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crime scene cleanup

by Bill Sunday, Sep. 09, 2007 at 7:36 AM

The police, the fire department and the crime-scene investigators who arrive at a crime scene perform crucial tasks in the aftermath of a violent death.

Crime scene cleanup.

The police, the fire department and the crime-scene investigators who arrive at a crime scene perform crucial tasks in the aftermath of a violent death. But they don't, as a general rule, clean up,crime mob. Mopping up after someone who dies violently is the responsibility of that person's family. And until recently, there were very few cleaning companies that would handle that kind of job, so the family members ended up having to do it themselves. If ever there were a situation begging for capitalism to step in and take over, this was it.

Crime-scene cleaners charge up to $600 an hour for their service, and most people would pay a lot more,crime. In this article, we'll find out what crime-scene clean-up involves, what special knowledge the cleaners need to have and who in the world would be able to do this job.Crime library.

So who are these people who stay put in the face of a wall splattered with blood, brain matter and skull fragments? Crime scene. A lot of them come from medical fields that prepare them for the gore -- they may have been EMTs or emergency room nurses. Crime and punishment. A construction background is helpful, too, because some clean-ups (especially meth labs) require walls and built-in structures to be removed. Regardless of background, any crime-scene cleaner needs at least three qualities: a strong stomach, the ability to emotionally detach from his work and a sympathetic nature.Sex crime.

Cleaning up after a murder outside an apartment complex When a violent death occurs in someone's home, the family typically doesn't move out of the house.True crime. The cleaners' job is to remove any sign of what happened and any biohazards that result from such an incident.Crime ratee. Federal regulations deem all bodily fluids to be biohazards, so any blood or tissue at a crime scene is considered a potential source of infection.Crime stopper. You need special knowledge to safely handle biohazardous material and to know what to look for at the scene -- for instance, if there's a thumbnail-size bloodstain on the carpet, there's a good chance that there's a 2-foot-diameter bloodstain on the floorboards underneath it.Organized crime. You can't just clean the carpet and call it a day. You also need permits to transport and dispose of biohazardous waste.Crime justice and law. Companies that clean up crime scenes have all of the necessary permits, training and, perhaps most important, willingness to handle material that would send most of us running out the door to throw up in the bushes.

Why sympathetic?Because cleaning up a crime scene has one very big difference from cleaning up after, say, a hazardous spill at a chemical plant: Grieving family members. Hate crime. People who loved the deceased are often at the scene while the cleaners are scrubbing blood off the walls. Crime scene investigation. They might be sobbing and looking for support from the only non-grieving people still there -- the clean-up crew. Crime prevention. Crime-scene cleaners are in the awkward position of having to be stoic in the face of stomach-churning physical remains and yet sensitive in the face of a family's tragedy. Crime scene photo. Not everyone can do both.

Crime-scene cleaners handle a wide variety of messy situations, each of which carries its own dangers and particularly nauseating characteristics.

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