The Crime Scene Investigation
section of the Duluth Police Department has grown and expanded in the past few years. We now have two full-time investigators, and our unit has transitioned to a sworn component. This unit is responsible for the processing of crime scenes varying from entering autos to homicides. We are tasked with the collection, preservation, and storage of evidence, and processing any available evidence, with the assistance of the GBI Crime Lab, for leads towards the resolution to these crimes. We utilize a variety of forensic techniques to achieve this goal, including photography, chemical processing, and alternate light sources. We train in current forensic methods, recognizing that each scene is unique and these unique components will need to be processed in different ways. We have the ability to process fingerprints beyond basic powder techniques. Our fume hood allows for the use of chemical processing of a variety of surfaces. We have a cyanoacrylate chamber, which uses a form of superglue to strengthen prints on most surfaces. We also have portable versions of these two techniques. We perform in-house marijuana examinations and fingerprint analyses. Utilizing an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (A.F.I.S.), we are able to search both statewide and national databases of known persons in order to assist with fingerprint identification. We maintain all of our crime scene photographs for each case, as well as print cards and all other property and evidence, in a secured Evidence room. As a State Certified Agency, we are held to a standard that requires regular audits and inspections of the Property and Evidence section.
Investigator Amber Snavely has been in law enforcement since 2009, beginning her career as a dispatcher. She was transferred to the Crime Scene Unit in early 2013. She was subsequently sent to the Police Academy in the summer of 2013 and became a Georgia P.O.S.T Certified Peace Officer. Inv. Snavely holds three certifications – Basic Communications Officer, Crime Scene Technician, and Basic Law Enforcement Officer. She is also a National Forensic Academy Graduate (Session 40), specializes in electronic evidence recovery, and has brought the Duluth Police Department’s digital forensics program above standard. Inv. Snavely is now a seized computer evidence recovery specialist and hopes to take more digital forensic classes with a focus more on mobile forensics. Along with her CSI duties, she is also the Evidence Custodian for the Duluth Police Department.