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What Is a Police Sketch Artist?

When a crime is committed, it is common for bystanders or witnesses to take notice of the perpetrator of the crime. In order to find the offender, a police sketch artist is called to draw or sketch the face of the offender according to the details provided by those who had seen his or her face. Thus, a police sketch artist helps law enforcement officers in identifying criminals through their drawings.

As previously mentioned, such sketch artists work in tandem with witnesses in order to provide a definitive sketch of the criminal. This is done by obtaining information from the witness such as asking questions regarding the facial features of the offender. The witnesses then respond by giving details, which they recall from the incident they had witnessed. Information regarding the offender’s basic characteristics such as height, weight, ethnicity, age, etc. will also be asked by the police sketch artist in order to provide a comprehensive and detailed sketch for the police.

In order for an individual to become a police sketch artist, he or she must be certified by the Forensic Art Certification Board, that tests an individuals rendering and investigative skills. The board provides 2 levels of qualification. The highest level is level II forensic artist and the lower level is a level I forensic artist. In order to qualify as a level I or level II police sketch artist, one must meet the requirements and conditions set by the Certification Board. These requirements may include some form of education in composite art, human anatomy, psychology, and others.

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