Employment Opportunity

Latent Print Examiner (Criminalist I)

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, Santa Cruz, California

Salary: $6,496 - 8,219 per Month

Final Filing Date: May 17, 2021

The current vacancy is for a certified latent print examiner in the Latent Print Discipline unit of the Sheriff’s Office Forensic Services Division Crime Laboratory. Major duties include the comparison and evaluation of latent print evidence, latent print processing and crime scene investigations of major cases.

Criminalist I is the entry level for the criminalist series. Incumbents initially work under supervision, and as experience is gained, they perform a broader range of duties. Incumbents perform routine forensic scientific casework, and receive a substantial amount of on-the-job training, working closely with senior staff member(s).

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


Under general supervision
  • Performs duties involved in crime scene investigations and identification of evidence by performing chemical, physical, and microscopic analysis in the laboratory and in the field;
  • Interprets the results of findings;
  • Prepares materials for presentation in criminal court;
  • Appears in court as an expert witness.
  • May specialize in at least one discipline based on agency needs: Latent Prints, Digital Evidence, Biology/DNA, Forensic Anthropology, or Firearms & Toolmarks; and performs other work as required.


THE REQUIREMENTS: Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:
  • Education requirements vary depending on discipline assignment. At a minimum, graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, criminalistics, natural sciences, biological anthropology, computer science, or a closely related field is required.
  • For Forensic Anthropology specialization: an MA or PhD in anthropology with graduate level coursework in human and non-human osteology, forensic anthropology, archaeology, human variation, statistics and dental anthropology is required.
  • For DNA assignment: a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) or an advanced degree related to biology, chemistry or forensic science is required and must provide evidence of successful completion of coursework covering the following subject areas: biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology; and coursework and/or training in statistics and/or population genetics as it applies to forensic DNA analysis.
  • Active certification through the International Association for Identification (IAI) as a crime scene investigator, crime scene analyst, crime scene reconstructionist or senior crime scene analyst is highly desirable.
  • Mentally and physically capable of performing the classification’s essential functions as summarized in the typical tasks section of this job specification with or without reasonable accommodations. Physical Ability: Tasks require the ability to exert up to 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects; typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling; and may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials. Sensory Requirements: Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, sounds, forms, textures, or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks, or people. Environmental Factors: Exposure to variable temperatures, confined work spaces, and heights; strong unpleasant odors; infectious bio-hazardous materials, such as blood, urine and semen, which might cause chronic disease or death; dust, pollens, chemical irritants; toxic substances; individuals who may be hostile and abusive; evidence that may be disturbing such as homicide evidence. Hours: May be required to work flexible hours, shifts, weekends, and holidays and be subject to holdover and callback duty; and to provide a telephone number or means by which employee can be reached. License Requirement: Possession and maintenance of valid Class C California Driver License issued by the California State Department of Motor Vehicles by the time of appointment. Background Investigation: Ability to pass a full background investigation.
  • Some knowledge of subject matter and practices within an area of specialization, such as Crime Scene Investigation, Photography, Latent Prints, Digital Evidence, Biology/DNA, Firearms & Toolmarks or Forensic Anthropology; principles of forensic science, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, photography, and natural sciences as related to criminalistics; electronic search methods and examination techniques sufficient to access, preserve, and extract appropriate evidence from a variety of media; basic laboratory safety procedures.
Ability to:
  • Conduct chemical, biological, physical, microscopic, digital, and other comparative laboratory analysis as required; conduct crime scene investigations and collect evidence in the field; relate pieces of evidence to each other and draw logical conclusions; prepare and maintain clear, accurate and concise reports, records, and case statistics/findings; operate personal computers, Laboratory Information Management Systems and related software; follow oral and written technical instructions; perform assigned tasks according to prescribed procedures; meet timelines and handle multiple and changing priorities, projects, and schedules; comply with laws, regulations, and professional practices governing law enforcement services and operations; research regulations, procedures, and/or technical reference materials; work in a safe and prudent manner; communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; maintain confidentiality of information; read, understand, and follow departmental policies, rules, instructions, laws, and ordinances; establish and maintain good working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, demonstrating tact diplomacy, patience, and compassion; adhere to employing agency’s code of ethics.

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

How to apply: Apply online

″As I have found a job (through this newsletter!) working in the field of forensics, I no longer need a job newsletter. Thank you!” — Amber Click to receive job posting alerts

Posted: April 17, 2021

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