What Is a Criminal Investigator

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Criminal Investigator
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Lisa Dowd
CJ 210-02
Midterm Essay
Prof. Josh Turley
August 9, 2010

A criminal investigator is a law enforcement professional who attempts to solve crimes, identify and detain suspects, and prevent future instances of criminal activity. When we think of a criminal investigator pictures of gruesome crime scenes, laboratories and paperwork come to mind. We often do not pay attention to interviews and interrogations or notice the importance of a role it plays in the investigation. Methods of inquiry, having the optimal mindset, knowing what the scientific method is and the importance of your sources of information are all vital knowledge a criminal investigator must know. Although TV portrays an investigator’s job as primarily searching for physical evidence, inquiring about information from sources that were present or knew about the crime is very crucial to a case. Many investigators use method of inquiry. An inquiry is looking for information on something either through what they already know by questioning – interviewing and/or interrogation – or by researching. An interview is where the investigator will try to set a relaxed atmosphere and try to form a rapport with the witness. They will ask questions in the hope of gaining information that could be used in the case. In interrogations an investigator will be very informal and rough when questioning a suspect in hopes of a confession. An investigator will also research files to find out about past crimes that are similar to the current case. They will look into old cases from the suspect or old cases that were committed by others. A good investigator will use what they already know when questioning or researching the current crime scene. Having the optimal mindset can be an investigators greatest tool. It is a fixed mental attitude and disposition that can help predetermine an investigator’s responses and interpretations of the situation. Intelligence and...
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