On television, crime investigations are exciting and keep viewers on the edge of their seats. In a half-hour show you can play detective, follow the clues and know who the bad guy is in just 28 minutes. It's just that simple!
Well, not really. Detectives Keith Martin and Adam Clifford of the shattered some myths portrayed by television shows during Tuesday night's Citizens Police Academy. According to Clifford, one misunderstanding is how long it takes to process evidence.
Clifford says that all fingerprints and potentially identifying evidence must be sent to the State Crime Lab at the University of Rhode Island, which, he says, could take months to process.
But detectives don't just sit back and twiddle their thumbs while they are waiting for foot casts and fingerprints to be analyzed. If there is a lead on a suspect and police have enough probable cause, they have to get a search warrant. Seems easy enough, right? Well, according to Martin and Clifford, obtaining a search warrant is no easy task.
"A search warrant is very difficult to obtain and it has to be sworn on and signed by a judge," Clifford said. "You have to be very specific when writing it. If you don't write specifically where and why, then seize evidence that could help the case but that was not covered in the search warrant, it would be obtained illegally and would not be accepted in court."
Check out the photos and video above for more information on how our local detectives investigate crime scenes.