Syllabus Entrance
Printer Friendly
Email Syllabus

CJ 311 Criminal Investigation
Scheffner, Douglas W.

Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


CJ 311 Criminal Investigation


FA 2011 HO


Scheffner, Douglas W.


Senior Instructor/Adjunct Faculty


BA, Park University
MPA, University of Missouri/Kansas City

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Class Days


Class Time

8:00 - 8:50 AM


CJ100 and CJ105

Credit Hours


Criminal Investigation, 9th Edition
Authors: Kären M. Hess and Christine Hess Orthmann (2010)
ISBN-13:  978-1-4354-6993-8

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
CJ311 Criminal Investigation: This intermediate course includes a discussion of the nature and purpose of criminal investigation, historical background, tools employed, skills development, and techniques useful in the reconstruction of criminal activity. Prerequisites: CJ100 and CJ105. 3:0:3

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Differentiate types of investigative techniques used in courts.
  2. Examine specific methods for investigation of major crimes.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Develop improved communications skills through interactive discourse and preparation of written reports or constructing papers in specific formats.
  2. Recognize significant contributors and movements within the field of criminal investigations.
  3. Analyze pros and cons of differing investigative techniques by comparing against Constitutional and criminal law as well as societal expectations of moral actions.
Core Assessment:

For CJ311, all students will complete an essay, not less than 4 pages (1,000 words) in length (excluding the cover sheet, title, and bibliography pages) as follows:

            It can be argued that the foundation for community support for law enforcement is in the trust built by faith that the police follow the law and adhere to the U.S. Constitution. For example, criminal investigative questioning must be guided by Fourth Amendment search and seizure protections. Harsh or questionable investigative methods may be unethical and illegal. 

            Discuss whether the concern for homeland security has redefined acceptable or ethical criminal investigative tactics used by law enforcement. Explain what impact changes in criminal investigative techniques and methods may have on police-community relations, criminal prosecutions, and the ability of police to investigate major crimes.

            The essay should be typed, double-spaced, be written in APA format, including in-text source citations, and use a minimum of 4 course-external sources.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Each week, students are required to attend class on time and engage in discussion during the lecture.  This attendance and discussion is worth 10% of the overall grade.

During the course, two exams are taken which count 10% each toward the final grade.  A midterm exam counts 20% with a final exam at the end of the course counting 25%.  A CORE paper is required which also counts 25% of the final grade.

This CORE paper is to be in APA format, and shall be not less than 1000 words in length. In this paper, you must use at least four sources of material that is not from the text or course lectures, and must be cited within the body of the paper.


Two Exams                                           10% each

Paper                                                    25%

Midterm Exam                                       20%

Final Exam -                                          25%

Class Participation                                 10%

Total                                                     100%

Grading Percentages:

90% - 100%    A

80% -    89%    B

70% -    79%    C

60% -    69%    D

Below 60%        F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Unless otherwise permitted, late papers are subject to a 10% penalty per week past the due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday 8:00 am CST and Friday at 9:00 an CST. The first week begins the first day of the semester. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed and successfully submitted by the given due date.

Students are expected to be on time for classes to commence at 8:00 am and are so noted by receiving one point.  Tardiness is documented by reducing by .1 point for each five minutes late that class period.  All points are totaled at the conclusion of the semester and become part of the 10% participation grade.

Students are expected to maintain a professional and academically cordial tone during all discussion.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1:  August 15 - August 19, 2011 - The Requirements for Criminal Investigation

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Recognize the goals, stages and elements of a proper investigation;

Understand and explain what characteristics are most important in an effective investigator;

Describe the steps taken in crime scene containment and explain its importance;

Identify means of protecting against lawsuits;

Describe the elements of proper crime scene documentation through photography, videography and sketches and know the relative advantages and disadvantages of each;

Readings and topics:
Aug.     15 Introduction to Course and Review of Criminal Justice                       None

                        Criminal Investigations - An Overview                                         Chapter 1

            17 The Preliminary Investigation                                                            Chapter 1

            19 Investigative Photography                                                                Chapter 2

Week 2:  August 22 - August 26, 2011 – Crime Scene Sketches; notes and report writing

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Explain the elements of effective crime report note-taking;

Describe the elements of an effective police report;

Explain who prepares and who uses police reports and in what ways they are used.

