Evidence Response Teams (ERT) include field and lab work for professionals who are responsible for collating evidence from crime scenes. ERT staff analyse this evidence with state of the art resources and techniques. Special Agents, forensic experts, canine operators and other managers and analysts are all employed by ERTs. These professionals have the ability to analyse a crime scene from a terrorist incident to the most thorough capacity possible, leaving no stone unturned. There are 141 ERTs with more than 1,100 members thought the FBI’s 56 field offices, and the teams are deployed across the globe to investigate war crimes and suspected terrorist threats and activities.
The Process of Crime Scene Investigation
There are many levels to the ERT, and each one is necessary to ensure that crime scenes are completely investigated. Forensic specialists are responsible for using both regular and ultraviolet photography, collecting body samples like hair and fluid, and organising and saving all crime scene information in order to provide evidence. Things like analysis of fingerprints, chromatography, DNA testing, and digital information recovery are all part of a day’s work for ERT staff. ERT personnel must reconstruct events that lead to the perpetration of a crime, and are responsible for presenting all their findings to investigative leaders.
ERTs main aim is to find an evidentiary link between the evidence they find and the suspects, which will lead to successful apprehension and prosecution. ERTs must stick to strict protocol, to ensure that evidence isn’t contaminated and that all subsequent lab work is admissible for adhering to relevant procedure. ERTs must be very meticulous in this respect.
Job Description for Evidence Response Team
The following duties fall to ERT staff:
1. Collating all evidence, including photos, physical and digital evidence from the scene of the crime.
2. Employing the use of modern technology and up-to-the-minute methods to analyse collected evidence.
3. Searching the geographical area around the crime scene with dogs to attempt to uncover ancillary evidence.
4. Overseeing logistics and administration necessary for recording crime scene evidence.
Salary for Evidence Response Team Staff
Special Agents and forensic specialists make up ERT staff. Special Agents pay grades fall between GS-10 and GS-15, however, other specialists enter at one of the GS-7, GS-9 or GS-11 pay grades, and can make it up to the GS-14 rating for a forensics salary of between $33,979 and $65,375. Salary allocation is based on commensurate experience in military and law enforcement, and relevant advanced education. Cost of living adjustments are provided, and Special Agents get a 25 percent bonus for their 50 hour week, while other staff might have recourse to extra pay for hazardous employment and overtime.