Arson Investigation Unit 2 Discussion Board 2 07/29/14
The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.
At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.
The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each unit.
You are the lead investigator for a suspicious fire in an abandoned tenement property at 123 Maple Street in a rundown area of the city. You are called by the battalion chief and fire scene commander at the active fire. Upon your arrival, the chief explains that there are pour patterns clearly indicating that an accelerant was used to start the fire on the first floor of the four-story tenement, and he has declared it arson. While you are talking to the chief, a line captain comes from the fire and tells you that there are 2 dead bodies in the basement of the tenement. The battalion chief calls the fire over and safe, releasing the fire scene to you. The state fire marshal has also called and advised that because of manpower shortages, your agency has lead. You have two investigators with you who immediately ask, “Where do we start?” You must now give them the proper legal guidance to avoid any evidentiary pitfalls.
- Arson fires and, in particular, arson homicides allow for a warrantless crime scene search in most jurisdictions, but it is your experience that a warrant is always better. Instruct your personnel in what the appropriate initiation of the investigation should be.
- To avoid issues with evidence collection, what do you think should be done about the scene? Explain.
- Who should be brought in immediately? Why?
- Where should you look for the owner of the property? Why?