Employment Opportunity

Forensic Services Technician

Tempe Police Department, Tempe, Arizona

Salary: $26.15 - $35.13 per hour

Final Filing Date: This recruitment is open until the position is filled or a sufficient number of applications have been reviewed to establish a qualified candidate pool. First review of applications will occur on Friday, March 18, 2022.

This is a journey level class within the Forensic Services Technician series. Employees within this class are distinguished from the Forensic Service Technician series by the performance of the full range of duties assigned and identified under the essential functions. The position of a Forensic Services Technician+ with the City of Tempe is a hybrid position, requiring both field work and lab work.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • To actively support and uphold the City’s stated mission and values.
  • To perform skilled technical work in a variety of investigative environments.
  • The duties of this position include responding to crime/accident scenes to forensically identify, photograph, document, collect, and preserve physical and biological evidence; applying various processing methods to locate and develop latent prints; performing latent print analyses, entering latent prints into state and federal automated fingerprint identification systems, and performing latent print comparisons; test-firing firearms and entering cartridge cases into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN); and producing detailed, accurate, and grammatically correct written reports using notes and photographs.
The position of a Forensic Services Technician+ is a hybrid position, requiring both field work and lab work; examples of which are enumerated below:
  • Prepares accurate reports and records using a Record Management System (RMS) with clearly organized thoughts using proper sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Expected to attend training and study job-related techniques and best practices relating to forensic science, evidence collection, latent fingerprint comparisons and forensic photography.
  • Creates a strong chain of custody by applying accepted evidence handling and documentation standards.
  • Can be called upon to create exhibits and testify in court, at hearings, defense interviews and depositions.
  • Conduct training or presentations related to the forensic science discipline.
  • Maintain assigned equipment and keep it in working order.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.
Field Work Duties:
  • The Forensic Technician+ will work alongside investigative units to perform technical scene work at crime/accident scenes, to include forensic photography, collection and preservation of evidence, processing for latent fingerprints, examining biological substances, and documenting the scene.
  • Identifies, collects, and preserves physical and biological evidence, such as blood and other bodily fluids, hair, fibers, and gunshot residue, using accepted practices.
  • Photographs scenes and evidence using accepted forensic photography practices and techniques, including but not limited to:
    • Night photography techniques.
    • Comparison-quality photography techniques (for photographing impression evidence, such as latent prints, shoe impressions, and tire tracks).
    • Techniques for photographing bloodstain patterns; trajectories illustrated using rods, laser, or stringing; and bullet holes.
    • Techniques for photographing the fluorescence of evidence under an alternate light source.
    • Techniques for photographing the luminescence of blood-enhancing reagents.
    • May perform aerial photography, as needed.
  • Searches for latent prints using visual examination and processing methods; preserves developed latent prints using accepted techniques.
  • Collects known finger and palm prints from victims, suspects, witnesses, and deceased individuals.
  • Collects known DNA samples (buccal swabs) from victims, suspects, and witnesses.
  • Produces castings of footprints, tire tracks, and other impressions.
  • Ensures scene safety and evidence integrity.
  • Use an alternate light source for identifying latent fingerprints, bodily fluids, injuries, or other physical evidence.
  • Use chemical reagents to locate, enhance, and/or presumptively test for blood or other bodily fluids.
Lab Work Duties:
  • The Forensic Technician+ examines and processes items of evidence for latent prints using various methods; performs latent print examinations, enters latent prints into the Arizona Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AZAFIS) and Next Generation Identification (NGI) systems; and performs latent print comparisons. Further, the Forensic Technician+ will be trained to safely test-fire a variety of firearms and enter cartridge cases into NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network).
  • Processes items of evidence for latent prints using various methods and chemicals, such as cyanoacrylate (superglue) fuming, ninhydrin, and fingerprint powders.
  • Preserves DNA on appropriate items of evidence using accepted swabbing methods.
  • Use an alternate light source for identifying latent prints.
  • Makes accurate conclusions in latent print analyses and conclusions.
  • Enters latent prints into the Arizona Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AZAFIS) or Next Generation Identification (NGI) systems.
  • Operates and cleans laboratory equipment.
  • Assists with ensuring compliance of safety rules and regulations, prepares and conducts quality control testing on reagents and supplies, and conducts validation tests for new techniques and reagents.
  • This work may require exposure to dangerous and toxic chemicals, and requires knowledge of proper handling techniques, OSHA standards and safety regulations.
  • Test-fire various firearms and collect cartridge cases for entry into NIBIN.
  • Perform serial number restoration of obliterated serial numbers from weapons.
  • Maintain logs, assignments, and work sheets; create written documents such as investigation reports on print identification.
  • Must be able to lift heavy objects up to 50 lbs.;
  • Must be able to operate city vehicles (i.e. SUVs and sedans);
  • Must be able to climb stairways, ladders, and work on elevated structures;
  • Must be able to traverse uneven surfaces (i.e. river bottom, parks, under freeways, etc.);
  • Must be able to work in a stationary position for considerable periods of time (i.e. working in office/lab, looking at latent/fingerprints while sitting, stooping over a loupe, or spend hours on their feet processing evidence in the field or within the lab);
  • Must be able to operate computers, calculators and other office machines (i.e. report writing, uploading digital media, comparing prints, etc.);
  • Must be able to obtain/maintain a limited medical clearance for the purpose of wearing an odor/gas inhibiting respirator;
  • Must be able to distinguish colors for blood detection and chemical processing.
  • Extensive reading and close vision work (i.e. print comparison requires close vision work, either with a loupe or on screen);
  • Work out-of-doors in inclement weather (Crime scenes or traffic accidents occur any time of the day or night, throughout the year. Technicians are also subject to in-door inclement weather when working in small rooms, etc. with no air conditioning/heat.);
  • Exposure to heat, cold, dampness, dust, pollen, foul/unpleasant odors, fumes, etc.
  • Exposure to blood and airborne pathogens; bodily fluids; etc.
  • Will be exposed to chemicals, petroleum products, cleaning agents, fumes, etc.
  • Shift, weekend, and holiday work will also be required (and may be assigned based upon seniority). Will be subject to emergency call-out and stand-by during off-duty hours. This position is required to carry a city-issued cell phone while on stand-by and for work-related needs (per departmental cell phone usage policy).

