Science and technology is advancing at
lightening speed, so it's no surprise that
police television shows and movies have
taken advantage of these advances to
enhance their story plot lines and
aesthetics.  It wasn't that long ago when
police dramas got by with the inference
of death and suffering without depicting
bloodied and broken bodies.  Today, it's
now common to watch blood gushing
and splattering, and doctors slicing and
dicing realistic looking cadavers on the
autopsy tables.

While the special effects have become
incredibly realistic, it's the science that will
continue to impact your police career.  
The CSI television series has spawn a
new genre of shows that use science to
collect and examine physical evidence
creating a whole new way people now
look at police and crime solving.

Imagine a jury deliberating one of your
cases.  The case is pretty straight
forward.  You apprehended an armed
robber moments after he robbed a man
at a bus stop.  You observed the suspect
running away from the bus stop; you
gave chase and caught up to him two
blocks away.  You recovered the knife he
used to threaten the victim, and you find
the victim's wallet in the suspect's coat
pocket.  Along with the victim's positive
identification of the suspect, your case is
complete.  However, a couple of the
jurors aren't satisfied with the absence of
scientific evidence presented at trial.  One
juror points out that the suspect
allegedly grabbed the victim by the arm
during the robbery.  He goes on to
explain that the victim's coat was never
collected as evidence, so the sleeve of
the coat was never tested for the
presence of epithelials which could have
been DNA tested to positively link the
suspect to the crime.
The CSI  Phenomenon
CSI: Miami is an American police procedural
television series that ran from September 23,
2002, to April 8, 2012, on CBS. It is the first
spin-off of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.The
pilot episode was first broadcast in the United
States on May 9, 2002, as a season 2 episode
of CSI. The series was produced in partnership
with the Canadian media company Alliance
Atlantis and CBS Television Studios. CSI:
Miami follows Crime Scene Investigators
working for the Miami-Dade Police Department
(MDPD) as they use physical evidence, similar
to their Las Vegas counterparts, to solve grisly
murders. The series mixes deduction, gritty
subject matter, and character-driven drama in
the same vein as the original series in the CSI
franchise, except that the Miami CSIs are cops
first, scientists second.  
Page 3
Television History
The First 75 Years
Police Shows
Police Television Shows
Past and Present
Page 3
by Barry M. Baker
When I watch a police show heavy with
scientific crime solving, I'm always
amazed by the amount of time and
resources available to the TV cops.  But,
it's television!  While a scientific
investigative technique can provide the
critical piece, or pieces, of evidence in a
crime, it's not always required to
establish guilt beyond a reasonable
doubt.  In the scenario I described, the
possible presence of epithelials on the
victim's coat from the suspect would
have only been a small, but expensive,
addition to the already overwhelming
amount of evidence.

Prosecutors and police officers all over
the country have been impacted
negatively by the CSI (crime scene
investigation) shows.  When you become
a police officer, you'll be confronted with
all the real obstacles that TV writers have
the luxury to ignore or manipulate to
develop a high level of entertainment.
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION is a
fast-paced drama about a team of
forensic investigators trained to solve
crimes by examining the evidence. They
are on the case 24/7, scouring the scene,
collecting the irrefutable evidence and
finding the missing pieces that will solve
the mystery.
D.B. Russell, the CSI Supervisor for the
grave shift is a family man and scientist,
but not a nerd. Son of hippie parents,
he's a "Left Coast" Sherlock Holmes who
devours crime novels and looks at every
crime scene as if it were a story waiting
to be told.  Other CSI members include
Julie Finlay, the team's Assistant Night
Shift Supervisor who worked with D.B. in
Seattle; Nick Stokes, the conscience of
the team, often driven by his emotional
connection to the victim to always get
the job done; Sara Sidle, aka Mrs.
Grissom, the moral compass of the team
who is relentless in her pursuit of
criminals; Greg Sanders, once an off-beat
tech analyst and now an experienced and
intuitive crime solver; and Morgan Brody,
an exile from the Los Angeles Crime Lab
and the daughter of Undersheriff Ecklie.
She's a natural born investigator who still
has a lot to learn about politics and
family. The CSI team members also work
closely with Captain Jim Brass...
CSI: NY, a crime drama inspired by the drama
series, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," is
about forensic investigators who use high-tech
science to follow the evidence and solve
crimes in the Big Apple. Det. Mac Taylor, a
dedicated and driven crime-scene investigator
who believes that everything is connected and
everyone has a story, is a decorated Marine
who served in Desert Storm and dabbled in
war photography. The job is his life; he
focuses on cases until they are solved. The
team includes the newest addition, Josephine
"Jo" Danville, an experienced investigator from
Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her
empathy for the victim. They work with a team
of experts, including Danny Messer, an
investigator with an unflappable spirit and a
troubled family history, which he uses on the
job as he blends his own set of hybrid ethics.
Messer was personally selected to join the
team by Mac, and he attempts daily to live up
to that honor and responsibility. Sheldon
Hawkes is the crime lab's former coroner, a
brilliant Ph.D. who transitioned to the field
team. Joining them is Don Flack, an edgy,
hardcore homicide detective with a quick wit,
impressive forensic insight and a long family
history in law enforcement; and Lindsay
Monroe Messer, a young, athletic CSI with a
Midwestern work ethic who is willing to roll up
her sleeves to tackle any job, and rarely hints
at the dark and devastating secret that
originally motivated her to dedicate her life to
being an investigator. Lindsay and Danny are
married and have a daughter, Lucy. Rounding
out the team is lab rat Adam Ross and
eccentric coroner Dr. Sid Hammerback. The
New York CSIs may have a different process
from those in Las Vegas or Miami, but they are
guided by the same steadfast determination.
These skilled investigators follow the evidence
as they piece together clues and eliminate
doubt to ultimately crack their cases.

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