The ERT Toolbox

1 week ago
AMERICA NEWS NOW

Peer into the Evidence Response Team toolbox to see how everyday items like super glue and tape measures along with specialized tools, light sources, and chemicals help the team process a scene.

Illustration of protective clothing and Evidence Response Team vehicle and gear.

Team members wear protective clothing into scenes where hazardous materials may be present. The team lead determines what level of protective equipment each scene requires.

Illustration of the field tests that evidence teams use to see if blood may be present and the swabs used to collect evidence.

Field tests tell Evidence Response Teams when blood may be present, but metals, vegetable enzymes, and cleaners can show up as positive results. The FBI Lab will conduct the full analysis of any sample.

Illustration of a crime scene sketch.

The sketcher is one of the key roles on an Evidence Response Team. The sketch shows the precise relationships between articles of evidence, which is something photographs can't do.

Illustration of alternate light sources, which help evidence teams see things that are difficult or impossible to spot under normal lighting conditions.

Alternate light sources help evidence teams see things that are difficult or impossible to spot under normal lighting conditions.

Illustration of the crime scene fingerprint kit that helps teams uncover and collect fingerprints.

Latent prints are the fingerprints humans leave behind when they touch objects or surfaces. An Evidence Response Team finds, documents, and preserves these prints.

A crime lab in Japan discovered that super glue fumes can enhance and preserve fingerprints on a hard surface.

A crime lab in Japan discovered that super glue fumes can enhance and preserve fingerprints on a hard surface.

Illustration of a crime scene photographer and equipment.

A crime scene photographer may take dozens of photographs or thousands depending on the scene. The photos should tell a complete and unbiased story.

Illustration of sketching and measuring tools for a crime scene.

Crime scene sketchers use different measuring and sketching methods depending on the scene. But all sketches must be precise, with measurements accurate within one-quarter of an inch.

Illustration of an evidence team tool for capturing footprints on a hard surface.

This method for capturing footprints is often used after an angled beam of light shows dusty footprints on a floor.

Illustration of Evidence Response Team tools, including pencil, quick reference cards, and a sturdy storage box with a clipboard, called a posse box.

A pencil, quick reference cards, and a sturdy storage box with a clipboard, called a posse box, are among the essential equipment for an Evidence Response Team member.

Illustration of how an evidence team takes a shoe impression at a crime scene.

With a full or partial shoe or boot tread, the FBI Laboratory can determine the size and type of footwear a person had on. A spatula keeps the casting material from destroying a footprint in sand or soft soil.

Illustration of crime tape and material used to package crime scene evidence.

Properly logging and packaging evidence is a time consuming but essential part of processing a crime scene.