Crime Scene Investigation FAQ

What is Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)?

Crime Scene Investigation is a complex operation which basically sums elements of science, logic and, inevitably, law. The process of CSI is often long and tedious; practitioners in this somewhat inaccessible field are required to “draw” an elaborate picture of the events which have ultimately led to a crime, by means of exhaustive documentation and evidence analysis.

What is the goal of a Crime Scene Investigator?

Ultimately, the goal of a crime scene investigator is that of analyzing the empirical traces left behind at a crime scene and assert an opinion which may lead to the conviction of the perpetrator of the crime.

I’ve seen all the CSI TV shows. Is it as cool as the real thing?

The short answer would be no. The TV show is very misinformative from this point of view, and does nothing but confuse people of what the real purpose of a CSI is – remember a TV show is only entertainment. A CSI doesn’t interview suspects, a CSI is usually a civilian, not a homicide detective, and I could go on forever. For one, a CSI works his behind off at a regular basis – seeing a CSI at a crime scene for three days strait without leaving the perimeter and submitting 700 pages long reports is no rare event. It’s a highly demanding job, that pays low for the work input, and which is deprived of the glamour you see on television. It has it’s good parts, too, of course.

What is Forensic Science?

Forensic science is the application of natural sciences to matters of the law – it’s the science applied to crime scene investigation. In practice, forensic science draws upon physics, chemistry, biology, and other scientific principles and methods.

How many types of Crime Scene Investigators are there?

If you’re looking for a job as a CSI, there are a wide variety of branches and subdivisions, each imperative to the CSI process, in which civilians are employed. Read our in-depth resource regarding the various types of crime scene investigator.

How to become a Crime Scene Investigator?

CSI is a tough field of practice, but if you’re still determined to become a crime scene investigator (that’s the spirit!), there are a variety of resources available on the web, including our website, along with numerous books on the subjects which will help you prepare. Look for job openings in your region, and ask the people from your local forensics office what their job really looks like and what would be the easiest way to apply for the job in the future. Read our start-up guide on how to become a crime scene investigator.

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