Readings and topics:
Text: Study Chapters 2 and 3
August 22 Crime Scene Sketches                                                                     Chapter 2

            24 Investigative Notes                                                                          Chapter 2

            26  Report Writing                                                                                 Chapter 3

Week 3:  August 29 - September 4, 2011 – Searches and Physical Evidence

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Identify the correct procedures for an effective investigative search as well as its purposes;

Describe the legal constraints on investigative searches as well as legal exceptions to those constraints and ancillary doctrines;

Explain and recognize landmark cases regarding searches;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapters 4 and 5.

August 29 Searches                                                                                         Chapter 4         

            31 Film: The FBI Laboratory

Sept      2 Physical Evidence: Basic Considerations                                          Chapter 5

Week 4:  September 5 - September 9, 2011 – Forensics of Physical Evidence

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Describe various methods of collecting, packaging, transporting and testing physical evidence;

Identify the most common forms of physical evidence found, understand the difference between class evidence and individual evidence and explain how each form falls within one of the two classifications.

Text: Chapter 5

Sept.     5 Labor Day: No Classes                                                                   None

             7 Physical Evidence: Forensic Considerations                                     Chapter 5

             9 Exam #1: Chap. 1-4

Week 5:  September 12 - September 16, 2011 – Physical Evidence and Obtaining Information

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Recognize the differences and goals of interrogation and interviewing

Discuss barriers to communications and what enhances good communications in interviewing and interrogating;

Explain the legal restrictions on interrogating and understand the major landmark cases that define and provide legal exceptions to the basic laws;

Explain the difference between direct and indirect questions and define when either might be used effectively;

Identify the legalities of questioning juveniles;

Recognize the legal and physical differences between field identification, show-up identification and line-up identification;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapter 6

Sept.    12 Physical Evidence: "Murder, Rape and DNA" film                              None

            14 Obtaining Information                                                                       Chapter 6

            16 Obtaining Information                                                                       Chapter 6

Week 6:  September 19 - September 23, 2011 – Identifying and Arresting Suspects; Surveillance, Undercover Assignment and Raids

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Identify the legal requirements of arrest and discuss the legal liabilities;

Identify the limits of use of force in making arrest.

Name the types of surveillance and their advantages and disadvantages;

Describe how suspects are developed;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapter 7

Sept    19 Identifying and Arresting Suspects                                                    Chapter 7

21 Identifying and Arresting Suspects                                                   Chapter 7

            23 Surveillance, Undercover Assignments and Raids                              Chapter 7

Week 7:  September 26- September 30, 2011 – Death Investigation; Assault and Violent Crimes

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Outline the four categories of death;

Define and classify homicide, murder and manslaughter;

Identify the differences between criminal and non-criminal homicide;

Identify the different categories and degrees of murder and manslaughter;

Explain the special problems encountered with death investigations;

Recognize physical evidence that can contribute to identifying unknown dead, time of death and indicators of criminal actions in death investigations;

Identify and articulate the elements of the different types of assault;

Differentiate between domestic violence and other types of assault;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapter 6

Sept     26 Death Investigation                                                                          Chapter 8

            28 Death Investigation                                                                          Chapter 8

            30 Assault, Violent Crimes                                                                    Chapter 9

Week 8:  October 3 - October 7, 2011 –Sex Offenses; Crimes Against Children

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Identify the different types of sexual offenses and how they differ from sexual assault;

Explain the types of evidence normally found in sexual offenses.

