Skagit Valley College logo

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   Principles of Investigation

 Title Abbreviation:   PRIN OF INVESTIGATION

 Department:    CJ

 Course #:    215

 Credits:    4

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    4

 CIP:    430104

 EPC:    832

 REV:    2014


 Course Description  

Covers the accepted techniques and methods of crime scene preservation, investigation, documentation, and the locating and collection of physical evidence. Packaging and submitting relevant evidence to the forensic laboratory. Also covers the principles behind chain of custody; Locard's theory; methods and techniques of crime scene processing; presumptive and conclusive tests; modern forensic capabilities; compilation of physical and circumstantial evidence for presentation in court.

 Prerequisite  

None

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 44

Lab: 0

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0


Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Vocational Preparatory Elective  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks
N/A

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a working understanding of the history of criminal investigation.
  2. Identify what is evidence, definition, types of hearsay as exceptions to the hearsay rule.
  3. Prepare crime scene sketch, to scale, with symbols.
  4. Make plaster casts of footprints and/or tire tracks with full identification.
  5. Identify the investigator’s necessary steps in gathering information through observation, investigation, interviewing, and interrogation.
  6. Identify the basic steps in identification of criminal suspects through the use of fingerprints and other laboratory processes which assist in the identification of criminal suspects.
  7. List the objectives of a criminal investigation and contrast a grid search with a zone search of crime scene; recognize through ‘visual observation’ and draw a subject as an artist.
  8. Perform an identifiable freehand sketch of a person based upon information gained from another’s verbal description; identify and draw each of the facial features correctly.
  9. Conduct a comprehensive interview adequately sufficient to compose an identifiable sketch of an individual.
  10. Demonstrate and understand the value of court testimony with respect to composite drawing.
  11. Understand the value and correct application of the police composite sketch within the investigative framework required; demonstrate the knowledge needed to properly equip a Police Artist’s kit; understand and maintain the various supplies and records required by a police artist.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

0. Application and Integration

Definition: Applying information from one or more disciplines and/or field experiences in new contexts (Outcome 0.1); developing integrated approaches or responses to personal, academic, professional, and social issues (Outcomes 0.2-0.5).

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
0.2 Identify the strengths and limitations of different fields of study.
0.3 Identify and evaluate the relationships among different perspectives within a field of study and among different fields of study.

1. Information Literacy

Definition: Recognizing when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
1.1 Determine the extent of information needed.
1.2 Access the needed information effectively, efficiently, ethically, and legally.
1.3 Evaluate information and its sources critically.
1.4 Evaluate issues (for example economic, legal, historic, social) surrounding the use of information.
1.5 Effectively integrate and use information ethically and legally to accomplish a specific purpose.

2. Critical Thinking

Definition: The ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge within a discipline and about the ways in which that knowledge is constructed and validated and to be sensitive to the ways these processes often vary among disciplines.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
2.1 Identify and express concepts, terms, and facts related to a specific discipline.
2.3 Identify, interpret, and evaluate pertinent data and previous experience to reach conclusions.
2.7 Identify and evaluate connections and relationships among disciplines.
2.9 Apply and/or create problem-solving strategies to successfully adapt to unpredictable and/or changing environments.

3. Communication

Definition: Understanding and producing effective written, spoken, visual, and non-verbal communication.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
3.3 Demonstrate effective listening skills.
3.5 Recognize, comprehend, and use non-verbal behaviors appropriate to a given context.
3.7 Adapt communication to diverse audiences and media.

4. Community & Cultural Diversity

Definition: Recognizing the value of human communities and cultures from multiple perspectives through a critical understanding of their similarities and differences.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
4.5 Adapt to and function effectively in communities and cultures different from one's own.

6. Individual Awareness & Responsibility

Definition: Understanding, managing, and taking responsibility for one’s learning and behavior in varied and changing environments.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
6.2 Demonstrate standards of professionalism in manner, appearance, and setting appropriate to the context, including the classroom, workplace, and community.
6.3 Apply successful organizational strategies of planning, goal setting, prioritizing, resolving conflict, and managing time to specific goals and/or projects.

7. Aesthetics & Creativity

Definition: Interpreting human experience through engagement with creative processes and aesthetic principles.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
7.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the creative process.

8. Mathematical Reasoning

Definition: Understanding and applying concepts of mathematics and logical reasoning in a variety of contexts, both academic and non-academic.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
8.1 Analyze problems to determine what mathematical principles apply.
8.2 Correctly apply logical reasoning and mathematical principles to solve problems.
8.3 Interpret information and reasoning expressed mathematically (for example in spreadsheets, diagrams, charts, formulas, etc.).
8.4 Communicate mathematical information effectively.

9. Scientific Literacy

Definition: Understanding scientific principles, and analyzing and applying scientific information in a variety of contexts.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
9.1 Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental scientific concepts.
9.2 Demonstrate their understanding of the principles of scientific methods, analysis, and reasoning.
9.3 Analyze, apply, and communicate scientific concepts and principles in context (for example, in technological, personal, and/or professional situations).
9.4 Use scientific concepts and principles to understand the natural world, human behavior and culture, and relationships between humans and the rest of the natural world.

10. Technology

Definition: Understanding the role of technology in society and using technology appropriately and effectively.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
10.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the development and impact of technology in human experience (history, global, and local).
10.2 Demonstrate an understanding of legal, ethical, and environmental issues in the use and misuse of technology.
10.3 Use technology appropriate to the context and task to effectively retrieve and manage information, solve problems, and facilitate communication.
10.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of technology in one’s personal and professional life.

Course Contents

  1. History and structure of criminal investigation and the legal significance of evidence.
  2. The crime scene search and search warrants and report writing.
  3. Technical aspects of photography and fingerprints in criminal investigations.
  4. Recording the crime scene and basic investigative leads.
  5. Collection and preservation of physical evidence and application of evidence gathering techniques.
  6. Elements of crimes, statutory requirements to prove the crime and practice includes a mock scene.
  7. Background and principles of composite art in Criminal Justice.
  8. Recognition of the artist’s materials, resources and equipment.
  9. Describing and sketching the human face and principles of shadows and shading.
  10. Sketching through photo observation and the composite interview process.
  11. Combining the interview with ‘freehand’ drawing and differentiating between the male, female and child when drawing.
  12. Racial features and characteristics and record keeping, reporting, and testifying.