Criminalist II / Forensics Biology Unit

US Government, Police Department

OPEN & PROMOTIONAL EXAMINATION – ONE YEAR PROBATIONARY PERIOD 

Under general supervision of senior management, this position performs journey level duties of the series and provides training to equivalent and subordinate positions within the series, acts in a lead capacity to subordinate employees, and assists in the preparation and revision of laboratory manuals. The Criminalist II performs technical forensic casework, using methods and procedures that comply with established standards of practice.

Essential functions of the job include, but are not limited to, the following:
Ensures Department services are provided with exceptional customer service and the highest level of ethical standards.  

Performs analysis and examines physical evidence in forensic specialty areas such as Crime Scene Investigation, Computer Forensics, Firearms/Toolmarks, Forensic Biology/DNA, Latent Print Processing, Friction Ridge Comparison.
 
Examines evidence, evaluates findings and interprets results utilizing various techniques including photography, microscopy, DNA typing, data searching and recovery, and digital processing.
 
Consults and advises law enforcement, attorneys and the courts regarding nature of evidence or the results of laboratory analyses and their meaning.
 
Testifies on the results of laboratory analyses and may interpret the findings for the courts and other legal hearings.
 
Prepares clear, comprehensive, technically sound and accurate casework reports, including all determined facts and conclusions.
 
Maintains laboratory, instruments, equipment and glassware in a constant state of cleanliness, order, and good repair.
 
Participates in validation studies or performance verifications for new procedures, methods and/or equipment.
 
Prepares laboratory technical procedures manual.
 
Ensures analysis practices maintain adherence to accreditation standards.

Acts in a lead capacity in a forensic discipline. Provides training to other Criminalists on new procedures, equipment, research, and/or best practices.
 
Ensures responsibility for the chain of custody, security, and control of evidence while it is in the possession of the Crime Lab.  
 
Performs administrative and law enforcement support activities.
 
May act as a Disaster Service Worker, as required.
 
Drives on City business.
 
Ensures Department services are provided with exceptional customer service and the highest level of ethical standards.
 
Assumes responsibility for ensuring the duties of the position are performed in a safe, efficient manner.

Performs other related duties as assigned or as the situation requires.
 
When assigned to the Forensic Services Unit:
Processes complex crime scenes requiring specialized techniques in detection, recognition, documentation, collection, interpretation, and preservation of physical evidence associated with crime scenes to include all types of friction skin evidence, trace evidence, and biological evidence.
 
Develops, collects, and preserves latent fingerprints by applying various powders, chemical processes and utilizing alternate light source technology.
 
Documents crime scene investigations and accident locations by digital photography and/or diagrams.
 
Takes aerial photographs and video tapes of crime scenes.
 
Makes impressions of shoeprints, tire tracks and other objects at crime scenes.
 
Prepares and enters latent fingerprints into the Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS). Compares AFIS results.
 
Ensures responsibility for analyzing, comparing, and evaluating developed latent prints for the purposes of identification by comparing the latent prints with known recorded impressions of an individual.  
 
Collects evidence involving but not limited to, fingerprinting, DNA, fingernail scrapings, gunshot residue, and other evidence from witnesses, victims, and suspects in custody.
 
Enters cartridge case evidence into the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).
 
Collects, transports, processes and books evidence.
 
Prepares court exhibits to depict crime scenes, including latent print comparison charts.
 
When assigned to the Forensic Biology Unit:
Conducts forensic examination of evidentiary items submitted to DNA laboratory to identify, isolate, and collect bodily fluid samples, appropriate for forensic DNA examination.  
 
Conducts scientific examination of DNA samples by biochemical and physical methods, including DNA extraction, PCR setup, and uses specialized analytical instrumentation to develop accurate DNA profiles.
 
Interprets analytical results of DNA testing through use of accepted methodologies, including genetic typing software.   Conducts peer review of profiles and interpretations done by other employees.
 
Ensures proper use of scientific equipment used in DNA testing, including modern genetic analytical instrumentation.
 
When assigned to the Computer Forensics Unit:
Conducts digital forensic analysis of computers and other digital/data storage devices such as smart phones, tablets, storage devices/drives, and cloud computing systems and applications.
 
Secures and collects digital and electronic devices and/or surveillance video at a crime scene in order to preserve digital evidence.
 
Renders safe and conducts forensic analysis of computer hard drives and other electronic storage media including smart phones, tablets, flash drives, external hard drives, cloud files, networks and applications in order to extract, preserve and present evidence for use in criminal investigations.
 
Accesses password-protected and secure files by utilizing forensic software applications.
 
Physically disassembles, documents and examines computers and related hardware components.
 
Takes photographs and/or videos of computers and digital devices utilizing digital camera and video equipment in order to document computer hardware configuration and conditions.
 
Identifies evidence of computer crimes such as the theft and sabotage of data, unlawful access of data and systems, fraudulent use of bank, credit and telecommunications accounts, and trafficking of child pornography.
 
Provides ongoing analysis of technology trends to incorporate proven forensic investigation and supporting technologies into practice

Job Overview

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