Employment Opportunity

Senior Forensic Identification Specialist

Torrance Police Department, Torrance, California

Salary: $78,374.40 - $100,068.80 Annually

Under direction, performs the full range of complex and technical crime scene investigation duties to include testifying as an expert witness in the presentation of courtroom evidence; and performs related work as required.

This is the full journey-level class within the job series. Employees within this class are distinguished from the Forensic Identification Specialist by being a fingerprint expert and the performance of the full range of duties, as assigned. Employees at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise, and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit. This level is fully qualified to work in the field, independent of supervision, even on the most complex cases and is expected to give expert testimony in court. Work is judged primarily on overall results with great latitude in determining work methods and assignment requirements. Work may require the development of recommendations consistent with directives, policies and regulations.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all-inclusive.
  • Processes the most complex crime scenes requiring specialized techniques in recognizing, searching, collecting, and preserving all types of friction skin evidence, including partial distorted latent prints, and physical evidence.
  • Develops, collects, and preserves latent fingerprints by dusting, and applying various chemical processes and utilizing alternative light source technology.
  • Prepares, enters, and compares latent fingerprints in the automated system currently in use by the Police Department.
  • Conducts crime scene investigations to recognize, search for, collect, photograph and preserve latent prints and physical evidence such as hairs, fibers, plant material, and biological fluids.
  • Makes impressions of shoe prints, tire tracks, and other objects at crime scenes.
  • Provides technically competent, expert testimony on comparisons of partial and distorted friction skin evidence and processing of crime scenes.
  • Updates procedural manuals and participates in developing briefing and training videos.
  • Prepares court exhibits and testifies in court regarding findings.
  • Performs detailed comparisons of partial and distorted friction skin evidence to known friction skin exemplars.
  • Guides and instructs less experienced personnel in the various assigned duties of the position.
  • Collects, photographs, preserves, identifies palm prints and other types of body prints and performs basic presumptive tests for biological fluids.
  • Makes assignments, sets priorities, trains and reviews the work of subordinate staff.
The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:
  • Participates in training of staff and outside agency personnel.
  • Participates in case related research projects and evaluates new procedures.
  • Attends division and department meetings as required.
  • Serves on various committees as appropriate.
  • Performs related duties as required.

 Earn a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Science, Computer Forensics or Forensic Psychology


Education and Experience - Any combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
  • Graduation from an accredited college with a Bachelor's degree in forensic science, biology, chemistry, or a related field.
  • Three years paid experience as a Forensic Identification Specialist or the equivalent at an accredited forensic laboratory, or law enforcement agency, participating in site investigations and laboratory analysis. Experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of four years experience.
  • Must possess a valid State of California driver's license of the appropriate class.
Successful candidates will possess the following:
  • The ability to conduct, document, and manage complex crime scene investigations, including detailed report writing skills.
  • Effective report writing skills and courtroom expert testimony.
  • Skills and knowledge in recognition, search techniques, collection, and documentation of latent prints from physical evidence.
  • Competence in the operation of digital imaging systems used for documentation and analysis purposes.
  • Knowledge and skills in automated systems and chemical methods used to identify and compare latent fingerprints to partial and distorted friction skin evidence as well as known friction skin exemplars.
  • Adequate knowledge and skills in training and evaluating staff members, especially pertaining to the related fields of Crime Scene investigations and Latent print examinations.
  • Working knowledge and skill sets in entering and comparing latent print impressions in the local and federal Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS).
An International Association for Identification (IAI) certification as a crime scene investigator (CCSI) and/or a Certified Latent Print Examiner (CLPE) is desirable.

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: December 16, 2023

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