English 9, Period 5
19 February 2013
CSI: The Investigation of this Career
Crime is as old as society is. Since it is such an old problem, finding the criminals and putting them to justice is just as old. Crimes, though, can become a mystery, and finding the culprit becomes a task that goes to the CSI. Investigators use evidence and forensic science to solve crimes ranging from murder to robbery. A crime scene investigator has a critical role in the world of law and is needed, so becoming one is as important. Forensic science is a broad term for many different areas of science. It is the application of science to assist courts in both civil and legal issues. CSI members use forensics to find evidence to either prosecute or to find the perpetrator who committed the crime. The practice has been around since ancient Greece, but became more widely known due to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s familiar character, Sherlock Holmes. Doyle’s fictional character introduced his readers to the usefulness of forensics. Holmes used techniques such as matching fingerprints and examining weapons to find fault. The first true user of forensics was Englishman Henry Goddard, who in 1835 solved a murder case thanks to a fault in the bullet that matched a weapon. The actual career of being a part of the CSI originated in the 1890s when “Argentina became the first country to use fingerprints in criminal cases.” (Tilstone, Savage, Clark 147) And so the CSI was born. The CSI existence is relatively new compared to most. But despite being young, this job still holds its importance in the world.
Crime Scene Investigators are responsible for the inspection and investigation of recent crimes that occurred. Crime is generally large and can happen anywhere at any time. A CSI works on an average of 40 hours a week but must also be flexible to work overtime, and also “must be available to respond to 24 hour emergencies” (www.criminaljusticeprofiles.com) Response teams have to be on their feet, able to get to the scene quick. Crime scenes become contaminated in a matter of hours, so evidence must be quickly collected. CSI agents must be in physical shape and carry weapons. Investigators must have an education in chemistry, anatomy, forensics, and basic/general science. Another necessity is the ability to view gruesome crimes with a sense of curiosity. CSI is a generic term for different jobs, the salary for each job changes depending on the location. The salary for crime scene analysts ranges $34,200 to $52,900 a year, crime laboratory analysts $34,200 to $60,200 a year, criminalists $37,200 to $64,400 a year, and forensic scientist $40,000 to $71,100 a year. The pay is average compared to most careers. Being a CSI is ranked as more of a middle-class career. Being a crime scene investigator has both its goods and its bad qualities. As a part of the CSI, one will experience a sense of excitement and mystery. Curiosity is a great quality for one looking into this career, as it means that being a CSI helps them build that quality. The cons of being a CSI are that it is irregular and the hours are always changing. Stress is common, as it becomes busy with investigations and paperwork piles up. Very rarely would an assignment come easy, as “the actual work constantly involves being at crime scenes and trying to find small traces of DNA or other evidence” (chorn.com). Sometimes investigators take hours to find even the smallest things. Looking for extended time for something that, at times, is impossible to find
Just by the naked eye builds to the stress. The job itself is also mentally scarring, as you see and investigate firsthand gruesome crimes. Education is also important in this career. The most helpful education to becoming a criminal investigator is a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, anthropology, and biology. Most students who study forensics science specialize in a specific area, like fingerprints or...