The crime laboratory specialists perform routine crime laboratory, firearm, or latent print identification work. They collect, identify, classify, and analyze the physical evidence related to criminal investigations, as well as latent print, firearms, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) identification work.
The Crime Laboratory Specialists must be able to do the following task in their job function:
- The crime laboratory specialists enter actual latent print cases into the automated fingerprint identification system, and identifies the axis and core of each latent print entered into the system.
- They operate, maintain, and repair laboratory equipment, hardware, and apparatus.
- They prepare solutions, reagents, and sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
- They assist in the preparation of chemical compounds and solutions used in the analysis of evidence including print and DNA identification.
- They assist with instrument and inventory transfers and installs new or transferred equipment.
- They assist with maintenance and handling of evidence including receipt, bar coding, storage, return, destruction, and inventory.
- They assist in the evaluation of actual lifted latent prints and photographs of lifted latent prints submitted by law enforcement agencies.
- They assist in the evaluation of firearms, bullets, and cartridge cases submitted by law enforcement, and enter images of such into computer imaging database.
- They assist with performing side-by-side comparisons of latent prints against inked rolled impressions in the unidentified latent print database that the system identified as possible matches.
- They assist with the maintenance of records and the preparation of reports concerning results of analysis performed.
- They may testify in court about investigative and analytical methods and findings.
They may assist with the examination of DNA samples to determine whether they match other samples.
Skills and Knowledge the Crime Laboratory Specialists should possess:
- The crime laboratory specialists must have knowledge of criminal records systems, of automated fingerprint identification systems, and of rules of evidence.
- They must recognize and compare patterns on a fingerprint terminal, in researching and identifying prints of subjects, in recognizing and comparing bullet and cartridge case markings, and in operating a computer imaging system.
- They should follow standardized procedures, to compare and classify fingerprint and firearms data, to make fingerprint identifications, to effectively process latent prints, to safely operate and fire a firearm, and to capture images for database entry.
Degrees and Training to Become a Crime Laboratory Specialist
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