Employment Opportunity

Criminalist II - Forensic Biology

Oakland Police Department, Oakland, California

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

Final Filing Date: June 10, 2019

The eligibility list established from this recruitment will only be used to fill the current vacancy and other vacancies for this selective certification in Forensic Biology.

The City of Oakland is currently recruiting to fill one Criminalist II vacancy within the Oakland Police Department Crime Laboratory in the forensic biology discipline. The ideal candidate for this selectively certified position will meet the minimum requirements for a Criminalist II position and have specific experience and training in forensic biology. Ideal candidates will also 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. The forensic biology unit offers exposure to casework by testing items for the presence of biological material and DNA associated with evidence from property crimes, assaults, sexual assaults, homicides and other violent crimes. 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.
For Selectively Certified Positions in Forensic Biology, Additional duties may include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Evaluate physical evidence for the presence of biological material and other types of probative evidence.
  • Sample evidentiary items for DNA testing.
  • Use robotics to assist with processing when necessary.
  • Perform DNA Amplifications.
  • Interpret the results of simple and complex mixtures of DNA.
  • Possess a fundamental understanding of Bayesian statistics.
  • Enter data into CODIS database in line with eligibility requirements.


Selective Certification in Forensic Biology:
  • This position requires that the candidate meets the FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards for the Technical Leader which require the successful completion of specific scientific coursework and at least three years of human DNA experience as a qualified analyst on database or forensic samples. The Forensic Biology Unit is of a sufficient size and complexity and the supervisor of Criminalist II positions will maintain span of control, train and supervise staff, validate and adopt new technology, and meet the federally mandated quality assurance and accreditation requirements.
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.
For Selectively Certified positions in Forensic Biology
  • In addition to the requirements described above, candidates seeking appointment to a (selectively certified) forensic biology position must meet the FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards educational standards for DNA Examiner, which require successful completion of nine (9) cumulative semester hours or equivalent that cover the required subject areas of biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology; and course work or training in statistics and/or population genetics as it applies to forensic DNA analysis.
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.

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How to apply: Apply online

Posted: May 14, 2019

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