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Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

JULY 2013
Welcome to the July 2013 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Interviewing Tips

Thomas W. Adair

No one is ever truly prepared for a job interview. I certainly have crashed and burned in a few. Some people just interview better than others and all of us can experience a degree of stage fright rendering us a temporary imbecile. That said, I am continually amazed that applicants keep committing certain mistakes. Many of those mistakes defy common sense—and yet, they rear their ugly heads time and time again. After a recent oral board experience, I decided it was time to identify the Big Five Mistakes, as I like to call them, in the hopes that prospective job applicants will avoid committing them in their next interview.

Interviews for criminalists are somewhat different from those for other law-enforcement jobs. Consequently, there is a need to prepare properly for the event. Obviously, all interviews are intended to be challenging. They are designed to cull the lesser candidates from the group while providing an opportunity for the good candidates to shine. Knowing that, good candidates prepare themselves in such a way as to minimize these mistakes when highlighting their attributes.

This list is far from exhaustive and merely represents the common mistakes that continue to befuddle me when I conduct interviews.

Mistake #1: Failure to know something about the job

I can't believe I actually have to write this down, but there are a number of applicants that apparently have no understanding of the job they seek. This is bad enough when the applicant has no work experience, but it is inexcusable when the applicant has a longer work history than some of the interviewers. Case in point: In the last three fingerprint-examiner positions I sat in on, there were several applicants who could not describe or define the meaning of the ACE-V acronym. Not even the words making up the acronym! What's worse, some of these applicants were examiners in large agencies for years and had testified as fingerprint experts in court. Another applicant claimed to be an expert bloodstain pattern analyst but couldn't describe one thing an investigator might determine by examining bloodstains at a crime scene. Not one thing!

It should go without saying that if you are applying as a forensic chemist, you need to have at least a passing understanding of chemistry. Your knowledge base must mirror your resume. Applicants should keep abreast of developments within their field and take some time to anticipate questions they will likely be asked by the board. It is akin to preparing for expert

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*Article submitted by the author

New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 275 current listings!

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Crime Scene Specialist I  |  Round Rock Police Dept, Texas
Final Filing Date: July 10, 2013
Salary: $18.08 - $21.37 per hour

Under general supervision, uses comprehensive knowledge, and standardized principles, practices and procedures in the identification, documentation, collection, preservation, processing, and/or handling of evidence at/from crime scenes. Works on assignments that are moderately complex in nature where considerable judgment, responsibility, and initiative are required. This job is subject to 24 hour on-call.

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Crime Scene Investigator  |  Arlington Police, Texas
Final Filing Date: July 15, 2013
$47,331 - $64,944 per year

The Crime Scene Investigator will perform a variety of highly skilled technical identification tasks both in the field and laboratory to include; collecting, preserving, comparing, identifying physical evidence found at crime scenes, photographing and sketching crime scenes, preparing comprehensive and technically correct reports and testifying as an expert witness in court proceedings.

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Forensic Examiner I, II  |  Rapid City Police, SD
Final Filing Date: July 24, 2013
Salary: $20.37 per hour.
Performs collection and forensic analysis of crime scene evidence on location and in a laboratory.

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Community Service Officer/Property Room Technician  |  City of Minnetonka, Minnesota
Final Filing Date: July 15, 2013
Salary: $19.76 - $21.96 per hour

Directly oversees the "chain of custody" of all evidence and property taken into custody by the police department. Manages the inventory and storage of incoming items of property in locations that allow for timely retrieval. Manages and maintains accurate records of all stored property, items that have been destroyed, unclaimed currency, and of evidence that is transported to another agency (i.e. crime lab, BCA lab, court).

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Fingerprint Technician  |  Alameda County Sheriff's Office, CA
Final Filing Date: July 22, 2013
Salary: $43,290 - $51,480 per year

Under general supervision in the Central Identification Bureau, to perform the duties involved in the classifying, registering, searching and identification of fingerprints in the automated fingerprint identification system; to assist other city and county agencies with fingerprint work; and to do related work as required.

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Associate Director of Forensic Science  |  New York State Police, Albany
Final Filing Date: July 17, 2013
Salary: $90,684 per year

This position is assigned to the Toxicology Section.Provide direct supervision of Supervisor Forensic Services personnel performing various functions related to the operations. These functions may include oversight of shifts, training, validation, automation, quality assurance, safety, and proficiency testing. Assist Laboratory Director and/or Assistant Laboratory Director in the administration of the technical and scientific operation of the sections. Responsibilities include case assignment, monitoring case progress, managing productivity, supervision of procedures and reviewing analytical reports. Assist the Laboratory Director and/or Assistant Laboratory Director in the enhancing analytical capability and capacity of the sections, including managing specimen flow to obtain optimal productivity and evaluation of emerging technology. Participate in the needs assessment and funding of laboratory. Includes preparation and administration of budgets and grants. Serve as a resource person for prosecutors, investigators, evidence technicians and other law enforcement personnel. Shall stay abreast of developments within the field of forensic science analysis by reviewing current scientific literature, organizing or attending seminars, courses and professional meetings.

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CSI In The News

New Crime Lab Opens in Corpus Christi
The new Corpus Christi crime lab is in use for law enforcement and should begin to eliminate the backlog of cases waiting to be processed. - by Rachel Cole - June 26, 2013

OKC police hire civilians to work crime scenes
It's a first for the Oklahoma City police department; a new program will allow civilians to investigate crime scenes.
KFOR - by Jesse Wells - June 25, 2013

Catching criminals with forensic artistry goes high tech
Local sketch artist draws uncanny resemblances
Issaquah Press Inc. - by Sarah Gerdes - June 25, 2013

New forensic imaging system exposes bonus data not found with existing technologies that can make or break a case
CyanLine, a company dedicated to the prevention, detection, and investigation of cyber crimes, announced that its groundbreaking computer forensic imaging system, FDAS, offers additional evidence not detected with other technologies that can be the deciding factor in a case
Digital Journal - June 18, 2013

Once key in some cases, bite-mark evidence now derided as unreliable
At least 24 men convicted or charged with murder or rape based on bite marks on the flesh of victims have been exonerated since 2000, many after spending more than a decade in prison.
The Associated Press - By Amanda Lee Myers - June 17, 2013

CMC doctor helps expand forensic evidence collection
It's a scene that happens in emergency rooms across the country: In the rush to care for a patient, evidence that can tie a suspect to a crime is often lost, unnoticed or disturbed.
The Charlotte Observer - By Cameron Steele - June 16, 2013

Behind the crime scenes: forensic science uncovered
While often considered a new field, forensic science in fact has a long and interesting history that spans hundreds of years. However, the development of technology has plunged it into the public eye and completely changed the capabilities of the sector. - by Amy Caddick - June 12, 2013

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