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Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Welcome to the September 2013 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

The Interview

Steven Staggs

From my experience as both a candidate and as an interviewer I have three main things I think you should do to have a successful interview.

Undoubtedly there will be many individuals who will be interviewed for the job. What you need to do is be memorable. After the interview panel has completed all their interviews and begin to decide on whom to hire, they need to remember who you were. You make yourself memorable by standing out in your interview. Here is how you can stand out:

  • Be prepared to answer the question: "What do you know about us?" Learn everything you can about the community and the department you are applying to. Read everything on their web pages. Google search the local newspapers for stories about the department, the types of crime they investigate, and any controversy in the community about the department or their delivery of service. Call the CSI Unit and tell them you are about to be interviewed for the position and ask to talk to someone in the Unit. Find out all you can about the Unit including how many work there, what their duties are, what types of crime scenes they process most, and what issues they are dealing with. Ask a supervisor if you can do a "ride along" to see the unit. Be prepared to tell the interview panel all about the community, the department, the challenges it faces, all about the CSI Unit, what types of crime scenes they process, and tell them that you talked to people in the unit and did a ride along. By doing this the interview panel will know you did your homework by investigating the department and unit. They will know you want the job after checking them out thoroughly.

  • Show them what you can do. Have you taken classes in crime scene photography and evidence collection? Take a couple of fingerprint lift cards you have done (your best work) and one or two photographs (a close-up photo of evidence and a painting-with-light photo). When they ask something like "What have you done to prepare yourself for this job?" show them the lift cards and photographs. Explain what they are ("this is a black powdered latent lifted from a coffee mug, this is a painting-with-light photograph, the painting-with-light technique works especially well for documenting large crime scenes at night"). They will see that you have a basic knowledge about the job and that you will be able to do the job. This is also something that probably none of the other candidates will do so it helps you to stand out.

  • Always have something to say in closing. They will usually ask one last question during the interview: "Do you have any questions for us, or is there anything you wanted to tell us?" Never say "No." This is where

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*Article submitted by the author

New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 250 current listings!

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Forensic Technician  |  Corona Police Department, CA
Final Filing Date: September 17, 2013
Salary: $4,109.00 - $5,016.00 per month

Provides specialized technical assistance to police investigators by conducting forensic investigations in the field and laboratory; investigates crime scenes for physical and trace evidence; searches crime scenes for latent fingerprints, utilizing powders, chemicals, fuming chambers and forensic light enhancement; searches manual and computerized fingerprint data bases and compares fingerprints for identification purposes; classifies and files fingerprints; photographs and videotapes crime scenes; prepares accurate and detailed diagrams and drawings of crime scenes; collects, preserves and secures evidence to ensure proper chain of evidence. Conducts specialized laboratory analysis of physical and trace evidence; performs microscopic and chemical analysis of physical and trace evidence; operates complex and sophisticated photographic equipment to perform micro- and macro-photographic analysis of physical and trace evidence; analyzes crime scene photographs and other photographic evidence; copies, develops, processes and enlarges black and white and color photographs of crime scenes and accidents; duplicates audio-visual film. Creates composite images of suspects using specialized forensic software or hand drawings of suspects based on victim and witness identifications. Prepares detailed, comprehensive reports regarding investigative and research results and findings. Assists investigators in setting up and conducting undercover audio-visual surveillance in the field and with bookings, line-ups, photo searches, and the packaging of evidence. Prepares evidence for presentation in criminal and other cases; provides expert testimony regarding evidence, chain of custody, suspect identification and other forensic-related matters in criminal and non-criminal cases. Cleans and maintains lab. Trains police personnel in crime scene photography and the collection of fingerprints and other evidence at crime scenes.

