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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Anatomy of a Sexual Assault Investigation II

In the last posting I spoke to you about the genesis of the sexual assault investigation. So in this first phase I’ll focus on the call.

The RP (reporting party) places the call into the dispatch center where the nature of the call is disclosed: made known. During this phase, the dispatcher will attempt to gain basic information. Primary to this is the level of danger or threat that is still present. The dispatcher will ask what exactly happened, in this case a sexual assault.

The first question, after determining what happened, is where the incident occurred. Determining jurisdiction is primary because it is used to direct where the call is directed.

After this, the dispatcher will need to determine when the offense happened. This is necessary because if the event has just happened it will have a direct affect on the level of law enforcement response.   –Note: We will discuss the different levels of police response in a later post.

Once the identity of the victim has been clearly recorded, the dispatcher will gather as much information as possible on who the perpetrator – the suspect- is. This information should include as much information as possible: name, DOB: height, weight, eye and hair color. If the address is known, or even a possible hangout, this information will be added as well.

This last piece of information is the why. This is not vital at this point because the Contact Officer will cover it during his initial interview; but if the information is provided it will be collected.

This is where we’ll stop for now and pick up again with phase two, Call Holding.

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