SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Fighting crime is a team effort.
Investigators at the Spartanburg Police Department are using all the tools at their disposal to get criminals off the streets.
Investigators with the forensics team said they work on 10-15 cases per month, on average. How quickly they process evidence all depends on the case.
In the ever-evolving world of crime and technology, forensics investigators are racing against the clock.
“One day, two days, I mean, it could be a year before we solve the case,” said Investigator Caitlin Wright. “It just depends on what kind of case it is, what kind of leads we have, the people that are willing to help.”
Forensics Investigator, Caitlin Wright, has been a part of the team for about three years.
“As a kid, I always had the passion,” she said.
Their job, she said, is to document the scenes and process evidence.
“Depending on what type, we go through certain items, if it has evidentiary value, we mark it, we take more photos and we collect it,” said Investigator Wright.
Once that evidence is collected, she said, they bring it back to the lab. Then, they test for fingerprints and DNA, take collected items and dust them.
“And the prints you can’t see with your eye, you can now see with the black powder,” she said.
They can also use a fuming chamber for prints.
Once they lift the prints, they put all the information on a card to submit to a fingerprint examiner.
For other substances collected, Investigator Wright said they use different technology.
“We just swab whatever area we see, whether that’s blood, or semen or bodily fluids, anything like that,” said the Investigator. “Once we get the DNA swab, we put it in a carton and then we send it off to SLED.”
Investigators also have dry cabinets for any evidence that might be wet.
“When you’re doing an investigation, you hit the ground running. You’re trying to find the suspect, you’re trying to do things,” said Investigator Wright. “We kinda like to work at a fast pace, so we try to get things done as quickly as possible. So, it could take a day, it could take two days, depending if we’re backlogged.”
Currently, they are up to date on all cases.
Investigator Wright said they get evidence to process from units on patrol and scenes they respond to.
“We’re not at the forefront, we come at the end of everything, after everything,” she said.
All the evidence collected is stored in evidence at their lab, temporarily, before Investigator Wright said they bring it to the police department.
Some months are busier than others, like the summer and during the holidays. Out of all the cases, Investigator Wright said homicides take up the most resources.
“We’re trying to get on top of it, make sure we can get a suspect,” she said.
A team working as one to get justice for the victims in the community.
She said the Forensics Team is currently waiting on funding to get more advanced technology to help solve their cases faster.