criminal investigation/crime scene may choose to request the crime scene services of the St. Louis County Police Department for other incidents, if it is determined that a particular crime scene merits a greater level of processing expertise than can be provided by Chesterfield personnel. In some cases, members of a federal, state, or regional law enforcement agency may be deemed more qualified, or as having jurisdiction for the processing of a particular crime scene.

3 PAGE 3 VI. ASSESMENT OF DNA CRIME SCENE BY CRIME SCENE OFFICER When conducting a crime scene assessment the crime scene officer shall: Talk to the first responding officer regarding his/her observations and activities Determine the entry and exit points to the crime scene Assure that documentation is made of every person who enters and exits the crime scene Evaluate any bio-hazardous safety issues that should be considered Identify possible locations and sources of DNA evidence Thoroughly document the scene and all evidentiary items with photographs Document if evidence is wet or dry when discovered Document any bloodstain patterns, with reference points, before collection These factors can be very important to the future investigation of the case. VII. COLLECTION, PACKAGING & STORAGE OF DNA EVIDENCE Because extremely small samples of DNA can be used as evidence, greater attention to contamination issues is necessary when identifying, collecting and preserving DNA evidence. DNA evidence can be contaminated when DNA from another source gets mixed with DNA relevant to the case. General Guidelines - The following general guidelines should be followed when dealing with DNA evidence in order to prevent contamination of the evidence (guidelines for various specific types of biological evidence can be found in the addendum to this general order): Wear double gloves and change the top pair often. Use disposable instruments or clean reusable instruments thoroughly before and after each sample is taken to prevent contamination. Air-dry wet evidence thoroughly before packaging to prevent mold from forming. To prevent degradation, place evidence in new paper bags. DO NOT use plastic bags. Seal packages with evidence tape. Avoid using staples in evidence packaging as there is a risk of contamination if a person is cut on a staple while unpacking evidence. Do not touch the area where you believe DNA exists. Do not touch your face, nose, hair or mouth when collecting and packaging evidence. Do not sneeze or cough near evidence. If you are prone to coughing or sneezing, a face mask should be worn.

4 PAGE 4 Collection & Packaging Procedures The following general procedures for collecting DNA evidence shall be followed by department authorized crime scene officers when collecting and packaging biological evidence. Submit the entire item if possible Use a clean or disposable razor blade or scalpel to cut out or scrape the stain Air-dry the stain before packaging Use a new or clean razor blade or scalpel to cut out a control sample If cutting is not appropriate to collect the evidence, new swabs can be used. Control samples are swabbings or cuttings from unstained adjacent fabric or materials that are used by the laboratory in the analysis of DNA evidence. Controls should always be documented, collected, and submitted to the laboratory. Controls are taken to allow the laboratory to evaluate the potential impact of any substances that could affect the DNA sample during testing. All potential DNA evidence submitted to the Department s evidence custodian shall be clearly marked TO BE RETAINED FOR POSSIBLE DNA ANALYSIS by the person submitting the evidence. Any evidence deemed to be a potential biohazard should be marked accordingly with a BIOHAZARD label. Storage of DNA Evidence All DNA evidence or items submitted for possible future DNA analysis if stored at the police station shall be maintained by the Department s evidence custodian in a controlled environment to reduce the likelihood of the deterioration of the evidence. VIII. TRANSPORTATION OF DNA EVIDENCE Whenever possible, DNA evidence should be transported by the officer who collected the item of evidence. When transporting evidence from a crime scene officers shall ensure that the chain of custody is maintained. DNA evidence should be transported to the station and/or laboratory in a timely manner. When transporting biological evidence officers must be aware that direct sunlight and warmer conditions may degrade DNA. Officers shall avoid storing evidence in places that may get hot, such as the trunk of the police car. To best preserve DNA evidence, store in a cold environment. IX. OFFICER SAFETY The handling of DNA evidence in the form of body fluids and the like can pose certain health risks to the police officers collecting and submitting the evidence. Biological material can contain pathogens such as Hepatitis, Syphilis, Tuberculosis, Gonorrhea, Measles and HIV. Officers should assume that all stains, wet or dry, are potentially infectious. To protect yourself from biohazards and to protect the evidence from becoming contaminated officers shall:

5 PAGE 5 Use new gloves for each piece of evidence Use clean or new implements to manipulate the sample Minimize contact with the sample (use a swab or forceps, etc.) If possible allow evidence to dry before packaging Collect and package evidence separately Do not fold together a bloodstained garment AVOID DIRECT CONTACT with the evidence sample The following can cause exposure to infectious materials: Accidental needle stick Contact with broken skin Aerosols (spray) Mucosal contact (eye, nose, and mouth) Contact with any surface that has not been adequately cleaned Hand to mouth activity is the most common route to infection. Do not eat, drink, or smoke within a crime scene. Officers should use extreme caution in dealing with biological evidence and follow proper safety precautions. X. DNA TRAINING FOR POLICE PERSONNEL Only those officers that have successfully completed the Department of Justice on-line training What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence: First Responding Officers (Beginning Module) may be utilized to collect and submit DNA evidence from a crime. All Department authorized Crime Scene Officers shall complete the advanced module of the Department of Justice on-line training What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence: Investigators and Evidence Technicians. These Crime Scene Officers shall be utilized to collect and submit DNA evidence from a crime scene whenever possible. The training is available via the following web address: Crime Scene Officers are encouraged to receive additional DNA evidence training through various reputable training providers in order to further develop their expertise in this area and to stay current on new trends in crime scene technology. XI. SUBMISSION OF DNA EVIDENCE TO CRIME LABORATORIES DNA samples and other items to be examined for DNA analysis shall be submitted only to laboratories that are accredited for law enforcement DNA analysis by either the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) or the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), such as the St. Louis County Police Crime Lab. Whenever possible, all items from a case shall be submitted to the same lab. The designated lab for DNA evidence from Chesterfield Police investigations is the St. Louis County Police Lab. DNA items may be submitted to other labs only with the permission of the Commander of the Division of Police Operations.

6 PAGE 6 FOR ADDITIONAL MORE SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR EVIDENCE COLLECTION SEE THE ATTACHED ADDENDUM BY ORDER OF: Ray Johnson, Chief of Police Date APPROVED BY: Michael G. Herring, City Administrator Date cc: City Attorney CALEA REFERENCE

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