rawilson wrote:Party line is that civilian CSI are not to be left on scene alone.
That was the "party line" when I was a civilian CSI in Plano, Texas, in the late 1980's. But as many other places, it was only followed when it was convenient for the responding officer to wait around.
I got a call one night to a rape at one of the local hotels, La Quinta, I believe. So I responded to the room on the first floor, but no squad car was in the parking lot and nobody answered the door of the designated room when I knocked. Dispatch advised that the responding officer had taken the rape victim to the hospital. I was a little perturbed, but decided what the heck. I went to the front desk and got the key, then went back to my car and got my kit. I opened the door, turned on the light, and barged in -- to find a woman asleep in bed! Needless to say, I scrambled out of the room in a big hurry and hauled butt back to my car at a full run, where I radioed dispatch and demanded to speak to the lieutenant on duty. After listening to me rant for a few minutes, he sent another officer and had the original officer call me from the hospital where he had taken the rape victim. Turns out there were two women. They had gone to a bar and got drunk. One had picked up a man and the three of them went back to the hotel room. The woman who hadn't picked the man up had a few more drinks and passed out in bed. Meanwhile, the man acted on the impulse he thought was proper under the circumstances, and he left after he was satisfied. That woman started to sober up and had second thoughts about what she had done, so she called the police and reported that she had been raped. Of course, the officer arrived and took her to the hospital for a rape kit. The other woman was still drunk and passed out (read: "sound asleep") in bed and he left her there. So, having been informed of the story, I entered the room again when the second officer arrived. We placed an evidence marker on the pillow next to the sleeping woman's head and did all the crime scene photography. She was breathing deeping and snoring lightly, but she wouldn't wake up. We finished processing the scene and left her there to sleep it off. Oh, and we did turn out the lights when we left so she could have a good night's sleep. I have no idea what she remembered the next morning when she woke up.
But after that, I didn't enter any more crime scenes without an officer present. My mind could imagine all kinds of scenarios if that woman had woken up with me there alone -- none of them good!