Employment Opportunity

Chief of Forensic Services

Contra Costa Sheriff's Department, Martinez, California

Salary: $168,515.28 - $215,073.00 Annually

Final Filing Date: May 30, 2023

The Forensic Services Division is responsible for serving the citizens of Contra Costa County with the highest standards of quality, ethics, and professionalism in recovering, preserving, and analyzing physical evidence. The FSD provides unbiased scientific examination of evidence to the criminal justice system. The FSD has been an accredited laboratory since 2003. The Chief of Forensic Services has overall charge of the FSD and is responsible for all forensic science services provided by the division to the Sheriff’s Office and contract agencies. The Chief of Forensic Services reports directly to the Assistant Sheriff of the Support Services Bureau and is responsible for carrying out the policies of the FSD within guidelines set by the Sheriff. This assignment is at a division commander level and direction is exercised over both sworn and professional staff.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


Typical Tasks
  • Plans and provides direction to both sworn and non-sworn staff in the collection, preservation, examination, analysis and storage of physical evidence
  • Develops and implements operating policies of the Division subject to review of superiors
  • Monitors implementation of policies and initiates corrective action as required; Evaluates laboratory methods and procedures and approves adoption of new methods;
  • Coordinates or directs the training of subordinates and laboratory clients; Evaluates performance of subordinates
  • Takes disciplinary actions as necessary
  • Coordinates Division operations with other divisions within the Office of the Sheriff, other County departments and other law enforcement agencies; Evaluates and recommends on personnel and equipment requirements; Submits an annual budget request for the operation of the division; Evaluates operating costs and assists with the establishment of service fees; Prepares and manages service contracts with division clients
  • Provides direction to staff to assure quality of work conducted
  • Coordinates the maintenance of assigned facilities and equipment
  • Prepares detailed reports, correspondence and statistical data relating to activities of the Division
  • Directs the retention and maintenance of Division records
  • Speaks to public groups and represents the Office of the Sheriff at various seminars and meetings regarding forensic science services
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with laboratory clients and the public
We are looking for someone who:
  • values honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct;
  • possesses a strong fundamental knowledge of science, including laboratory safety, and is committed to career-long learning in forensics;
  • identifies and understands problems and opportunities and takes common-sense action that is consistent with available facts, constraints, consequences, and policy;
  • communicates effectively both verbally and in writing to clearly convey information and ideas;
  • is a forward thinker
What you will typically be responsible for:
  • Administer and develop programs for the operation of the Forensic Services Division.
  • Establish laboratory standards, technical procedures, and internal and external quality assurance programs to ensure that accreditation and/or other standards are met and maintained.
  • Review, commend, and correct the performance of subordinates.
  • Update divisional policies and procedures and ensure adherence.
  • Manage divisional budgets, grants, and purchases.
  • Ensure staff adhere to the mission and vision of the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Keep current with new developments in criminalistics, forensic sciences, or other relevant sciences, and its application to criminal proceedings. Make necessary policy and procedure changes to implement new developments.
  • Select and oversee training of new employees, monitor staff workloads, and provide direction on complex cases.
A few reasons you might love this job:
  • Command a large division including staff and operations
  • Provide input on departmental strategic goals
  • Influence and mentor staff
  • Directly impact the future of the Sheriff’s Office
  • Implement positive organizational change
A few challenges you might face in this job:
  • Managing a large command of employees
  • Fostering strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Interfacing with multiple labor unions
  • Conduct complicated administrative and personnel actions
Competencies Required:
  • Critical Thinking: Analytically and logically evaluating information, propositions, and claims
  • Industry Monitoring: Grasping the external political, economic, competitive, and social factors affecting the industry
  • Legal & Regulatory Navigation: Understanding, interpreting, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations
  • Action & Results Focused (Taking Initiative): Initiating tasks and focusing on accomplishment
  • Adaptability: Responding positively to change and modifying behavior as the situation requires
  • Professional Integrity & Ethics: Displaying honesty, adherence to principles, and personal accountability
  • Informing: Proactively obtaining and sharing information
  • Listening: Fully comprehending spoken communication
  • Customer Focus: Attending to the needs and expectations of customers
  • Interpersonal Savvy: Considering and responding appropriately to the needs and feelings of others in different situations
  • Leadership: Guiding and encouraging others to accomplish a common goal
  • Teamwork: Collaborating with others to achieve shared goals
  • Valuing Diversity: Appreciating the benefits of varied backgrounds and cultures in the workplace
  • Allocating Resources: Prioritizing the use of fiscal and material resources to maximize organizational effectiveness
  • Project Management: Ensuring that projects are on-time, on-budget, and achieve their objectives


License Required:
  • Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's License. Out of State valid Motor Vehicle Operator's License will be accepted during the application process.
  • Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Criminalistics, Forensic Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Toxicology or a closely related field.
  • Either five (5) years of full time or its equivalent experience in forensic science in a criminal justice agency which must have included at least two (2) years of direct administrative responsibility for program supervision, budget preparation and personnel selection; or four (4) years of full time or its equivalent experience in forensic science in a criminal justice agency which must have included at least two (2) years of direct administrative responsibility for program supervision, budget preparation and personnel selection and possession of a valid Advanced Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificate as defined in the California Administrative Code.
  • Possession of a Master's or Doctoral degree from an accredited college or university in one of the majors noted above or in a closely related field may be substituted for one (1) year of the required forensic science experience. No substitution is allowed for the two (2) years of administrative responsibility.
Desirable Qualifications:
  • Experience in developing and implementing effective policies, procedures, and methods for a large crime laboratory in compliance with accreditation standards, laws, codes, rules, and regulations
  • Experience in analyzing problems, researching and preparing appropriate investigative laboratory procedures and tests
  • Effective verbal and written communication, including the preparation of executive-level reports
  • Effective leadership, management, supervisory, and operational skills specific to grant programs, program supervision, budget planning, and personnel selection.
  • Excellent understanding of scientific principles, methodology, calculations, uncertainty, validation, and contextual boas as applied to forensic science.
  • Full command knowledge of evidence handling, preservation, tracking, analysis, reporting, and custody.
  • Knowledge of Federal, State, and local laws, rules, and procedures governing the activities of a forensic services laboratory and related criminal investigation functions.

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: May 1, 2023

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