NaNoWriMo 2012 – Day 4

While sitting at Hudsons, eating my free wings, I was thinking about the next scene, where McGill is talking to the old woman who’d been walking her dog (you’ll probably read it tomorrow). It dawned on me that here in the 21st century, if local crime prevention had the necessary budget and technologically-aware management, a clipboard would have been replaced by a tablet. And the immediate data from a crime scene could be immediately included in the electronic case file, rather than transcribed from a paper form, which could be lost or misinterpreted. Further, the ridiculous amount of paper that a case could generate could be mostly replaced by electronic data.

Detective Sergeant Carter McGill flashed his badge to the officer at the yellow crime scene tape. Of course, they recognized each other. But it was protocol, as was the officer noting McGill’s name and badge number on the sign in form on his tablet. The information transferred directly into the electronic case file; no more trying to track down the officer and the paperwork once the scene was cleared. The department had come a long way in the twenty years since McGill left the academy.

McGill remembered when he’d done the job, and again when he was a robbery-homicide detective, trying to maintain all the paperwork and making sure it all ended up in the ever-expanding case file. But it was always slightly better than working patrol — driving around all day, rousting the drunks — because he could possibly get a chance to handle some evidence, although mainly it was standing and filling in the form. It was an important job, not just anyone was allowed into an active crime scene, and even then it was important to know who had come in. But it was not exciting and definitely was not glamorous.