Employment Opportunity

Criminalist I (Fingerprint Examiner)

Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory, Kingston, Rhode Island

Salary: $57,148 - $71,534 per year

Final Filing Date: October 13, 2017

Use instrumental, physical and/or chemical techniques to examine a large variety of physical evidence submitted to the State Crime Laboratory by municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Interpret results of analyses, prepare written reports and provide expert court testimony in the areas of latent fingerprints/palm prints and/or photography.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Receive physical evidence. Review background materials submitted with evidence and pertinent agency regulations and other relevant material.
  • Consider the type of evidence received, time available for analysis, circumstances surrounding the crime, the requirements established by laboratory and police policy and general law, and determine the general approach necessary for effective examination of the physical evidence.
  • Research established methodologies and relevant literature to determine applicable methods to be used in all areas of evidence processing, including powders, chemicals, computer software and the use of alternative light sources.
  • Provide and/or seek advice concerning methodology problems in the specialty area to/from examiners in other state, local or federal law enforcement agencies.
  • Perform complex examinations of evidence utilizing appropriate techniques such as: scales, calipers, powders, chemicals, high intensity light sources (visible, laser, ultraviolet and infrared), computers, cameras, lenses and other lab equipment. Such examinations may include fingerprint classification, latent fingerprint/palm print development and enhancement, fingerprint/palm print comparison and identification, verifying and photographing evidence, including using digital imaging equipment, computer software, developing and printing digital images.
  • Interpret and evaluate examination results to determine their validity, scientific significance and evidentiary value to provide the most information possible.
  • Maintain instrumentation and equipment used for analysis of evidence. Determine analytical equipment needs for the Laboratory. Evaluate new instrumentation and changes in existing instrumentation. Recommend repair or purchase of new instruments and/or equipment.
  • Prepare written reports that state the results of examinations. Perform technical reviews and verifications on casework of other Fingerprint Examiners. Testify, when required, as an expert in the specialty area(s): latent print enhancement, print comparison and identification and/or photography.
  • Participate in crime scene processing when requested. Work with law enforcement and Laboratory personnel with regard to evidence procedures.
  • Communicate the importance of the examinations performed to law enforcement and Laboratory personnel and other interested individuals or groups.
  • Train and supervise interns and other Laboratory personnel on analytical techniques used for the examination of evidence in their specialty area.
  • Prepare and present lectures and/or laboratory tours on the functions of the State Crime Laboratory for specific groups upon request.
  • Maintain routine records pertaining to their specialty section of the Laboratory. Prepare periodic statistics on latent fingerprints, photography and related casework.


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of professional experience OR Associate’s degree and a minimum of ten years of professional experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of fingerprints.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of chemical and physical techniques used to develop or enhance latent fingerprints or palm prints.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the equipment used to compare latent prints to known subject prints, including Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of principles of photography and photographic printing.
  • Demonstrated ability to operate photographic equipment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state and municipal laws governing rules of evidence and courtroom procedures.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide photography testimony in the Court System of the State of Rhode Island.
  • Demonstrated strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated computer skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups/populations.
  • Latent Print Certification by a nationally recognized agency.
  • Demonstrated evidence of being court-qualified as a fingerprint identification expert.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Must be eligible for membership in an appropriate professional organization (e.g., IAI, NED/IAI).
  • Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS).
Environmental Conditions
  • This position is subject to inside and outside work and extreme cold and hot temperatures can be encountered.
  • The potential exists where noise and vibrations may be encountered.
  • The wearing of protective ear and eye devices may be required.
  • May be exposed to organic and inorganic chemicals related to the development and enhancement of latent fingerprints/palm prints.
  • May be exposed to low-level radioactive material.
  • May come in contact with biological fluids and associated biological pathogens, such as hepatitis B and HIV viruses.

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How to apply: Apply online

Posted: September 15, 2017

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