Riding along with Sacramento Police Department's CSI unit

SACRAMENTO – There is a careful blend of technology and good old-fashioned police work within the Sacramento Police Department's Crime Scene Investigations unit.

This week is National Forensic Science Week – and the Sacramento Police Department gave News10 an exclusive look behind the crime scene tape.

"If we relied only on the computer, we would end up with chaos," Tim Sardelich, who works in the police department's fingerprint lab, said.

Sardelich has been looking at ridges and curls in fingerprints for more than two decades.

"I watched the system where I would put a fingerprint in the system back in the middle '90s, and I would expect it the next day," he said. "We're putting them in now and getting them back in just five or six minutes."

Budget cuts forced the police department to lay off the civilian workers who make up the department, according to a spokesperson, with sworn officers volunteering to fill the vacancies.

TJ Deardorff is one of those officers.

"Once I talk to (the victim), I'll do my own walk-through, and get an idea of what I'm going to be processing for fingerprints," Deardorff explained on the way to investigate a burglary in the Pocket.

In this case, robbers got away with several pieces of sports memorabilia while the home's owner was away.

Whether it's a burglary or a homicide, CSI officers acknowledge time is of the essence in an investigation.


Sacramento's CSI team will host a tweet-along this coming Wednesday (8/13), giving an inside look at what officers are doing throughout the day. To follow along, follow @SacPolice on Twitter.


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