“The supplement been instrumental in our successful indictment and prosecution of strangulation cases, the most recent case being sentenced to 40 years for a strangulation in which we used the supplement.”-Law Enforcement
The Strangulation Supplement Form has 5 main objectives and should be considered in its implementation. Training is always suggested as part of the implementation of this tool.
1) Provide a tool for first responders and investigators to better guide them in strangulation investigations (similar to using the SFST for DWI response).
2) Allow better identification of asphyxiation related violence, capturing cases that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
3) Guides questioning that will allow officers to better identify the credible party. It also prepares against the most common defense that arise.
4) Result in a more complete investigation that no longer rely solely on visible injury (which is not often an element) and the question “could you breathe?” With aspects of trauma considered in it’s development, victims will better be able to articulate their experience.
5) More efficiency at the crime scene that, lowering resources to be allocated to a follow-up investigation by a detective.
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The use of the strangulation supplement by a patrol officer significantly increases the quality and quantity of evidence collected in an investigation.