Crime Scene Unit
The Odessa Police Department Crime Scene Unit (CSU), completely staffed by civilian personnel, is made up of:
- 1 clerk
- 1 supervisor
- 2 Property and Evidence Technicians
- 6 Crime Technicians
Crime Technicians are responsible to assist in criminal investigations by effectively documenting, collecting and analyzing the photographs, latent prints and other physical evidence present at crime scenes and other locations. Crime Technicians receive forensic training from state and federal agencies in forensic disciplines which include latent fingerprints, photography, evidence collection and crime scene reconstruction and processing.
Mobile Crime Lab
They respond to calls for service for patrol officers, Traffic Unit and detectives using the Mobile Crime Lab Vehicle. This fleet vehicle is equipped with equipment, chemicals and supplies necessary to conduct crime scene processing in the field. The vehicle operates Monday through Friday from 7 am until 11 pm with technicians available 24/7 for after-hours calls for service.
Our Crime Scene Unit personnel maintain a regional response to assist outside agencies with crime scene processing, latent print collection and positive identification through fingerprints. Examples of agencies assisted include:
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Ector County Independent School District (ECISD)
- Ector County Sheriff's Office
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Medical Examiner's Office
- Odessa College
- Odessa Fire Rescue
- Police departments and sheriff's offices in:
- Big Spring
- Ft. Stockton
- Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Rangers
- University of Texas in Permian Basin (UTPB)
- U.S. Border Patrol
- U.S. Secret Service
Fingerprint Database Certifications
Crime Technicians receive certification to operate the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAIFIS), state and national databases storing inked fingerprint records used to match to unknown prints lifted at crime scenes for positive identification.
Property & Evidence Technicians
Property and Evidence Technicians are responsible for the care, custody and control of all property and evidence recovered and generated during the investigation of a crime. These technicians receive training and certification from the Texas Association of Property and Evidence Inventory Technicians (TAPEIT), networking with other law enforcement agencies across the state.
The Property and Evidence Technicians receive property and evidence submitted to the Odessa Police Department by properly inventorying, packaging, sealing and storing items in such a manner as to preserve the evidence until requested for analysis, courtroom proceedings or until the statute of limitations expires.
Property and Evidence Technicians also work to routinely purge the storage areas of property no longer deemed evidentiary. Following procedures set forth in the Texas Criminal Code of Procedure, items are purged through authorized release, public auction, Department use or destruction.
Property Intake & Release
Property and Evidence Technicians are available for property intake and release Monday through Friday from 8 to 11:45 am and from 1 until 4:30 pm. Those retrieving property should provide valid photo identifications along with proper court documents i.e.:
- Case investigator authorization
- Certified letters
- Court dispositions
- Court orders, etc.
The Crime Scene Unit Clerk is responsible for maintaining the paper and electronic records of the Crime Scene Unit. The Clerk prepares lists and obtains signatures for court ordered destruction, auctions and property transfers and maintains those records.