American Criminal Investigation Techniques And The Exponential Growth Of The Field Of Forensic Science

American Criminal Investigation Techniques And The Exponential Growth Of The Field Of Forensic Science

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The history of American criminal investigation techniques and the exponential growth in the field of forensic science can be traced back to our heritage in England. New innovations and specializations within law enforcement agencies along with an increase in crime created the need for the identification of suspects and the evidence of crimes they committed. Criminal investigation advancements and breakthrough scientific achievements in identification methods have coupled both fields into a mutually respected partnership. Investigators need access to the state of the art techniques employed by scientists of various fields including, but not limited to: anthropology, odontology, serology, entomology, cellular and molecular biology, and ballistics in order to

The first criminal investigators were known as the Bow Street Runners. Founded by Henry Fielding in the 1750 's and named for the location of the office, the Bow Street Runners established the earliest known community policing effort. Consequently, they befriended local business owners to aid them in tracing any stolen merchandise that thieves were trying to sell. These thief catchers were a specialized group that investigated the thefts and burglaries that occurred and were paid from a percentage of fines from successful prosecutions. The Bow Street Hunters were so successful that Fielding was able to establish both a horse patrol and later foot patrols which are both utilized by law enforcement agencies today. Following Fielding 's success, the London Metro Police was soon established. Founded by Sir Robert Peele in 1829 , the "bobbies" as they came to be known, were England 's first paid police officers who had to meet a strict professional standard. Within the...


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...ll contribute not only to their individual fields of expertise, but also have a great impact on criminal investigations both now and into the future.

In examining the origins of forensics and criminal investigations, it was England who led the way in the field. Only later did the U.S. adapt their practices and employ new techniques. As scientific research flourished it was found to enhance the accuracy of identifying suspects who committed the crime. Science and law enforcement will forever be intertwined as their drives for convicting the guilty, releasing the innocent, and advancing technology grows. As criminals continue to find ways to circumvent detection, investigators will continue to look to new scientific advances in order to combat their efforts. It will be interesting to see how law enforcement will investigate and combat crime in the future.

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