Identify and describe the common types of crimes against children;

Define the causes and effects of child abuse and child neglect, and differentiate between the two;

Explain the challenges involved in investigating crimes against children;

Describe the legal and technical aspects of interviewing or questioning child victims;

Describe the types of sexual offenders against minors and their general behavior;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapter 6

Oct        3 Sex Offenses                                                                                  Chapter 10

             5 Crimes Against Children                                                                    Chapter 11

 7  Midterm Exam, Chap. 1-10

Week 9:  October 10 - October 14, 2011 – Fall Recess; no classes

Week 10:  October 17 - October 21, 2011 – Robbery; Burglary; Larceny, Theft and Fraud

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Define and describe the elements of the different types of robbery and how they differ from the crime of burglary;

Explain the various challenges to investigating robberies;

Identify types of evidence commonly found in robbery investigations;

Explain the basic classifications of burglaries and the elements of each type, and what determines differences in severity;

Explain the elements of the crime of possession of burglary tools and how to prove the elements;

Describe the elements of the crime of receiving stolen goods.

Differentiate larceny from the crimes of burglary and robbery;

Compare the major categories of larceny and describe the elements that must be proven;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapters 12, 13, 14

Oct       17 Robbery                                                                                          Chapter 12

            19  Burglary                                                                                          Chapter 13

            21 Larceny, theft, fraud                                                                         Chapter 14

Week 11:  October 24 - October 28, 2011 – Robbery; Burglary; Larceny, Theft and Fraud

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Define how fraud differs from other forms of theft and describe the common forms of fraud;

Describe white-collar crime and how it differs from other forms of crime;

List the elements of crimes involving the environment;

Describe the nature of white collar crime and how it differs from other forms of theft

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapter 14

Oct       24 Larceny, theft, fraud                                                                         Chapter 14

            26 White collar crime                                                                            Chapter 14

            28  Environmental crime                                                                         Chapter 14

Week 12:  October 31 – November 4, 2011 – Motor Vehicle Theft

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Explain what a VIN is and its significance in auto theft investigation;

Identify the five major categories of motor vehicle theft;

Describe the types of vehicles commonly involved in motor vehicle theft;

Explain what other agencies can assist in motor vehicle theft investigation;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapter 15

Oct       31 Motor vehicle theft                                                                           Chapter 15

Nov       2 Motor vehicle theft                                                                           Chapter 15

             4  Exam #2: Chap 11-15

Week 13:  November 7 – November 11, 2011 – Arson and Explosives Investigation

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Describe how fires are classified;

Identify the elements of the crime of arson, and differentiate between various types or categories of the crime;

Describe special challenges that exist in investigating arson or bombing crimes;

Explain the normal actions of fire growth and indicate what elements indicate the possibility of arson;

Identify the differences between bombings and arson and special challenges to bombings that differ from arson.

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapter 15

Nov       7 Arson & explosives                                                                         Chapter 16

             9 Arson & explosives                                                                         Chapter 16

            11 Veteran’s Day: No Class

Week 14:  November 14 – November 18, 2011 – Computer Crime; Organized Crime; Drug Investigations

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Identify the key characteristics of computer crime;

Explain how computer crime can be categorized;

Describe the special challenges presented in investigating computer-based crimes;

Describe what forms of electronic evidence may be present in computer-based crime investigation and identify precautions to take in handling such evidence;

Define how cybercriminals can be categorized and discuss the motivations and characteristics of cybercriminals;

Explain how drugs are commonly classified both by their actions and by legal definitions;

Discuss the techniques involved in good investigation and arrests in drug-related crimes;

Explain the distinctive characteristics of organized crime and its major activities;

Discuss what agencies work together in investigating drug offenses and organized crime;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapters 17 and 18

Nov      14  Computer Crime                                                                               Chapter 17

            16 Organized Crime                                                                              Chapter 18

            18 Drugs                                                                                              Chapter 18

Week 15:  November 21 – November 25, 2011 – Drug Investigations; Hate/bias Crimes

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Define the special precautions needed in drug investigations, searches, surveillance and raids;

Differentiate hate/bias crime from other forms of violent crimes;

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapters 18 and 19

Nov      21 Drugs                                                                                              Chapter 18

            23 Hate/bias crime                                                                                Chapter 19

            25 Thanksgiving Recess: No Class                 

Week 16:  November 28 – December 2, 2011 – Gangs and Cults; Terrorism

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Define the general categories and types of street gangs;

Explain the usual activities of gangs and discuss the special problems to investigating gangs;

Define cults versus gangs and explain what types of acts frequently occur with these groups;

Describe the nature of ritualistic crimes, indicators of such crime and special problems to investigating them;

Define the nature of terroristic acts;

Differentiate how terrorism is different from other forms of crime.

