FORENSIC TECHNICIAN

Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by employees in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

Under general direction, identifies, diagrams, photographs, collects and preserves evidence from crime scenes; provides technical guidance and leadership in latent print analysis and performs difficult and complex examination of latent prints in connection with the investigation of crimes; gives expert testimony in the courts in all phases of latent print examination; performs related work as required.

REPRESENTATIVE DUTIES

The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

  • Identifies, diagrams, photographs, collects and preserves evidence from crime scenes.
  • Examines latent finger, palm and footprints to determine quality and identity.
  • Compares known prints of suspects with latent prints to make a positive identification.
  • Searches identifiable prints using the CAL-ID System.
  • Prepares photographs, charts, and other materials for demonstration of evidence in court.
  • Offers testimony in court as an expert witness in all phases of latent print examination.
  • Consults with prosecutors on various methods of presenting evidence.
  • Classifies fingerprints.
  • Maintains logs and records of examinations performed.
  • Serves as resource person and technical expert for crime lab.
  • Implements and maintains a quality assurance program for the crime lab.
  • Assists in developing and creating forensic procedures and techniques.
  • Previews and approves completed unit casework reports.
  • Provides technical guidance and training to crime lab personnel.
  • Provides expert testimony in court.
  • Coordinates requests for services from various divisions.
  • Provides information to interdepartmental representatives and/or law enforcement agencies.
  • Provides technical assistance at major crime scenes.
  • Attends meetings.
  • Works evenings, weekends or holidays.
  • Performs related work as required.
  • Provides vacation and temporary relief as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:

  • Forensic science and evidence technology used in a crime laboratory.
  • Safety regulations pertaining to the laboratory.
  • Latent print comparison and identification techniques.
  • Methods and procedures of automated latent print analysis and matching.
  • Standard terminology used to describe latent print details.
  • Photographic techniques, equipment and documentation used in latent print examinations.
  • Development and preservation of latent prints.
  • Inking process and techniques used in major print taking.
  • Crime scene diagramming.
  • Word processing programs.
  • Principles of customer service.

Ability to:

  • Recognize latent print forms and patterns. Analyze and accurately trace latent prints.
  • Compare and accurately identify latent prints. Operate photographic and other crime lab equipment.
  • Manage a large workload and meet specified deadlines.
  • Maintain records, latent prints and latent print database files, and prepare related reports.
  • Provide technical guidance and training to laboratory staff.
  • Testify in court.
  • Work cooperatively with other departments, City officials, and outside agencies.
  • Operate office equipment including computers and supporting word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, staff and the public.

Education and Experience Guidelines - Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Education/Training: Equivalent to graduation from high school.

Experience: Two years of experience performing police-related duties, including some experience with crime scene investigations, evidence technology or latent print analysis and identification. An Associate of Arts or Science degree from an accredited college in administration of justice, evidence technology, biology, chemistry or related field may be substituted for experience requirement on a year for year basis.

License or Certificate - Related POST certified training courses are highly desirable. Must possess a valid Class C California Driver’s License or be able to arrange transportation for fieldwork. Must be willing to work overtime and variable hours including night, weekend and holiday work as required. Must be willing to be called back for crime scene investigations after normal working hours.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORKING ENVIRONMENT

The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Environment: Exposure to various hazards and weather conditions, which may include accessing remote locations and exposure to inclement weather. Periodic exposure to caustic chemicals in a laboratory environment. Exposure to crime scenes, victims and suspects of crime, which may result in hazardous situations. Exposure to cold, heat and humidity when working outdoors. Work is team and autonomy oriented, having both routine and variable tasks, high pressure and variable pace. Work schedule is an 80- hour biweekly period, which may include overtime, night, weekend and holiday work. Incumbents may be called back for crime scene investigations after normal working hours.

Physical: FREQUENT walking on both even and uneven terrain, standing, climbing, bending, squatting, kneeling and twisting, reaching at shoulder height, downward flexion of neck, side-to-side turning of neck; strong/power grasp to transport evidence and property; manual dexterity to hold and manipulate paper, writing materials, hand-held radio, telephone, steering wheel, computer terminal; lifting of objects weighing up to 25 lbs., below and at waist level with or without assistance; lifting of objects weighing up to 25 lbs. from below waist level to chest level, with or without assistance; lifting of objects weighing up to 10 pounds from chest level to above shoulder level with or without assistance; OCCASIONAL sitting, reaching above shoulder height, pushing-pulling, upward flexion of neck; INFREQUENT crawling, balancing above ground; pushing, pulling and transporting of objects weighing up to 100 lbs. over 100 feet in distance.

Vision: See to drive and operate equipment, see paperwork, evidence, and computer, scan and/or stare at photographs and prints looking for fine differences

Hearing: Hear in the normal audio range with or without correction; hearing for telephone, radio and verbal communication.

Speaking: Speak clearly and distinctly using radio, telephone and personal contact.

Reading: Read reports, citations and computer screens.

Writing: Write reports and citations.

Date: February 2006
Revised by MH/Department