Cleaning the Scene

After crimes, local business moves in to help restore people’s homes

As a longtime police detective, Virgil Hutchinson has spent countless hours investigating crime scenes. While his current police work keeps him confined to his desk for most of the day, Hutchinson spends even more time at crime scenes handling his second job: trauma scene cleanup.

“You wouldn’t believe the scenes we go through. I mean the scenes that happen,” Hutchinson said as his eyes widened to recount the memories. “It’s tough on the family so you need someone that could first of all know how to deal with stressful situations like this.”

Hutchinson is very cautious when speaking about his experiences cleaning up crime scenes because he said privacy is the most important thing he can provide to the people he helps. A 23-year veteran of the Syracuse Police Department, he often sounds like a psychologist when speaking of the effects a crime scene can have on victims’ families.
He remembers a time when he responded to a family who had just experienced a violent crime in the home. The family wanted Hutchinson to clean up the blood.

“That’s where we came in,” said Hutchinson, CEO of B-D Trauma Scene Clean, Inc. “We disposed of everything the right way and gave them their privacy.”

Inspiration for the name of Hutchinson’s business comes from his father’s nickname, B-D. The name has special meaning to Hutchinson, whose father died of lung disease. The idea to start a company came through his police work before he became a detective.
“I would often hear people say, ‘so when do you come back and clean this place up?’” Hutchinson said. “And so I did some research.”

Hutchinson was the first tenant to house his business in the South Side Innovation Center. He said he chose the space on South Salina Street because of his concern for the city in which he was raised.

Cleaning crime scenes is something that Hutchinson takes seriously and personally.  That’s one reason he is hesitant to divulge too many details of his experiences.

“We don’t come to the house with this big van that says, ‘We clean crime scenes’ or anything of that sort,” Hutchinson said. “There’s psychological effects that go with that.”

Hutchinson said the sight of some crime scenes is sometimes hard to grasp and often takes a toll on him mentally. For that reason, he said finding people to employ is often difficult. He said he must be very selective and can tell within a few minutes during an interview whether a person has the stomach for the job.

Crime scene cleaning is just one of the jobs he and his employees provide. Some other features of B-D Trauma Scene Clean are biohazard cleaning, floor care, restoration after mold damage, and selling supplies to other companies.

Hutchinson remembers when he and his crew had to restore a house because water damage led to mold spreading throughout the whole property.

“We gutted the whole thing,” Hutchinson said. “We disinfected, sterilized and placed antimicrobial agents in the house.”

Whatever the situation, Hutchinson and his employees must dispose of materials “the right way,” he said.

“It needs to be autoclaved,” Hutchinson said, which means disposing of any remnants through a machine rather than in a large trash bin. Otherwise, he said, there is a risk of mold, hepatitis, or pathogens traveling through the air and infecting people.

“You really have to want to feel good about helping people, and that’s a lot of where my background in police work comes in,” Hutchinson said. “It’s that good feeling you get at the end of the day.”