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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Morning Y'all. Where's the coffee?

morning yall
(courtesy of Icanhascheezburger.com)

That's exactly how I've felt and looked the past three weeks. Between working 40 hours a week, 10 hours a week in class and 10 hours a week in the lab I've been looking very much like that cat lately. But this is not a bad thing.

On the 11th I was out searching in the trees and underbrush for a good footing and a weapon. Ten officers, the tech I was working with and me were climbing around a vacant lot between two houses dodging bad footing in the form of beer bottles, condoms and who knows what else. The place reeked! But I was having a blast! When we found the weapon and the shirt the suspect had been wearing we made our way back to the lab to log in the evidence.

On the 18th I helped process over 150 baggies, prescription bottles and ziplock bags for fingerprints. It took 10 hours. I think I went through nearly a half box of gloves, my feet were getting sore, my lower back was hurting but it was all worth the two partial prints we got. (One of them -I- found.) Whee! I was so happy you could have pinched me and I wouldn't have noticed. I found out last night those prints while not good enough to identify anyone were able to eliminate suspects so that is always a good sign!

And last night, I had my first body. A pedestrian versus a train. The train won. I had been waiting for this moment. Was what I was training for, spending all my time, money and energy for worth what I was about to get into? What if I couldn't do it after all? When we got to the scene it was pitch black. The only thing that pierced the darkness were the strobes of the police cars, our crime lab vehicle, and the ambulances. Shadows were flying everywhere. I waited on the side of the tracks because the techs wanted to be sure it was not a homicide. If it was, I wouldn't be allowed on the scene until they were done processing all the evidence (for legal reasons). But it wasn't. It was just a tragic accident. I was waved into the scene and led down the trail from point of impact, past evidence (his hat, one of his shoes, some blood spatter) and toward the body. I was ready. I swallowed and looked at him. And I was fine. Perfectly fine. I thought "Yup, I've made the right choice". Later in the morgue that thought was reinforced. As I examined his wounds closely I thought "I wish I could do more right now. I wish I had the camera in my hands. I wish I was rolling his prints". Yup. Good idea.

Now... where's the coffee?