Regardless if the crime involves the theft of a bicycle from a garage or the violent murder of a woman alone in her house, the process of investigation follows the same format:
- • Identification of the crime scene, victims, and witnesses
- • Gathering evidence and clues as to who perpetrated the crime and what may be the possible motive
- • Interviewing persons with knowledge relevant to the crime to enhance (or eliminate) solvability factors (factors related to the event that may lead to solving the case)
- • Following up on any forensic leads
- • Identification, apprehension, interview, and arrest of suspect(s)
A well-trained investigator should be able to follow up, and expand upon, this process regardless of the complexities of the investigation in question. And while the skill set needed to effectively investigate crime can be learned through training, and repetition, an investigator must also be able to objectively consider all scenarios that present themselves during the course of the investigation.
Remaining objective during the investigative process can aid an investigator when assessing the facts presented to him or her, thus enabling the consideration of all possible scenarios. Understanding the reasoning for why the criminal may have committed the crime can help the investigator to better understand the suspect’s thought process. Gaining a better understand of the suspect’s thought process can help when evaluating the facts relevant to the investigation.
These same traits hold true for skilled intelligence and tactical analysts as they research and reason their way through the intelligence analysis process while assisting in the investigative work.