Employment Opportunity

Criminalist II

Oakland Police Department, Oakland, California

Salary: $87,978.59 - $108,027.12 Annually

Final Filing Date: June 10, 2019

The City of Oakland is currently recruiting to fill three Criminalist II vacancies within the Oakland Police Department Crime Laboratory in the Firearms Unit. Ideal candidates will exhibit leadership in Forensic Science through professional engagement, certification, publications, presentations, board positions or other tangible measures.

This position is a journey-level professional civilian position in the Crime Laboratory Criminalist series. The laboratory is ANAB accredited and meets ISO 17025:2005 standards. All Criminalist II positions require providing expert testimony and crime scene processing.

Under direction of a Criminalist III, the Criminalist II performs professional and technical duties related to laboratory examination of physical and chemical analyses of evidence required in scientific criminal investigation; provides expert testimony regarding laboratory findings; and performs related duties as assigned. Areas of examination may include analysis of firearm and tool-mark evidence, drug evidence, forensic alcohol analysis, biological evidence, trace evidence, and crime scene processing.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Perform physical and chemical examination of evidence using quantitative and qualitative laboratory techniques; evaluate nature, origin and significance of evidence in criminal cases.
  • Use instrumentation, apparatuses and techniques such as microscopy, electrophoresis and photography applicable to the assigned job category.
  • Examine and identify controlled substances.
  • Examine evidence for biological materials and conduct DNA analysis.
  • Research technical journals, textbooks, chemical manuals and other source materials to determine the best methods of performing analytical testing.
  • Conduct research into new methods and procedures of scientific criminal investigation.
  • Perform forensic alcohol analysis.
  • Make accurate observations regarding examination; prepare detailed notes and comprehensive written reports regarding examinations.
  • Present fair and impartial court testimony concerning findings as established by laboratory analyses and interpret findings as a qualified expert witness.
  • Maintain chain of custody and integrity of evidence under their control.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment, instruments and work areas.
  • Provide technical training, guidance and advice to less experienced laboratory personnel, law enforcement officers, or other users of laboratory services in the methods of analysis employed in the laboratory and in the methods of collecting and preserving evidence.
  • May be subject to extended or additional work hours for crime scene duties or other time sensitive work.


Minimum Requirements for Application
  • Any combination of education and experience that is equivalent to the following minimum qualifications is acceptable.
  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's degree in Criminalistics or a closely related physical or natural science which must include the successful completion of a minimum of 17 semester (or equivalent quarter) units of chemistry course work. Chemistry coursework must include laboratory and cover general chemistry and organic chemistry.
  • Two (2) years of progressively responsible work experience comparable to a Criminalist I in the City of Oakland including a demonstrated skill in two or more areas of Criminalistics or have exceptional documented expertise in a single area.
License or Certificate:
  • Possession of Diplomate certification in Comprehensive Criminalistics issued by the American Board of Criminalistics is desirable. Incumbents are strongly encouraged to attain Diplomate certification by the American Board of Criminalistics in Comprehensive Criminalistics as well as certification in a relevant specialty area by an external, nationally recognized forensic certifying body within two years of appointment to the position of Criminalist II. For Criminalist II firearms position, certification by the Association of Firearms and Toolmarks Examiners is desirable.
  • Individuals who are appointed to this position will be required to maintain a valid California Driver's License throughout the tenure of employment.
  • Must be twenty one (21) years of age or older.
  • Must pass a thorough background investigation.


Knowledge of:
  • Basic principles, methods, materials, and techniques of Criminalistics.
  • Basic principles of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and physiology.
  • Statistics and photography as related to Criminalistics. Principles of scientific instruments and apparatus used in a Criminalistics laboratory.
  • Laws of evidence, criminal procedure, and crimes.
  • Recent developments, literature, and sources of information relevant to Criminalistics.
Ability to:
  • Conduct various technical, chemical, and other comparative laboratory analyses. Follow detailed technical instructions.
  • Make accurate observations.
  • Prepare and maintain analytical and other laboratory records and technical reports.
  • Communicate clearly in oral and written form.
  • Operate instruments and scientific apparatus with skill and care.
  • Read, interpret, and follow departmental policies, rules and instructions.
  • Adopt a quick, effective, and responsible course of action, giving due regard to the circumstances of each situation.
  • Testify effectively in court as an expert witness.
  • Adhere to the laboratory's code of ethics.
  • Assist in training assigned staff in the fundamentals of Criminalistics and areas of specialization.
  • Apply theories and principles of chemistry and forensic science to forensic casework situations.
  • Resolve analytical problems arising from casework through consultation of the scientific literature and/or applied research.
  • Establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.

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

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: May 14, 2019

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