Employment Opportunity

State Toxicologist / Division Commander

Washington State Patrol, Seattle, Washington

Salary: $140,000.00 - $175,000.00 Annually

Final Filing Date: Continuous

This position directs and oversees the budget, personnel, technical and quality operations of the Toxicology Laboratory Division. The Division has a staff of approximately 40 personnel and an annual budget of roughly $7M. The mission of the WSP is to provide public safety to all citizens where they live, work, travel and play. This position supports that mission by directing and overseeing the expert forensic analysis of toxicology-related evidence from alleged criminal, death and miscellaneous investigations. This is an exempt, at-will position (special deputy per RCW 43.43.020) reporting to the Director of the Forensic Laboratory Services Bureau (FLSB).

Duties and Requirements Click to read more

Duties: This position acts as both the Washington State Toxicologist and the Toxicology Laboratory Division (TLD) Commander.

The State Toxicologist:
  • Serves as the principal advisor to the Washington State Patrol, partner agencies, and external customers on all matters relating to forensic toxicology services
  • Determines the toxicology needs for internal and external customers statewide and directs the appropriate resources to ensure those needs are met effectively and efficiently
  • Ensures compliance with legal and technical requirements mandated by RCW 43.43.670, RCW 46.61.506, WAC 448-14 and WAC 448-16
  • Directs and approves the overall testing policies and procedures pertaining to the analysis of breath, blood and other biological specimens for alcohol and/or drugs
  • Approves the evidentiary breath alcohol instrument for use in Washington State
  • Approves and authorizes training programs and the certification of personnel; issues permits to qualified and competent personnel; revokes or terminates permits, when necessary
  • Directs, reviews and approves method development and method validation of toxicology testing methods
  • Reviews, revises, and implements changes to pertinent RCW’s and WAC’s, when necessary
The Toxicology Laboratory Division Commander:
  • Serves as Appointing Authority for the Division responsible for the overall staffing, budget, accreditation, fiscal policy, legislative requests, policy development, training, technical assistance and human resources for the Division
  • Supervises the Toxicology Laboratory Manager and Quality Assurance Manager
  • Sets goals, objectives, and strategic direction for the Division
  • Ensues Division personnel understand and adhere to established policies and procedures of the TLD, FLSB, and WSP
  • Establishes effective vertical and horizontal coordination and lines of communication among agency divisions, districts, and sections
  • Has a working knowledge of ISO 17025:2017 and ABFT accreditation requirements, and the TLD quality management system
  • Ensures the success of the work-unit through effective leadership, proper training of personnel, effective management of resources, as well as providing a safe working environment
  • Is responsible for addressing operational, personnel and customer issues
  • Works to ensure the volume and priorities of work are appropriate for the needs of the assigned staff
  • Represents the needs of the Division to agency leadership
  • Oversees implementation of training plans, verifies that trainees adhere to established training timelines, and verifies that training is conducted to the highest standards
  • Seeks feedback from appropriate subject matter experts regarding technical issues
  • Addresses performance issues and resolves conflicts within working unit as needed
  • Prepares regular reports of unit activities for management and agency review; presents reports to agency and external partners; presents at FIC and SAF meetings
  • Directs and oversees grant and contract management for TLD
  • Provides expert court testimony where required
  • May act as the FLSB Director in the absence


Required Education, Experience, and Competencies:
  • Candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of application.
  • Master's degree or higher in a natural science, forensic science or closely related field, including 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of chemistry coursework.
  • Minimum of seven years of experience in forensic toxicology, preferably in an accredited forensic science laboratory performing complex casework and testifying as an expert witness
  • Minimum of three years of experience supervising or managing technical staff.
  • General knowledge of human resource issues, fiscal policies, legislative processes, training and adult learning, accreditation, audits and inspections.
  • Demonstrated strong scientific foundation and understanding of forensic toxicology.
  • Demonstrated exceptional standard of personal ethics, integrity, and honesty.
  • The ability and desire to work cooperatively in a team setting. Respects others and acts professionally, accepts and gives constructive criticism appropriately, counsels and advises, and is an active listener.
  • Ability to keep subordinates and management informed by sharing information. Actively partners with peers to provide them with information, techniques, instruction, feedback and encouragement to maximize their success on the job.
  • Strong writing and editing skills; able to produce written materials that are concise, easy to read, and effective in communicating the desired message.
  • Ability to verbally communicate well with diverse individuals and groups of people, including those with a technical background and lay individuals.
  • Adaptable to changing needs, conditions and work responsibilities. Adapts approach, goals and methods to achieve successful solutions and results in dynamic situations. Effectively influence others to achieve understanding, acceptance, and commitment to act in support of ideas, programs or causes.
  • Organizational and planning skills; ability to handle multiple priorities and projects.
  • Ensure a safe work environment as mandated by the applicable federal, state, agency and FLSB regulations. Understand and follow applicable laws, regulations, standards, and other policies and procedures to establish and/or maintain a safe work environment.
Desired Education, Experience, and Competencies:
  • Doctorate degree in forensic toxicology, chemistry, or closely related field
  • Ten or more years of experience in forensic toxicology, preferably in an accredited forensic science laboratory performing complex casework and testifying as an expert witness.
  • Five or more years of experience supervising or managing technical staff.
  • Method development/validation experience in forensic toxicology.
  • Knowledge of evidentiary breath alcohol testing programs.
Conditions of employment:
  • Must complete Board certification in forensic toxicology or chemistry, or be able to attain such certification within 2 years of hiring.
  • Must pass a background investigation and a polygraph test.
  • Must have a valid Washington State driver's license or ability to obtain one within three months of hire.
  • Must be willing to travel within the state for business purposes.

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: October 16, 2021

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