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Work Experience:
  • Some experience in crime scene and/or accident photography, searching for and developing latent prints at crime scenes, and/or collection and preservation of evidence. Preference for having training and experience in performing latent print analysis and comparisons and using the Arizona Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AZAFIS) and the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system.
  • Years of experience are based upon a full-time work schedule (2,080 hours per year). The sum of an applicant’s full-time and/or part-time qualifying work experience must meet or exceed the stated minimum qualification. Education will not substitute for the required work experience; however, related unpaid and/or volunteer work experience may be used as qualifying work experience.
  • Equivalent to an associate degree in a natural science, forensic science, criminalistics, or a degree related to the core functions of this position.
  • The term “equivalent” means that directly related work experience exceeding the required work experience will substitute in equal time increments for college-level education, for example: one year of additional directly related work experience will substitute for one year of college education (30 credit hours).
Certifications, Licenses, and/or Registrations:
  • Possession of, or required to obtain within six (6) months of hire, an ACJIS Terminal Operator Certificate.
  • Possession of, or required to obtain within two (2) years of hire, certification as a Qualified NIBIN User.
  • Possession of, or required to obtain within two (2) years of hire, a Crime Scene Certification through the IAI.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS - Applicants considered for this job classification must pass the following:
  • Post offer/pre-employment drug screen. Employees in safety-sensitive job classifications are prohibited from all marijuana usage whether medical or recreational
  • Post offer/pre-employment physical
  • Police background check

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How to apply: Apply online

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Posted: March 7, 2022

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