Employment Opportunity

Criminalist I - Controlled Substances/Blood & Breath Alcohol

San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, Redwood City, California

Salary: $81,078.40 - $101,316.80 Annually

Final Filing Date: February 14, 2019

The County of San Mateo Sheriff's Office is seeking highly objective, detail orientated candidates that value community service to join their team as a Criminalist within the Forensic Laboratory Controlled Substances/Blood & Breath Alcohol Unit.

A 2.5% pay differential is also given for IAI Crime Scene Certification and an additional 5.0% for ABC or AFTE or IAI Latent Print Certification or ABOFT. The maximum allowable certification differential is 7.5%.

The eligible list generated from this recruitment may be used to fill future extra-help, term, unclassified, and regular classified vacancies in any of the Forensic Laboratory units to include Latent and Prints, Forensic Biology, Firearms and Controlled Substances/Blood & Breath Alcohol.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Examine and identify controlled substances and physiological fluids such as blood, urine and semen.
  • Perform comparative analysis on evidence such as hair, fiber, bullets and tool marks.
  • Perform chemical analysis of breath, blood and urine to detect the presence and level of alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Examine and evaluate evidence such as accelerants, soil, paint, glass, guns and other weapons by instrument or chemical methods.
  • Prepare evidence for presentation at court and appear as an expert witness to testify on the results of laboratory analysis.
  • Engage in crime scene reconstruction and collection of physical evidence at a major crime scene; make casts of various impressions.
  • Take photographs and photomicrographs.
  • Participate in public relations activities such as conducting tours of the Laboratory and speaking to various interested groups.
  • Care for and maintain laboratory equipment.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.
The ideal Candidate will have:
  • Knowledge of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Headspace Gas Chromatography, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, and Polarized Light Microscopy.
  • Understanding of blood and breath alcohol testing technologies;
  • Understanding of the physiological effect of alcohol consumption on the body and its impact on the safe operation of a motor vehicle; and
  • Courtroom testimony experience is desirable.


Education and Experience:
  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a major in criminalistics, chemistry or a related physical science.
Knowledge of:
  • Current forensic methods and techniques used in the analysis and evalua¬≠tion of physical evidence likely to be used in a court case.
  • Principles of organic and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and physiology.
  • Common types of controlled substances, as defined by the Uniform Control¬≠led Substances Act of the Health and Safety Code.
  • Various types of equipment found in a forensic laboratory.
  • Courtroom procedures and testimony.
  • Recent developments, literature and sources of information relative to criminalistics and toxicology.
  • Principles of photography.
Skill/Ability to:
  • Performing physical and chemical tests commonly used in the analysis of physical evidence.
  • Using a wide variety of equipment including ultraviolet and infrared spectrophotometers, gas chromatograph, density and refractive index apparatus and various types of microscopes and cameras.
  • Understanding and carrying out detailed, highly technical oral and written instructions.
  • Communicating verbally.
  • Writing clear, concise reports and correspondence.
Other Requirements:
  • Participation in the Laboratory's on-call crime scene rotation schedule.
  • Pass a detailed background investigation and pre-employment medical exam prior to appointment.

Do you have the Education Required? See available on-line and campus-based degree programs now!

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: February 1, 2019

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