Goodnight, Kenneth M. Effective Case Management Through the Team Concept--The
Key to Winning the Game and the Case. National Fire & Arson Report.
Vol. 14. No. 1 (March 1996). p 1-3+.
Abstract: The development and function of an investigative team
working on a complicated investigation can be compared to that of a winning
football team. Both depend on individual skills as well as the ability to
function as a well-coordinated team. Both require strong leadership, detailed
planning, preparation, coordination, cooperation and flexibility.
The leader of an investigative team must have the ability to not only
assemble the team, but also to communicate, identify goals, apply the investigative
process and to analyze information to reach a factual conclusion. The leader
must also be aware of team members who may not be team oriented, who are
used to doing things their own way. Finally, the leader should be aware
of potential obstacles that might arise.
The team building process should begin long before a major incident occurs.
The team leader should anticipate investigative needs that may arise when
choosing members of the investigative team. Smaller teams may be comprised
of just an individual investigator and a supervisor, while a large incident
team will include many other specialists.
An organizational chart is useful to define the teamís reporting
structure, procedures and other logistics. The team leader should clearly
define each memberís role and level of interaction with others, anticipating
any potential ego problems. Proper identification should be issued and liability,
privacy and confidentiality issues should be understood by each team member.
As the investigation proceeds, it must be managed and evaluated. As issues
are identified, methods for tracking information should be implemented.
Lead assignment sheets contain important details. An appropriately outfitted
field command center will help insure that the investigation remains organized.