Employment Opportunity

Forensics Technician

Portsmouth Police Department, Portsmouth, Virginia

Salary: $31,411.00 - $61,032.00 Annually

Final Filing Date: June 5, 2020

Under general supervision, this position is responsible for the collection and identification of evidence associated with civil and criminal cases, and internal investigations. Reports to a Police Sergeant.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Identifies, collects, preserves, documents, and processes physical evidence independently from complex crime scenes, and victims and suspects; collects latent fingerprints; photographs and sketches crime scenes; maintains chain of evidence; processes and maintains digital images; transports evidence to and from state crime lab; and coordinates with detectives and all appropriate laboratories.
  • Documents crime scenes using sketching and measurements, photography and videotaping; transports all departmental evidence collected; works on a variety of projects within the department; recovers fingerprints and processes latent fingerprints on various surfaces; obtains fingerprint impressions and interprets fingerprint patterns; properly disposes and labels biohazard materials; maintains and properly cleans cabinets; handles wet and soiled items collected by technicians and officers; handles and processes firearms under specific safety conditions.
  • Processes evidence in the field and laboratory; attends autopsies; interprets laboratory analysis reports and forensic findings, prepares detailed reports for inclusion in formal case files; serves as a technical witness; works with Detectives and Patrol Officers, the Commonwealth Attorney's office and other agencies to develop and prepare cases; prepares and presents expert testimony, and defends court testimony.
  • Maintains inventory of supplies for photo and fingerprint labs; mixes chemicals for latent fingerprint and photo lab use; handles chemical in accordance to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
  • Forensic Science –Knowledge of all aspects of crime scene processing and crime investigation procedures and techniques. Knowledge of fingerprint and palm print identification and the Virginia Automated Fingerprint Identification System computer.
  • Technology – Knowledge of general office equipment and personal computers to include word processing, spreadsheet, and related software. Knowledge of mobile devices and mobile device applications.
  • Computer Skills – Utilizes a personal computer with word processing, spreadsheet, and related software to effectively complete a variety of administrative tasks with reasonable speed and accuracy.
  • Interpersonal Relationships – Develops and maintains cooperative and professional relationships with employees, managers, and representatives from other departments and organizations. Shares knowledge with staff for mutual and departmental benefit. ?
  • Time Management - Ability to plan and organize daily work routine. Establishes priorities for the completion of work in accordance with sound time-management methodology.
  • Evidence Collection - Ability to recognize and identify physical evidence and properly collect and preserve physical evidence. ?
  • Communication – Ability to communicate ideas effectively, including the preparation of reports. Ability to listen and understand directions, information and ideas presented verbally and in writing. Ability to handle a variety of issues with tact and diplomacy in a confidential manner. Ability to deal with victims, victims' families, witnesses, etc. in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner.
  • Judgment/Decision Making – Ability to use logic and reasoning to understand, analyze, and evaluate situations and exercise good judgment to make appropriate decisions.
Education, Experience & Special Requirements
  • Bachelor's Degree in Criminology, Forensic Science, Biology or a related field, and 1-2 years of experience in crime scene investigations to include fingerprinting and photography; or any equivalent combination of training and experience. Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE) Certification desired.
  • Requires a comprehensive background investigation to include a local, state and federal criminal history check and a sex offender registry check.
  • Individuals in this position cannot be listed as having a founded child abuse or neglect complaint.
  • Requires satisfactory results from a medical, and pre-employment substance abuse testing and is subject to random alcohol and controlled substance testing.
  • A valid driver's license with an acceptable driving record.
  • Required to work holidays, nights, and weekends, and on a rotational call-in basis.
Physical Demands
  • Physical Requirements: Must be physically able to operate a variety of machinery and equipment including a two-way radio, typewriter, calculator, copier, camera etc.; and general law enforcement equipment. Must be physically able to operate a motor vehicle. Must be able to exert up to 150 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. Physical requirements of the job are those rated for sedentary work.
  • Data Conception: Requires the ability to compare and/or judge the readily observable, functional, structural, or compositional characteristics (whether similar to or divergent from obvious standards) of data, people or things.
  • Interpersonal Communications: Requires the ability of speaking and/or signaling people to convey or exchange information. Includes receiving instructions, assignments and/or directions from superiors.
  • Language Ability: Requires the ability to read a variety of reports, records and memorandums. Requires the ability to prepare reports, correspondence, forms, etc., using prescribed formats and conforming to all rules of punctuation, grammar, diction, and style. Requires the ability to speak before groups of people with poise, voice control and confidence.
  • Intelligence: Requires the ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Requires the ability to assess critical situations and establish methods to resolve such situations.
  • Verbal Aptitude: Requires the ability to record and deliver information, to explain procedures, and to follow oral and written instructions. Must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in a variety of technical or professional languages including legal and medical terminology, and emergency response codes.
  • Numerical Aptitude: Requires the ability to utilize mathematical formulas. Must be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Must be able to utilize decimals and percentages.
  • Form/Spatial Aptitude: Requires the ability to inspect items for proper length, width and shape.
  • Motor Coordination: Requires the ability to coordinate hands and eyes rapidly and accurately in using general law enforcement equipment and a variety of photographic equipment. Must be able to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Manual Dexterity: Requires the ability to handle a variety of items, office equipment, control knobs, switches, etc. Must have minimal levels of eye/hand/foot coordination.
  • Color Discrimination: Requires the ability to differentiate between colors and shades of color.
  • Interpersonal Temperament: Requires the ability to deal with people beyond giving and receiving instructions. Must be adaptable to performing under stress when confronted with emergency situations.
  • Physical Communication: Requires the ability to talk and/or hear: (talking: expressing or exchanging ideas by means of spoken words; hearing: perceiving nature of sounds by ear). Must be able to communicate via two-way radio.

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

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: May 20, 2020

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