CJUS 420 DB FORUM 2…. 2 Replies Due 9/07/2020


you are required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be a minimum of 100 words and must cite at least 2 academic sources. One source has to be biblical.. Acceptable sources include the textbook, peer-reviewed journal articles, government sources/websites, and professional association websites. In addition to academic support, students must apply a Chrisitian worldview perspective and integrate Biblical scripture support for all posts.

Responding to a classmate’s post requires both the addition of new ideas and analysis. A particular point made by the classmate must be addressed and built upon by your analysis in order to move the conversation forward. Thus, the response post is a rigorous assignment that requires you to build upon initial posts to develop deeper and more thorough discussion of the ideas introduced in the initial posts. As such, reply posts that merely affirm, restate or unprofessionally quarrel with the previous post(s) and fail to make a valuable, substantive contribution to the discussion will receive appropriate point deductions.

replies are due by 10:59 p.m. (CST) on Monday of the same modules/weeks


Marley Cripe

The field notes you take during an investigation will either set you up for success or failure.  As defined in our text, “investigative notes are a permanent written record of the facts of the case to be used in further investigation, in writing reports and prosecuting cases” (Hess, Orthmann, Cho. 2017).  Poorly taken field notes can lead the writer to forget information pertinent to the case that could, in the end, lose the case in court.

In the year 2020, there are so many options for note taking and a lot of the time multiple forms of note taking are used all at once. As an investigator, this is the typical break down of a scene that I respond to. Patrol officers/first responders are typically first on scene and take preliminary investigative steps to figure out – has a crime occurred? Is there a victim? Is a suspect still on scene? Is there evidence of a crime? Does a detective need to be called? They collect the answers to all of these questions by getting statements, writing down biographical information of everyone involved, taking pictures, and figuring out if there is video footage available. Each officer on scene has a notebook, body cam, dashcam video, and a camera. Because there are so many different kinds of equipment being used those officers will be responsible for reviewing their own videos, notes, and pictures to write a supplemental or primary report. Not all of the time or very often do I have issues with how an officer takes their notes, but in a few instances there has been some problems because some statements or key pieces of evidence would not be written in the report because it was assumed that since a statement had been documented during a video interview that it was not necessary to write it out in a report. This could cause problems for the case development in the immediate, near, or long term future.  Just because technology is accessible and used often does not mean that field note taking can be dropped. Yes, video can be reviewed when looking for specific wording of statements or descriptions, but if a note is not written down and the officer forgets about that crucial piece of evidence it could be lost in hours of video statements that are connected to the case.

Another piece of equipment, that I don’t have experience with, are dictation devices. While it might be viewed as a valuable resource I do not believe voice dictation is a good form of note taking or report writing.  There are so many words in the English language that sound the same, but different spellings have different meanings.  Ex. red and read; to, too, and two etc.  I especially would not want to use voice dictation if it was not on a department assigned tablet or voice recorder with a secured storage. We must remember that our notes can be subpoenaed to court and if its on a personal laptop, recorder, or tablet then everything on that piece of equipment might get viewed. I guess one advantage of having a voice recorder would be that if cameras were not readily available you could describe in detail the scene and have it to review when you are writing your report.

This forum reminded me of another forum that I had this week and I feel like the same biblical perspective applies. If we get lazy and decide to rely on technology to do our work and to prove our case instead of doing things to the best of our capabilities and making sure that our reports are complete and factual we are not putting forth our best effort and that is a slight to God.  Colossians 3:23-24 “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters since you know you’ll receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

To glorify God we have to put forth our best effort in everything that we do.


Hess, K.M., Orthmann, C.H., & Cho, H.L. (2017). Criminal Investigation (11th ed

2nd reply

Angela Thompson

Field notes are in major part of an investigation, possessing effective field notes are vital. Field notes should be complete and describe the scene and the events that occurred, accurate, factual and not opinionated, legible for all to read, and in chronological order as well as organized. Field notes help the officers and investigators visualize what took place at the scene. If field notes are unsuccessfully written it permits the opportunity for a suspect to be free and capable of committing more criminal acts. “Note-taking is an acquired skill. Time does not permit a verbatim transcript. Learn to select key facts and record them in abbreviated form” (Hess, Orthmann & Cho,2017).

The main reason field notes are used is to prosecute, investigators need to know what exactly happened at the scene. There is a variation of technology available for investigators to use. “Investigative photographs and videos are essential to proper crime scene documentation” (Hess, Orthmann & Cho,2017). It is vital to take photographs and videos immediately upon arriving at the scene. Investigators must know how to use the equipment properly. “Photos prove that an incident occurred and can help identify suspects and weapons” (Hess, Orthmann & Cho,2017). Although video technology can capture more of the scene and bring the crime scene to life, a poor video may not be admissible in court and it could harm the case. Videos as well as photographs may be poor and lack the proper evidence needed to prosecute.

Voice activated notetaking on a tablet is easier and it allows the investigator to multitask, but it is not 100% accurate. Voice interpretation can be misunderstood and can cause a great deal of confusion. It is always better to keep handwritten notes, they may be referred to in court. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1).

Matison Hess, K., Hess Orthmann, C., & Lim Cho, S. (2017). Criminal Investigation (11th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.

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