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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.

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