Readings and topics:
Text: Chapters 19 and 20

            28 Gangs and Cults                                                                              Chapter 19

            30 Gangs and Cults                                                                              Chapter 19

Dec       2 Terrorism                                                                                         Chapter 20

Week 17:  December 5 – December 9, 2011 -Terrorist Groups, and Court Preparation

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

Describe how terrorism is most commonly defined and classified;

Describe actions commonly used by terrorist organizations;

Identify domestic terrorist groups and their motivations;

Describe how the USE PATRIOT Act enhances counterterrorism efforts by the United States;

Describe the usual sequence of events in a criminal trial;

Describe the role of prosecutor and what pretrial conferences are;

Explain why some cases are not prosecuted;

Describe how to effectively prepare for court and how to reduce objections to testimony;

Define what defense attorney tactics to expect.

Text: Chapters 20 and 21
             5 Terrorism                                                                                         Chapter 20

             7 Court preparation                                                                             Chapter 21

             9 Review for final exam

December 12: Final Exam, 8:00 am – 10:00 am Room 23 MacKay Hall.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
Academic honesty is required of all members of the learning community.  Many of you aspire to criminal justice careers and the expectation of professional honesty and integrity is both expected and rigidly enforced.  Hence, neither the college nor I will tolerate cheating or plagiarism on examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty should expect to receive failing grades and possible expulsion from Park University.  Plagiarism is sometimes the act of carelessness or ignorance.  This does not, however, make it less serious.  One of the most frequent offenses occur with information taken electronically from internet sites.  Be aware that I do check sources.  If I find any form of plagiarism, the minimum result will be a grade of 0% on that work.  If I believe it to have been a deliberate or flagrant act, I will fail the student for the course and may additionally recommend expulsion from Park University.  If you have any questions in this regard please see me.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1 & 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Appraises the sources into congruous and thoughtful conclusions - thoughtful implies some original thinking. Appraises the sources into congruous conclusions. Evaluation is weak. Evaluation is not present. 
1 & 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Combines researched material into a consistent whole; extends research well beyond minimum requirements. Combines researched material into a consistent whole. Researched material is presented but not into a consistent whole. No evidence of combining researched material into a consistent whole. 
1 & 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Analyzes key elements using 4 or more course-external sources. Analyzes key elements using at least 3 sources. Analyzes key elements using less than 3 sources. Analysis is not supported by any source material or no evidence of analysis is present. 
1 & 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
The essay shows multiple instances and exceptional understanding of terminology and concepts specific to the course core learning outcomes throughout. The essay shows sufficient and satisfactory use of terminology and concepts specific to the course core learning outcomes throughout. The essay shows minimal use of terminology and concepts specific to the course core learning outcomes throughout. The essay fails to demonstrate an understanding of terminology and concepts specific to the course core learning outcomes. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1 & 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Essay conveys complete and exceptional information on investigative techniques used in courts and specific methods for investigating major crimes. Essay conveys sufficient information on investigative techniques used in courts and specific methods for investigating major crimes. Essay conveys minimal information on investigative techniques used in courts and/or specific methods for investigating major crimes. Essay conveys no information on investigative techniques used in courts or specific methods for investigating major crimes. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
1 & 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Essay contains all required technical components: 4 pages in length (excluding required cover sheet, title page, and bibliography), typed, double-spaced.   Written in APA Style, including in-text source citations.  Contains fewer than five grammatical or spelling errors. Essay contains most required technical components.  Contains more than five grammatical or spelling errors but errors do not detract from understanding. Written in APA Style, but may have a few formatting errors. Essay contains few required technical components.  Contains more than five grammatical or spelling errors that detract from understanding. APA Style usage is barely evident. Essay contains no required technical components. There are so many errors in the APA writing convention, in the paper presentation, or in grammar and/or spelling that it is difficult to read. 


This material is protected by copyright
                               and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:8/17/2011 8:34:57 PM