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When working a case, is anything still physical?

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  • When working a case, is anything still physical?

    It's been a while since I've been here. In my absence, I completed my first novel--a whodunit murder mystery--and it is in its editing phase as I type this. When I was here last, I was still just outlining the subsequent books, looking for ideas. Now its time for me to be a little more focused with my questions.

    So. First question.

    When working a case, is anything still physical?

    The scenario I have in my head is, a detective with a personal connection to a case is trying to look at transcripts from a suspect's journal. The suspect has fled. The lead detective has the journal. The detective with the personal connection wants to see it.

    I guess, since this is all based around them not having access to the files, a good follow up question: What are the procedures for a detective with a personal connection to a case? Would this be a thing--them not being allowed access to the files? Plots gotta plot, but I'd like to keep it as grounded as possible.

    Thanks in advance, guys!

    -I.D.

  • #2
    The more serious the case, the more effort will be put in distancing the officer with the personal interest from the case. This could go as far as moving the investigation to a location that the officer with a personal interest would not have access. Details of the investigation would not be shared willingly. Sergeants would be very involved in the case, particularly in securing confidential information. In short it would be very difficult, could likely arouse suspicion, and being caught would have dire consequences for the one who provided the information and the one who received it.

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    • #3
      It was possible at my former agency to monitor every officer who viewed the computerized incident report, and to block access to the report.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by IgnorantDirtbag View Post

        So. First question.

        When working a case, is anything still physical?

        The scenario I have in my head is, a detective with a personal connection to a case is trying to look at transcripts from a suspect's journal. The suspect has fled. The lead detective has the journal. The detective with the personal connection wants to see it.

        I guess, since this is all based around them not having access to the files, a good follow up question: What are the procedures for a detective with a personal connection to a case? Would this be a thing--them not being allowed access to the files? Plots gotta plot, but I'd like to keep it as grounded as possible.

        Thanks in advance, guys!

        -I.D.
        The Detective would more than likely not have the journal in his/her possession. The journal would be placed into evidence. In Chain of Custody, the name of the person placing it into evidence is recorded, the person accepting it is recorded etc. If the evidence is retrieved, the name of the person retrieving it is listed. The person releasing the evidence is also listed. In the event the Detective with a personal interest attempted to retrieve the journal, people would know about it. (if they were even given access at all--probably wouldn't). The Prosecutor would want to know what was going on etc. There would be questions of evidence tampering etc.

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        • just joe
          just joe commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice to see you back.

        • Zeitgeist1
          Zeitgeist1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Just Joe

      • #5
        Every place will be different but if it was me I wouldn't want to have anything to do with it. I would want to avoid any appearance of favoritism, evidence tampering or something.

        If I was working the case and if you were another officer with the personal connection with the suspect, I may or may not share it with you. It all depends on your connection to the suspect and the crime in question etc. If I think you could give me some type of insight or information into the suspect or incident, that may be helpful, then I may share some or part of it.

        But if I think you'll compromise the case in anyway then I wouldn't share anything.

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        • #6
          If I had it, I'd need a reason to share it. If I thought something hinky was going on, I'd have to report it to my boss. But, as Z noted, it may very well be in evidence, in which case it has to be checked out and checked back in.

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          • #7
            Thanks, everyone! You've given me a lot to think about as far as how to get a peak at the suspects journal without getting caught. My initial idea was a printed transcript, but that harder, more impossible how to get it out of evidence without getting caught is calling to me. It'd definitely make for a better story.

            I'm already rolling some ideas around in the back of my head, and hopefully, when I think of something semi-plausible, I'll be back to volley it around--see what could work and what doesn't.

            Thanks again, everyone.
            Last edited by IgnorantDirtbag; 10-03-2021, 01:54 AM.

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