bigstock_Woman_sitting_on_a_toilet_hold_13037114This Police Pet Peeve comes by way of a homicide detective. “Why doesn’t anyone ever show a detective buried in paperwork?”

Sure a detective gets to go to crime scenes. But what about the hours and hours it takes to bag and tag the evidence? And every single type of evidence has to be processed a certain way. Guns are processed differently than drugs which are different from blood samples which are different from samples of vomit, etc. etc. etc. Each and every piece of evidence has to be photographed, collected and identified on a property sheet.

Then once that’s done, the detective has to take the evidence and sort it, either for the crime lab, or the evidence section.  Does it have to go into the crime lab refrigerator or can it just go into the storage locker?

THEN, the if the detective is lucky, he’ll have time to sit down and write a report detailing every action he took. Who did he talk to? Where did he gather the evidence? How did he gather the evidence? What about the different times the evidence was gathered.  With some evidence, the detective has to note the weather, i.e., temperature, wind velocity, wind direction, cloudy or sunny. Who entered the crime scene. Why?

I realize such minutia could really bog down a good story, but what about putting in just one or two of the aforementioned details to make your story more realistic? Go to your local police records section and see if they will allow you to go through an old homicide case. They might not, but maybe they will. See exactly how much paperwork is generated by a case. Then spice up your work! How easy is that?