Employment Opportunity

Latent Print Specialist

Escondido Police Department, Escondido, California

Salary: $58,236.00 - $70,788.00 Annually

Final Filing Date: September 27, 2021

Under general supervision, performs latent print examination and identification; identifies, photographs, collects and preserves latent print evidence from crime scenes; provides technical guidance and leadership in latent print analysis and performs difficult and complex examination of latent prints in connection with the investigation of crimes; conduct latent print development; gives expert testimony in the courts in all phases of latent print examination; performs related work as required.

Must be willing to work overtime and variable hours including night, weekend and holiday work as required. Must be willing to be called back for crime scene investigations after normal working hours.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Incumbents in the Latent Print Specialist class perform a variety of non-sworn, advanced and highly specialized tasks related to print collection and examination. The position is characterized by an exceptionally high degree of responsibility for accuracy and quality of work for great attention to detail requiring in-depth knowledge and accountability in processing information.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.
  • Identifies, examines, collects, documents, preserves, and transports print evidence at crime scenes; searches for latent impressions and other physical evidence; prepares evidence lists for collected property and evidence.
  • Obtains major case prints from suspects, victims, and witnesses.
  • Attends medical legal autopsies at the Medical Examiner's Office to collect known fingerprint evidence.
  • Dusts and lifts prints; develops prints using laser and chemical enhancements; classifies, identifies, and examines prints; compares latent prints to inked prints; evaluates latent prints to determine quality, integrity, and identity; maintains records of examinations.
  • Processes evidence items for blood, latent prints, and other impression evidence.
  • Determines if latent prints recovered from crime scenes are usable for comparison to known prints of individuals and/or for entry into AFIS and/or NGI/ULW; requests known prints of possible suspects for comparison from local, state, and federal departments via associated databases, email, and telephone.
  • Prepares, enters, and compares prints in the Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) and related systems.
  • Processes and prepares photographs, charts, and other materials for demonstration of evidence in court; offers testimony in court as an expert witness in all phases of latent print examination; consults with prosecutors on various methods of presenting evidence; provides expert testimony in court.
  • Communicates with attorneys and other law enforcement officials and agencies regarding collected evidence and results.
  • Writes reports on latent print identification findings and print processing.
  • Trains and directs the work of full-time, part-time and volunteer personnel.
  • Researches and evaluates new technical developments in latent print development, crime scene processing, handling, and analysis of evidence; assists in developing and creating forensic procedures and techniques.
  • Serves as resource person and technical expert for the Forensic Service Unit.
  • Previews and approves completed unit casework reports.
  • Coordinates requests for services from various divisions; provides information to interdepartmental representatives and/or law enforcement agencies.
  • Provides technical assistance at major crime scenes.
  • Attends meetings.
  • Works evenings, weekends or holidays and responds to emergency calls as needed.
  • Performs related work as required.
  • Provides vacation and temporary relief as needed.


Knowledge of:
  • Methods and techniques used in the identification, collection, and preservation of property and evidence, and commonly used fingerprint classification systems.
  • Principles and practices of crime scene photography, photographic equipment, development and printing methods, materials and techniques.
  • Analysis, processing, documentation, photography, and evidence collection.
  • Forensic science and evidence technology used in a crime laboratory.
  • Rules and procedures of providing testimony in court.
  • Safe work methods and safety regulations pertaining to the work; and protective clothing and devices related to the work.
  • Latent print comparison and identification techniques.
  • Methods and procedures of automated latent print analysis and matching.
  • Standard terminology used to describe latent print details.
  • Development and preservation of latent prints.
  • Inking process and techniques used in the collection of Major Case Prints.
  • Word processing programs.
  • Principles of customer service.
Ability to:
  • Perform a variety of property and evidence collection, processing, and analysis functions.
  • Operate and maintain various print identification and other technical and scientific instruments, equipment, and supplies.
  • Lift, read, classify, and identify prints.
  • Analyze and accurately trace latent prints.
  • Take clear and accurate photographs.
  • Maintain the integrity of evidence and chain of custody in accordance with established guidelines.
  • Prepare accurate written reports; maintain accurate and legible logs and records.
  • Manage a large workload and meet specified deadlines.
  • Provide technical guidance and training to laboratory staff.
  • Testify in court.
  • Work cooperatively with other departments, City officials, and outside agencies.
  • Operate and maintain assigned vehicles and equipment in a safe and skillful manner.
  • Transport self and equipment to crime scenes.
  • Utilize computer information systems to include digital processing, database inquiry and word-processing.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Understand and carry out oral and written instructions.
  • Work independently.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, staff and the public.


  • Associate of Arts or Science degree from an accredited college in administration of justice, evidence technology, biology, chemistry, or related field.
  • One year (full-time equivalent) of experience performing police-related duties, including some experience with crime scene investigations, evidence technology and print analysis and identification. Additional years of experience may be substituted for education requirement on a year-for-year basis.
  • Previous experience as a latent print examiner is highly desirable.
License or Certificate:
  • Must possess a valid California Driver's License.
  • Latent Print Certification through the International Association for Identification is highly desirable.

Must be willing to work overtime and variable hours including night, weekend and holiday work as required. Must be willing to be called back for crime scene investigations after normal working hours.

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

How to apply: Apply online

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Posted: September 13, 2021

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