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Team Leader
Team Leader
     Although the team leader may not be the first to arrive, ultimate responsibility lies with this person.  The team leader needs to double check that the scene is safe and secure for the team.  They take control of communication and command post, authorize the appropriate personnel to be on site, and remove the extra personnel.  The leader must ensure that there is a legal basis to be on the scene. The team leader is responsible for the walk through to find potential evidence, choosing the most effect search pattern for the job.  Team leaders regularly evaluate the efficiency and needs of the team, ensuring appropriate equipment is available.  When everything is processed, the leader does a final walk through to survey the scene and inventory the evidence before releasing the scene.  Once the scene is released, a search warrant is needed to reenter the scene.  Most judges will want to know why the evidence was not collected the first time and will be expecting a good explanation before issuing a search warrant.  Therefore, the team leader really has one chance to do it right: the first time.

Traits of a good team leader: positive attitude, team-oriented, knowledgeable about legal basis for searches and search techniques, efficient, good communication skills, ability to multitask, and calm under pressure.

Search patterns available for use:

Spiral: single person search, usually small spaces and indoors.

Strip or Coordinate:  involves 1-2 people in reasonable space, usually outdoors but easily distinguished boundaries, move parallel to each other.

Grid or Zonal: involves multiple searchers, always outdoors, typically very large areas like mountains or woods, area divided into distinct regions.