Police officers are the first responders to an accident, or a robbery. They are out on city streets to help protect the community. All police officers are sworn in and have four purposes. These include enforcing the laws, which is used in crime fighting; preventing crime, by being out in the community and patrolling areas of high crime (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 135). They also provide services to members of the community by directing traffic when roads are under construction or there is an accident blocking a lane; and they preserve the peace (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 135). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with the help of forensics, can solve crimes at a fast rate and with the technology we have available today they are able to do different types of tests to find evidence to help solve the case. The National Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), is used in helping solve cases. Whether it be a big or small case, CODIS can help identify suspects and/or victims in a case.
The FBI is a part of the Department of Justice and the branch is required to investigate any violations of federal law (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 158). These agents conduct investigations for cases from civil rights to organized crimes, some cases include espionage (Careers in Law Enforcement: Federal, 2002). The agency has a plethora of agents across the world, so they are in a position where they can take on criminal activities globally; these criminal activities include drug trafficking and terrorism (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 158). Some of these cases take time to solve and take a lot of hard work. The agents assigned to these cases work day and night to solve the case and to hopefully find out who committed the crime. One skill that is very important is being able to interview people (Careers in Law Enforcement: Federal, 2002). Being able to properly interview a suspect or a victim is important in solving cases.
Forensics is the science side of an investigation to find evidence in a case (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 179). The type of forensics used depends on the type of case, but the types of forensics include ballistics (studying fire arms), and digital forensics (Forensics: Analyzing Evidence, 2012). One of the most used forms of forensics is fingerprinting. This is where agents collect fingerprints from a crime scene and run it through the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (I.A.F.I.S.), a system that is available 24/7 to identify who the fingerprints belong to (Forensics: Analyzing Evidence, 2012). When the results come back then agents can take the proper actions to finish solving the case.
CODIS is available to local and state agencies, allowing them to access a DNA database that contains the profiles of around 13.5 million people (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 181). The database houses profiles from any convicted criminals or unsolved cases (An Unreal Dream, 2013). A crime lab can enter the DNA into the system and a couple hours later can see if it matches anyone in the system (An Unreal Dream, 2013). It is extremely useful in solving crimes because agents get the results back within hours of the crime lab receiving the DNA. Agents can then use this information to aid in solving the case, and it keeps the case from being drug on for a long period of time.
Law Enforcement’s job is to make sure that they can protect and serve the citizens of their city in any way possible. They do their job everyday to keep the communities they work in safe and to ensure that those who chose to break laws are properly punished for their wrongdoing. Police officers risk their lives everyday for the safety of the community, they put themselves in harm’s way when fighting crime. With the help of forensics, FBI agents can solve cases and bring justice to the criminal and peace of mind to the victim’s family.