Being the pathetic true crime junkie that I am, I have been reading voraciously about the West Memphis Three. I truely beleive, after everything I have read, that a real miscarriage of justice took place there.
Which brings me to my point. I think I might want to become a crime scene investigator. Not only am I facinated by the methods they use, I am horrified by some of the miscarriges that take place in this country. I want to become a part of it. I want to make a diffrence by finding real justice for people.
So my questions, What do I study? What kind of degree do I need? How much forensics does a detective need to know? Do you become a patrol officer first, and get promoted? Or can you start out as a detective “pencil pusher” and move up from there? Psychologically, what are the challenges of the job? For those who have personal experience in the field, what are your day-to-day experiences?
I have a goal, now help me get an idea of how to get there. Thanks.
Whoops!!! I meant West Memphis Three :smack:
Well, it depends on what state you are in and whether you want to be a crime scene technician or an actual police officer.
Crime scene technicians are trained in forensic science. They are responsible for documenting and collecting evidence. In some states, they are deputized, but often they are not actual police officers. You probably should have at least a minor in forensics, if not a degree.
Forensic scientists or criminologists are the lab rats. They seldom see the scene, only the evidence that is sent to their lab. They usually have backgrounds in forensics and chemistry or biological scientists. Subspecialties include ballistics, computer science, and audio/visual expertise.
I’m studying forensics right now and I love it. The only things I will warn you about is that it doesn’t pay spectacularly and you really need to remember that your job has the potential to deal with some nasty stuff. If you turn green at a drop of blood, this probably is not the career field for you.
I can’t really speak on behalf of actual police. Requirements vary from place to place. I’d check with a local officer if you are interested.
Hope that helps.
torie Read this thread for links and information about this case. They have managed to get DNA testing recently I believe. I agree, it’s not just.
This page of the above thread in particular will interest you, it has fairly recent news on it.