Employment Opportunity

Senior Forensic Identification Specialist

Torrance Police Department, Torrance, California

Salary: $6,186.27 - $7,900.53 Monthly

Final Filing Date: July 2, 2019

The Torrance Police Department is recruiting for a motivated professional to join the Forensic Crime Scene Investigation Unit. The team is comprised of six (6) Forensic professionals and a supervisor. The laboratory has state of the art laboratory equipment and digital imaging systems. This position performs the full range of complex and technical crime scene investigations, latent print examinations, provides expert witness testimony, and performs other related work as required.

This position operates on a 4/10 schedule and will be required to work weekends, evenings, holidays, and on a rotating, on-call schedule. Incumbents will be working the field in all weather conditions, laboratory, and general office settings. Physical demands of the performed duties include climbing, bending, lifting, pushing, and/or pulling objects weighing up to 60lbs., exposure to blood-borne, air-borne pathogens, bodily fluids, various hazardous chemicals used to develop latent print impressions, occasionally crawling in small confined spaces, possible prolonged use of computers. and tolerating adverse conditions such as fingerprinting and photographing deceased persons.

This is the full journey-level class within the job series. Employees within this class are distinguished from the Forensic Identification Specialist by being a fingerprint expert and the performance of the full range of duties, as assigned. Employees at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise, and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit. This level is fully qualified to work in the field, independent of supervision, even on the most complex cases and is expected to give expert testimony in court. Work is judged primarily on overall results with great latitude in determining work methods and assignment requirements. Work may require the development of recommendations consistent with directives, policies and regulations.

Receives direction from the Forensics Supervisor or Police Lieutenant. Provides technical direction to Forensic Identification Specialists.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Processes the most complex crime scenes requiring specialized techniques in recognizing, searching, collecting, and preserving all types of friction skin evidence, including partial distorted latent prints, and physical evidence;
  • Develops, collects, and preserves latent fingerprints by dusting, and applying various chemical processes and utilizing alternative light source technology;
  • Prepares, enters, and compares latent fingerprints in the automated system currently in use by the Police Department;
  • Conducts crime scene investigations to recognize, search for, collect, photograph and preserve latent prints and physical evidence such as hairs, fibers, plant material, and biological fluids;
  • Makes impressions of shoe prints, tire tracks, and other objects at crime scenes;
  • Provides technically competent, expert testimony on comparisons of partial and distorted friction skin evidence and processing of crime scenes;
  • Updates procedural manuals and participates in developing briefing and training videos;
  • Prepares court exhibits and testifies in court regarding findings;
  • Performs detailed comparisons of partial and distorted friction skin evidence to known friction skin exemplars;
  • Guides and instructs less experienced personnel in the various assigned duties of the position;
  • Collects, photographs, preserves, identifies palm prints and other types of body prints and performs basic presumptive tests for biological fluids;
  • Makes assignments, sets priorities, trains and reviews the work of subordinate staff.
  • Participates in training of staff and outside agency personnel;
  • Participates in case related research projects and evaluates new procedures;
  • Attends division and department meetings as required;
  • Serves on various committees as appropriate;
  • Performs related duties as required.


QUALIFICATION GUIDELINES - Any combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
  • Graduation from an accredited college with a Bachelor's degree in Forensic Science, Biology, Chemistry, or a related field;
  • Three years paid experience as a Forensic Identification Specialist or the equivalent at an accredited forensics laboratory or law enforcement agency;
  • Proficient in Crime Scene Investigations and laboratory analysis; and
  • Possession of a valid California Class "C" driver's license.
  • Experience may be substituted for the required education on a year for year basis to a maximum of four (4) years of experience.
  • In addition to the minimum qualifications, the ideal candidate will demonstrate:
  • The ability to conduct, document, and manage complex crime scene investigations, including detailed report writing skills.
  • Effective report writing skills and courtroom expert testimony.
  • Skills and knowledge in recognition, search techniques, collection, and documentation of latent prints from physical evidence.
  • Competence in the operation of digital imaging systems used for documentation and analysis purposes.
  • Knowledge and skills in automated systems and chemical methods used to identify and compare latent fingerprints to partial and distorted friction skin evidence as well as known friction skin exemplars.
  • Adequate knowledge and skills in training and evaluating staff members, especially pertaining to the related fields of Crime Scene investigations and Latent print examinations.
  • Working knowledge and skill sets in entering and comparing latent print impressions in the local and federal Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS).
  • An International Association for Identification (IAI) certification as a crime scene investigator (CCSI) and/or a Certified Latent Print Examiner (CLPE) is desirable.
Knowledge of:
  • Federal, State and local laws regulating the collection and preservation of evidence;
  • Crime scene and laboratory unit including recognition, collection, preservation and interpretation of all types of evidence;
  • Processes used to classify latent prints and methods used for automated search and retrieval;
  • Type and content of testimony which constitutes being an expert witness;
  • Specialized techniques in processing and documentation of crime scenes;
  • Recognition, search techniques, collection, and documentation of latent prints from physical evidence;
  • Automated systems and chemical methods used to identify and compare latent fingerprints to partial and distorted friction skin evidence as well as known friction skin exemplars;
  • Modern photographic equipment and photography techniques;
  • Methods of preserving evidence at crime scene;
  • Methods used to make cast impressions of tire tracks, shoeprints, and other physical evidence;
  • City ordinances and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations;
  • General City operations.
Ability to:
  • Interpret and apply Federal, State and local laws, rules and regulations regulating the collection and preservation of evidence;
  • Independently and accurately conduct crime scene investigations;
  • Recognize, search for, collect and preserve all types of evidence;
  • Effectively use such photographic techniques as macro, micro, infrared, ultraviolet and alternate light source (laser) to record or visualize physical or trace evidence;
  • Collect, photograph, preserve, classify and identify fingerprints, palm prints and other types of body prints;
  • Use the automated system currently in use by the Police Department to process and interpret latent prints;
  • Collect, photograph, preserve, identify and perform basic analysis of bloodstains and other types of physical evidence;
  • Prepare castings or moulages of various impressions;
  • Prepare accurate, concise and thorough written crime scene reports;
  • Effectively testify in court as an expert witness regarding crime scene evidence;
  • Effectively give instruction and guidance to less qualified forensic personnel in the field;
  • Take and process effective and useful crime scene photos;
  • Lift and classify latent fingerprints according to established systems and procedures;
  • Operate digital, film and video equipment in the gathering and presentation of evidence;
  • Accurately and confidently give courtroom testimony regarding the collection of crime scene evidence;
  • Prepare and present thorough and accurate crime scene reports;
  • Research case projects and evaluate new forensic techniques and procedures;
  • Work any shift including evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays;
  • Work with minimum supervision;
  • Work in a team environment and provide specialized knowledge and advice to investigators;
  • Communicate effectively with a wide variety of individuals;
  • Make effective oral presentations and conduct training sessions;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with City staff, other agencies, elected officials, community representatives, public and volunteers;
  • Plan, organize and ensure the completion of work assignments in a timely manner.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions.
  • Work is performed in an office, laboratory, and in outside weather conditions, with exposure to hazardous conditions. In the event of an emergency, may on occasion be exposed to blood and other body fluids and adverse conditions for an extended period of time.
  • May be required to travel to a variety of off-site locations and available to respond during off duty hours.

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

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: June 10, 2019

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