Crime Scene Specialist III

Job Description


JOB CODE 62820

Effective Date: Rev. 10/08A


The fundamental reason this classification exists is to provide technical support to Detectives, Police Officers and Forensic Scientists in analyzing, photographing, collecting, preserving, and presenting physical evidence. Work is performed in the field, including crime scenes and autopsies, and in the laboratory. This is the third and senior level Crime Scene Specialist classification series. The Crime Scene Specialist III primarily works complex person crimes such as homicides, and may serve as a lead to the Crime Scene Specialist II and Crime Scene Specialist I classifications. Evidence includes biological, fingerprints, fire arms, drugs, tire prints, shoe prints, and tool mark impressions. Incumbents analyze, photograph, and record crime scenes showing correlation between evidence and scene, and perform various analytical techniques such as chemical and photographic processes in the field and/or laboratory to analyze, develop, and preserve evidence. This classification differs from Crime Scene Specialist II by the focus on the more complex person crime scenes requiring greater skill and expertise, and lead responsibility at major crime scenes. Work is reviewed and evaluated by the Crime Scene Shift Supervisor based on results obtained, observation, and oral and written reports. Shift, weekend, and holiday work is required.


  • Analyzes, collects, preserves, and presents biological evidence, latent fingerprints, tire prints, shoe prints, tool marks, and other physical evidence from primarily persons crimes including homicides and suicides;
  • Photographs evidence at crime scenes;
  • Processes evidence in the field and/or laboratory using powders, chemical reagents, forensic light sources, and various photographic equipment in order to develop and preserve evidence;
  • Assumes role as lead Specialist for a shift, squad, or at major crime scenes;
  • Attends autopsies to photograph injuries and fingerprint the deceased for identification purposes;
  • Testifies in court as a witness in connection to the scenes processed and evidence developed and preserved;
  • Writes departmental reports and supplements;
  • Accepts, documents, and bar-codes evidence;
  • Participates as a trainer in a structured training program;
  • Inputs data or information into a terminal, PC, or other keyboard device;
  • Demonstrates continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality seamless customer service.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Knowledge of:

  • Evidence collection and processing using a variety of technical equipment, materials, and processes including collection and processing at complex persons crime scenes.
  • Photographic methods and equipment as related to crime scene investigations and laboratory processing.
  • Departmental rules and regulations.
  • Basic rules of evidence.
  • Computers.
Ability to:
  • Communicate in the English language by phone or in person in a group or one-to-one setting.
  • Produce written documents in the English language with clearly organized thoughts using proper sentence construction, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Train Specialists I and II in crime scene collection and processing methods and procedures.
  • Learn job-related material through structured lecture and reading in the English language. This learning takes place mainly in a classroom setting.
  • Travel over rough, uneven, or rocky surfaces.
  • Move objects weighing less than 50 pounds short and long distances.
  • Remain in a standing or sitting position for extended periods of time.
  • Operate a variety of standard office equipment.
  • Perform duties in/on helicopters, aircraft, elevated platforms, ladders and roofs.
  • Perform duties in conditions to include decomposing bodies, strong odors, insects, hostility, emotionally charged situations, child and animal victims.
  • Work in a variety of weather conditions with exposure to the elements.
  • Work cooperatively with the public and other City employees.
  • Work safely without presenting a threat to self or others.

Additional Requirements:

  • Incumbents must obtain professional certification from the International Association for Identification or the American Board of Criminalistics within 12 months of appointment to the classification.
  • Some positions require the use of personal or City vehicles on City business. Individuals must be physically capable of operating the vehicles safely, possess a valid driver's license and have an acceptable driving record. Use of a personal vehicle for City business will be prohibited if the employee is not authorized to drive a City vehicle or if the employee does not have personal insurance coverage.
  • Appointments to positions in the Police Department are subject to meeting appropriate polygraph and background standards.
  • Some positions will require the performance of other essential functions depending upon assignment or shift.


Three years of experience in crime scene processing, including two years at the level of Crime Scene Specialist II or its equivalent, and an associate's degree in biology, chemistry, forensic science, criminal justice, or a related field. Other combinations of education and experience which provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the work may be substituted.