Lake County Sheriff\

Sheriff Peyton C. Grinnell

Crime Scene Investigations, along with Criminal Investigations and Special Investigations make up the Lake County Sheriff's Office Investigations Bureau. Crime Scene Investigations is a specialized unit that is responsible for providing logistical assistance for the investigation of criminal activity.

The services provided by this unit are categorized in the following areas: Property and Evidence Section, Forensic Laboratory, Photographic, Laboratory, Fingerprint Section, and the Crime Scene Response Section. These services are provided to all the Bureaus within the Sheriff's Office, the fourteen municipalities in Lake County, and State and Federal Agencies.Presently, Crime Scene Investigations is staffed with seventeen positions. These positions consist of a Lieutenant, sixteen full-time civilian employees, one part-time civilian employee and one civilian volunteers.

The Property and Evidence Section is responsible for the intake, storage, and disposition of all property and/or evidence categorized as general evidence, controlled substance, money, jewelry and weapons. Evidence received is properly documented, charted and tracked throughout the system utilizing computer generated bar code labels. The evidence is preserved and maintained, whereby it can be located and presented at any given moment. Presently the Property and Evidence Section houses approximately 70,000 pieces of evidence. One Evidence Custodian and four Evidence Clerks maintain this section.

The Forensic Laboratory has the most updated and sophisticated equipment for processing evidence in Lake County, with the primary focus on latent search and development. A variety of chemicals and powders are used in conjunction with the Lumalite, Crime Scope MCS-400, and RUVIS (all alternative light sources) to develop and document latents on both porous and non-porous surfaces. Other equipment used in the laboratory are items such as a multi-chambered Superglue cabinet, Superglue vacuum chamber, DFO oven, Ninhydrin booth, and a Vacuum Metal Deposition Chamber. The laboratory is often called upon to search for and document Trace Evidence (hairs, fibers, body fluids, glass, etc.) as well as Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Bullet Path Trajectory to aid in the reconstruction of crime scenes. "In Service Training" provides the Crime Scene Investigators the opportunity to refresh current skills and/or develop new techniques to be used in the laboratory or field. Seven civilian Crime Scene Investigators maintain this section.

The Photographic Laboratory is an operational support facility capable of rendering many different types of assistance to aid local law enforcement agencies. The primary responsibility of this section is to provide photo, audio, and video support to all Sheriff's Office Bureaus, all Police Departments, State Attorney, Public Defender, and other Law Enforcement agencies. Tasks performed by this section range from copying videotapes of traffic stops recorded by patrol cars to video captures from bank robbery videotapes and store videotapes to assist in apprehension of subjects. Digital imaging enables the quick response time needed in an emergency situation. From the time a photo of a missing child or suspect in a crime is scanned via the computer and relayed to the Internet, it can be displayed in every patrol car in Lake County in a matter of minutes. Color film is also processed in house eliminating costly commercial production of photographic evidence. The photo lineup is an investigative tool used daily to identify suspects in crimes and is produced using the recently updated Digital Imaging System. Digital cameras are used extensively by the Crime Scene Investigators and the Photo Technician. These images may now be downloaded to computer and burned to CD resulting in a much more efficient distribution of photographs to officers and agencies as needed.  Two civilian Crime Scene Investigators maintain this section.

The Fingerprint Section provides the services of classifying fingerprint cards of all incarcerated persons at the Lake County Detention Center. This section also provides latent evaluations and comparisons of unknown latent fingerprints against known individual prints. The Fingerprint Section is aided in this task with the use of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). A latent found on the crime scene is placed into the computer and a statewide database is searched for possible matches. These possible matches have to be compared by the Latent Analyst before an identification can be made. Another service provided by this section is the fingerprinting of employee applications of the Lake County Sheriff's Office and other county agencies. One court certified civilian Senior Latent Analyst, one Latent Analyst, one full-time and one part-time Civilian Clerk, and one civilian volunteer maintain this section.

The Crime Scene Response section provides a 24-hour, 7 day a week, on call Crime Scene Investigator. Each Investigator is fully equipped to document the crime scene with digital video recordings, 35mm photography, digital photography, measurements, computer generated diagrams and written reports. Each Investigator is professionally trained to recognize, identify, preserve and collect all types of physical evidence. The Investigators each maintain a take-home Crime Scene Unit and are capable of immediate response to any type of crime scene, such as, but not limited to: Homicides, Suicides, Armed Robberies, Carjackings, Kidnappings, Sexual Batteries, Stolen Vehicles, and Burglaries. Other duties include building computerized composite (facial) drawings, plotting poster size crime scene diagrams, maintaining the Forensic Laboratory, and assisting in the Fingerprint section and Photographic Laboratory. The Crime Scene Investigators are also provided with a "Major Crimes Scene Unit" (MCSU). The MCSU is equipped with an on-board generator, work lights, portable tent for super gluing bodies, tools, and equipment not necessarily available on the individual Crime Scene Units, as well as two laptop computers, modem, color-photo printer, scanner, TV, VHS VCR, Time-Lapse VCR, and a multi-plexor for still captures from surveillance tapes. The MCSU is capable of remaining on scene for long durations, and has been known to stay on scene in one homicide case for eight consecutive days. This section consists of seven Crime Scene Investigators.