Internship Spotlight

Kelley Mullaney

My internship at the Niagara Falls Police Department with the Crime Scene Unit (CSU) has been nothing but amazing! I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of what takes place in this unit and do some of their everyday jobs.

While at the CSU, I had the privilege of going out on calls. My first call was to a burglary that took place during the middle of the day. Officer Martinez and I took the mobile crime van to the location where we took pictures of the house at basically every step we made. Then we dusted for fingerprints on the person’s dresser and jewelry box. We also brought two envelopes back to the office to do testing with DFO and Nyhydrin.

Some evidence that is collected from crime scenes needs to be sent to the lab for further testing. I got to label these items using the BEAST, and entered them into the computer with the appropriate designated test for each item. I also completed some DNA analysis test sheets for additional lab testing, which emphasized the importance of the evidence chain of custody. When evidence is transferred from one place or one person to another, the chain of custody must be properly filled out with the person's name, time, date, location of where the evidence is going, etc. If you fail to do so, the evidence may be dismissed in court.

Niagara Falls Crime Scene Unit has many responsibilities. They collect, analyze and document physical evidence. They also photograph and videotape crime scenes.

The goal of the CSU is to collect as much physical evidence (fingerprints, biological matter, footwear patters, hair, fibers, etc) from a crime scene to aid the police officers in charging the correct suspect. The Crime Scene Unit at Niagara Falls Police Department highly values its job of precisely collecting any evidence from a crime scene. Once they have the evidence, another principle of the CSU is to provide information for detectives, police officers, or others working on a criminal case. By “piecing together the puzzle,” the CSU officers work with other departments to properly and accurately apprehend the suspect(s) responsible for the criminal activity.