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Working as an evidence technician typically involves working within a police department. When police gather evidence from crime scenes, these individuals are responsible for storing and organizing it until the evidence is used in court. An evidence technician has six main job duties. These include sorting items, processing evidence, preparing evidence for court, appearing in court when needed, releasing and auditing evidence, and ordering supplies.
Whenever police bring in evidence from a crime scene, the first thing an evidence technician usually does is sort each item. At this time, he will keep items that do not need analysis at his police station. Other items that require lab analysis will usually be sent to a crime lab. For example, if blood is found on a shirt at a crime scene, the evidence technician will often send it off to be analyzed. In this case, he will either transport the item himself or have another member of the police department do so.
Once items have been sorted, the evidence technician will process the evidence. This typically involves recording data onto a computer so that it can be reviewed at a later time. After this, he will organize each item into a certain location within his department. This practice makes it possible for the evidence technician or other police members to quickly find items when needed. Consequently, this job requires a person to have considerable organizational skills.
Another important duty is preparing evidence for court. Whenever a case comes to trial, it's necessary for an evidence technician to locate each item and have it ready to go the day of the trial. In some cases, an evidence technician will also appear in court and present the evidence as well. At this time, he may be required to answer questions concerning the items of evidence.
Along with this, most evidence technicians will need to periodically release and audit evidence. For example, when stolen items end up at a police station and are later identified by their lawful owner, it's the responsibility of the evidence technician to release them. When items are deemed unreturnable, it's up to him to dispose of them in accord with police regulations.
In addition, many technicians are also responsible for continually ordering supplies. To keep an evidence department adequately stocked, it's important for an evidence technician to keep track of inventory. For example, he may need to restock forensics equipment or plastic bags for storing evidence. This practice keeps the evidence department running smoothly.