Thursday, October 13, 2016

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

In Latin, this translates to always where under where" which only makes sense if you don't think about the actual definitions. I'm not sure why, but this is one of the only things I remember from middle school Latin and if you asked me what else I remember, I'm not sure I would have much to say (other than Mr. St. Clair was a fabulous teacher!).

Last night at our Citizen Police Academy class, we heard from the Forensics unit. As you might expect, actual CSIs and crime labs are very different than the television versions. Officers don't wear high heels or dress clothes, and getting DNA back from the lab can take a month or more, and that's on the quick end! The Evanston Police Department now uses a crime lab in Vernon Hills where the turn-around time is on the quicker end. In Chicago, it can often take more than a year, at which point it may be too late to file charges against someone. The implications here are enormous and extremely disturbing.

In addition to investigating all sorts of major and minor crimes, the Forensics Unit is called to investigate any death in Evanston outside of a hospital, nursing home or hospice setting. Yesterday, they spent the day investigating a man who had been dead for several weeks and because of the temperature/humidity factors in his apartment was essentially mummified.

The officer told us that in many non-violent death cases, they find many of the bodies in bed and naked. She said, "If I leave you with anything tonight, I ask you, please, wear underwear to bed!"

Semper ubi sub ubi!

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