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The Roles And Duties Of The Arson Investigator In The Criminal Justice Field

May 19, 2008
An arson investigator has a very important and challenging job. This person is directly involved with investigating fires at different locations such as houses, businesses, buildings and other facilities. Whenever there is a fire, I guarantee that an arson investigator will be there at the scene.

The arson investigator always begins the fire investigation as soon as the fire is put out. If you are considering becoming an arson investigator in the criminal justice field, there are a few mandatory roles and duties that you will have to perform.

An arson investigator's primary duty is to thoroughly investigate the fire. He or she must locate the origin of the fire and determine how it started. The arson investigator must decide if the fire was an accident or if someone set the fire intentionally. If the fire was an accident, no criminal charges are filed. However, if the fire was set intentionally, then the arson investigator will have to continue with the investigation in order to figure out who started the fire.

The arson investigator gathers enough evidence to build a solid case for the law enforcement team. He or she searches the entire fire scene for anything that looks suspicious. The arson investigator looks for trace evidence such as gas cans, flammable liquids and lighter fluid containers. These types of items suggest that the fire was planned.

The arson investigator collects all relevant evidence and submits it to a lab. The lab technicians and other lab workers analyze the evidence and looks for data that supports the case. The lab technicians search for fingerprints and DNA on items and identifies specific chemicals or other substances used to set the fire.

The arson investigator also questions the family members and friends of the property owner who lost his home, business or other facility in the fire. The arson investigator asks specific questions that may help prove that the owner had a motive for starting the fire. In addition, the arson investigator also questions the family and friends of any additional suspects for the fire.

The arson investigator may choose to use a camera or other video equipment at the fire scene for investigation purposes. Photos and video samples can be very beneficial to the case.

The arson investigator prepares a comprehensive written report for the law enforcement team and for the property owner. The property owner submits a copy of the report to the insurance company. The report includes all information related to the fire, such as the date, time and location, evidence, photos, suspects, witnesses, injuries, etc. It might take anywhere from several days to several weeks or even months, to compete the investigation and to prepare the report.

The arson investigator works closely with law enforcement to help indict, arrest, and prosecute the person who set the fire. This is a very serious crime and therefore, the law enforcement team will prosecute the guilty person. Charges will be brought against the arsonist and the arson investigator will normally have to be present in court and testify at the trial.

As you can see, the arson investigator plays very important roles in the criminal justice field. The arson investigator performs many important duties to assist law enforcement with their fire investigation cases. If you are interested in this career, I ask that you to do more research on the internet. There are websites that cover the career in more detail. It would a good idea for you to visit these sites.

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About the Author
Copywrite Kenneth Echie. Kenneth writes for Criminal Justice Schools and Degrees. Get free scholarship report and learn to Become Arson Investigator by visiting. Affiliated website: Make Extra Income
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