Employment Opportunity

Criminalist II

Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, Martinez, California

Salary: $95,867.88 - $119,441.28 Annually

Final Filing Date: April 6, 2020

The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is recruiting to fill a vacancy in the Criminalist series; specifically, there is currently a vacancy in the Latent Print Unit of the Forensic Services Division (FSD) for a Criminalist II. The eligible list established from this recruitment process will be valid for 6 months, and may be used to fill other Criminalist II vacancies within the Forensic Services Division.

Criminalist II's are assigned to one or more of the following Units within Forensics Services Division:
  • Forensic Biology/DNA
  • Comparative Evidence (Firearms/Toolmarks/Impression)
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Latent Print
  • Forensic Alcohol Analysis
  • Solid Dosage Drug Analysis
  • Toxicology
  • Computer Forensics
  • Quality Assurance

Criminalist II's may be placed on-call to respond to and process crime scenes.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more
We are looking for someone who:
  • Values honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct;
  • Understands the importance of quality, impartiality, confidentiality, efficiency, and effectiveness in conducting forensic examinations;
  • Possesses a strong fundamental knowledge of science, including laboratory safety, and is committed to career-long learning in forensics;
  • Approaches change positively and maintains effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work responsibilities or environment;
  • Identifies and understands problems and opportunities and takes common-sense action that is consistent with available facts, constraints, and consequences;
  • Is detail-oriented, hardworking, and results-driven as often multiple assignments and priorities must be balanced in a fast-paced environment;
  • Maintains focus under pressure and exhibits stable performance under stress or opposition;
  • Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing to clearly convey information and ideas.
What you will typically be responsible for:
  • You will be tasked with conducting comprehensive analysis of evidence associated with criminal investigations in accordance with written procedures.
  • You will work with scientific equipment and instrumentation as well as complex computer systems and databases.
  • You will create detailed notes and complete written reports.
  • You may be called to court to testify as an expert witness.
  • You will be asked to respond to crime scenes and autopsies to collect evidence.
  • You will work cooperatively with sworn and civilian members of law enforcement agencies.
  • You may be asked to assist training less experienced staff or provide training to law enforcement personnel.
  • You may be asked to assist in validating new methods or equipment.
A few reasons you might love this job:
  • You will work with a dedicated team of professionals in an environment that provides career long learning and training opportunities.
  • You will have the personal satisfaction that comes from applying your knowledge and skills in a field that directly benefits communities through service to the criminal justice system.
  • You will have the ability to work with cutting-edge forensic technologies.
  • You will have the opportunity to learn about multiple forensic disciplines.
A few challenges you might face in this job:
  • You will be expected to respond to crime scenes and autopsies, including being called-out to crime scenes in the middle of the night.
  • You will work in a stressful environment that includes prioritizing multiple assignments with competing deadlines and encountering disturbing information about crimes.
  • You may be asked to work overtime to meet the needs of our customers.
Competencies Required:
  • Professional & Technical Expertise: Applying technical subject matter to the job
  • Critical Thinking: Analytically and logically evaluating information, propositions, and claims
  • Analyzing & Interpreting Data: Drawing meaning and conclusions from quantitative or qualitative data
  • Delivering Results: Meeting organizational goals and customer expectations and making decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks
  • Attention to Detail: Focusing on the details of work content, work steps, and final work products
  • Professional Integrity & Ethics: Displaying honesty, adherence to principles, and personal accountability
  • Professional Impact: Presenting self as a positive representative of the organization
  • Handling Stress: Maintaining emotional stability and self-control under pressure, challenge, or adversity
  • Safety Focus: Showing vigilance and care in identifying and addressing health risks and safety hazards
  • Using Technology: Working with electronic hardware and software applications
  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing
  • Oral Communication: Engaging effectively in dialogue
Typical Tasks
  • Utilizes analytical instrumentation, apparatus and techniques applicable to the assigned forensic discipline
  • Conducts examination of evidence following approved protocols and procedures
  • Makes accurate observations regarding examinations
  • Prepares detailed notes and comprehensive written reports regarding examinations
  • Presents fair and impartial court testimony concerning findings obtained by laboratory analyses and interprets findings as a qualified expert witness
  • May assist in training less experienced laboratory personnel and law enforcement officers in the methods of analysis employed in the laboratory and in the methods of collecting and preserving evidence
  • Researches technical journals, textbooks, chemical manuals and other source materials to determine the best methods of performing analytical testing
  • Participates in conducting research and/or validation of new methods
  • Participates in crime scene response and investigations

Minimum Qualifications

License Required:
  • Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's License. Out of State valid Motor Vehicle Operator's License will be accepted during the application process.
  • Possession of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in the field of Forensic Science, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Toxicology or a closely related natural science field.
For DNA Assignment:
  • Candidate must also have completed coursework in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and statistics as specified by the DNA Advisory Board.
For Forensic Alcohol Analysis Assignment:
  • Candidates college coursework must have included 3 semester hours (or equivalent) of Quantitative Analysis, and must be eligible for Forensic Alcohol Analyst Trainee certification as specified under Title 17, California Code of Regulations by the California Department of Health Services at the time of appointment.
  • Two years of full-time or its equivalent of progressively responsible experience as a Criminalist I or Deputy Sheriff Criminalist I or equivalent position performing forensic casework. During the course of this experience, incumbent must have obtained the ability to independently examine and interpret forensic casework in one or more of the following areas: Biology/DNA; Comparative Evidence; Crime Scene Investigation; Latent Print; Forensic Alcohol Analysis; Solid Dosage Drug Analysis; Toxicology; or Computer Forensics.
Substitution of Education for Experience:
  • A Master's Degree or PhD in Criminalistics, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or Toxicology may be substituted for one year of the required experience.
Certificate Required:
  • Employees initially assigned to Forensic Alcohol Analysis must be certified as a Forensic Alcohol Analyst as specified under Title 17, California Code of Regulations by the California Department of Health Services at the time of appointment and must be able to testify on alcohol impairment by the end of their probationary period. A Criminalist II reassigned from the Criminalistics Section to the Drug, Alcohol and Toxicology Section must obtain certification as a Forensic Alcohol Analyst by the California Department of Health Services and must be able to testify on alcohol impairment within one year of the reassignment.
Visual Requirement:
  • No deficiency in the ability to distinguish colors.
Background Requirements:
  • A thorough background investigation shall be conducted. Appointees shall not have been convicted of any felony in this state or in any other state or in any federal jurisdiction, or of an offense in any other state or in any federal jurisdiction which would have been a felony if committed in this state.
Desirable Qualifications:
  • Experience as a qualified expert witness in the interpretation of analytical results.
  • Individual forensic certification

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

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: March 17, 2020

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