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Forensic Technician

Salary: Forensic Technician I (#4105)

$19.09-$23.31 hourly / $3,320-$4,054 monthly / Range: 5246

Forensic Technician II (#4106)

$24.38-$29.76 hourly / $4,240-$5,176 monthly / Range: 5736

DEFINITION: Under general supervision, the Forensic Technician I and II perform basic forensic work in criminal investigations by taking photographs at crime scenes; gathering, preserving, and processing physical evidence both at crime scenes and in the field; and performs related duties as required.

Under general supervision, the Forensic Technician Senior performs, in addition to the above, more complex technical criminal investigation work by examining, preparing, and determining the usability of latent fingerprints and by taking photographs, diagramming scenes, gathering and preserving evidence; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: These are non-sworn classes found only in the Sheriff's Department. The Forensic Technician I is the entry-level, trainee class. The II level is the journey-worker class. The Senior is the expert level and is distinguished from the II by having the responsibility for coordinating, with local law enforcement agencies, activities related to CAL ID, the statewide automated fingerprint system. NOTE: Promotion to each level is at the discretion of the Department.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES COMMON TO ALL:

Performs departmental photographic work, involving digital storage and printing. Responds to crime scenes as part of a team of Forensic Technicians; participates in the recovery and processing of physical evidence from crime scenes, accidents or in a controlled laboratory environment. Prepares court exhibits; testifies in court. Diagrams crime scenes and collects DNA evidence. Documents all activities during investigations. Operates Livescan Fingerprint Capture equipment on an as needed basis.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES AT THE SENIOR LEVEL:

1. Examines and prepares latent fingerprints by photographing and tracing usable latent fingerprints obtained from crime scenes; determines if latent fingerprints are usable for entry into the automated fingerprint system; enters, edits, and retrieves tracings from a graphic-based computer program; secures access to automated identification systems; ensures compliance with state requirements regarding maintaining fingerprint files; responds to requests of participating network agencies regarding fingerprint identifications.
2. Participates in the recovery of physical evidence from crime scenes; photographs crime and accident scenes, enhances digital photographs through the use of computer software.
3. Prepares court exhibits and appears in court to offer expert testimony on matters relating to fingerprint identifications and comparisons.
4. Confers with network users and DOJ regarding CAL ID procedures; trains sworn and non-sworn staff from SBSO and other agencies in the collection and preservation of fingerprint evidence and in the operation of a Global Workstation (CAL ID) computer system; coordinates and oversees the work of staff that involves crime scene processing, evidence processing in the lab, analysis and comparison of Livescan and latent fingerprints.
5. May oversee operations of the Forensics unit at the direction of the unit supervisor.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

Forensic Technician I:

1. Six months of experience or technical education in digital photography, including working with digital photography software; or,
2. six months of experience performing fingerprint identification duties (i.e. analyzes, classifies & indexes); or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Forensic Technician II:

1. Two years of experience in digital photography, including working with digital photography software, performing fingerprint identification duties (i.e. analyzes, classifies & indexes), and extensive forensic lab and field expertise in a law enforcement setting; or,
2. two years of experience performing duties equivalent to the classification of Forensic Investigator I with Santa Barbara County; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Forensic Technician Senior:

1. Two years of experience in digital photography, including working with digital photography software, performing fingerprint identification duties (i.e. analyzes, classifies & indexes), and extensive forensic lab and field expertise in a law enforcement setting, and one year of experience using CAL ID, the statewide automated fingerprint system. or,
2. one year of experience performing duties equivalent to the classification of Forensic Investigator II which included significant experience using CAL ID the statewide automated fingerprint system with Santa Barbara County; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Incumbents in these classes must be able to distinguish all colors in the visible spectrum. Positions in these classes are subject to being called back to work after hours and on weekends. Prior to final appointment, a background investigation, including a polygraph examination, will be conducted. A valid California Class C Driver's License is required at time of appointment.

Knowledge and Abilities:

I-Level Knowledge of: digital photographic techniques and digital photography software. (Note: Knowledge of fingerprint identification, classification, and analysis techniques may be substituted for the photography knowledge.)

Ability to: Keep logs, records, and reports.

II-Level Knowledge of: report writing and recordkeeping methods; photographic and identification techniques used in law enforcement; fingerprint identification, classification, and analysis, extensive forensic equipment knowledge.

Ability to: observe details to classify fingerprints; use a variety of photographic equipment; make court presentations; work with minimum supervision in the field.

Skill in: detailed digital photographic reproduction using computers and software.

III - Level Knowledge of: comprehensive photographic and identification techniques used in law enforcement; fingerprint identification, classification, and analysis; various computer software use and techniques.

Ability to: classify fingerprints accurately; analyze and accurately trace latent fingerprints; take clear and accurate photographs, using a variety of equipment; testify effectively in court; work with minimum supervision; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with law enforcement agencies; understand, interpret and apply laws, statutes and policies.
 



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