<View complete job listing>
Criminalist  |  City of Long Beach, CA
Final Filing Date: September 27, 2013
$3,553.00 - $4,808.00 Biweekly

Under direction, may perform physical and chemical analyses in the examination of evidence and prepare reports of findings may examine crime scenes, and collect, examine and preserve physical evidence; testify in court as an expert witness; use computers, computer databases and specialized equipment; test-fire various firearms, consult with, police officers, attorneys, and private experts; operate, calibrate, and perform maintenance on breath alcohol testing instruments; may act in a lead capacity; may teach classes and provide training on forensic investigation and the collection and preservation of evidence, may make recommendations concerning the laboratory budget and policy; assist with grants, quality assurance audits and manual revisions; and perform other duties as required.

<View complete job listing>
Forensic Evidence Specialist  |  Allegheny County Medical Examiner, PA
Final Filing Date: Open until filled
Salary: $2,463.50 per month.
Receives, documents, stores and ensures proper custody and control of physical evidence/property in the custody of the Medical Examiner's Office. Safeguards and maintains the integrity of all evidence and chain of custody as per the policies and procedures of the Medical Examiner's Office. Coordinates activity between submitting agencies and the Medical Examiner's Office in the receipt, return, and handling of evidence. Acts as an interface between the Laboratory, submitting agencies, and District Attorney's Office. Provides administrative support functions to assist the Director, Laboratory Managers, and Laboratory Staff. Appears in court to testify as to the procedures followed during receipt, storage, and transfer of evidence throughout the Laboratory. Conducts inventories of all evidence and oversees the release, destruction and subsequent paperwork of same. Archives, maintains, stores and organizes case folders. Works with a variety of hazardous items including: weapons, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, toxins, body fluids, flammable and explosive materials, and unsanitary materials. Maintains manual and computerized records including evidence custody documents, chain of custody documents, property receipts, property control files, and related reports. Performs other related duties as required or requested.

<View complete job listing>

Forensic Computer Analyst  |  U.S. Postal Service, Richmond, CA
Final Filing Date: September 18, 2013
Salary: $59,553.00 to $102,740.00 per year

Conducts detailed and complex forensic analyses of digital and other computer-related evidence by utilizing the most appropriate electronic search methods and examination techniques. Provides expert witness testimony; produces comprehensive reports and illustrative exhibits for federal, state, and local judicial proceedings at a level sufficient to explain evidence interpretation and conclusions from forensic examinations. Serves as a technical advisor in matters relating to the proper collection, preservation, packaging, and submission of criminal evidence; participates in crime scene evidence collection activities; ensures evidence handling requirements are met. Assists with ongoing evaluation of examination methods; maintains an awareness of safety procedures and identifies conditions and procedures that may be unsafe. Assists with planning and delivery of laboratory services, evidence collection, and field examination training. Designs, develops, and conducts studies and research for improving forensic analyses, scientific methods, and criminal identification procedures. Acts as liaison with management and federal, state, and local representatives on technical developments, forensic methods, and investigative problems of common interest. Participates in professional associations; maintains technical resource documentation.

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Forensic Scientist—Fingerprint Assistant I/II  |  Prince George County Police, MD
Final Filing Date: September 19, 2013
Salary: $27,787.00 - $55,856.00 per year

This is an entry level technical position in the examination, classification and filing of fingerprints and evidence. The incumbent will perform routine identification task with increasing independence. The employee will become familiar with the use of computer terminals, Regional Automated Fingerprint Identification System (RAFIS) and the Maryland Automated Fingerprint identification System (MAFIS). Incumbent conducts searches of the fingerprint file based on possible suspects; makes notification concerning tenprint identification; evaluates tenprints before entry in the RAFIS computer system; maintains and files tenprints for all RAFIS agencies; maintains the manual and automated files when purged as prescribed by the current Records Retention Schedule; completes expungements, applicant cards, and maintains sex offenders files.

<View complete job listing>
Director of Toxicology  |  Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Farmington, CT
Final Filing Date: September 25, 2013
Salary: $94,803 - $121,612 per year

Directs staff and operations of the laboratory; coordinates, plans, and manages laboratory activities; formulates laboratory goals and objectives; develops or assists in development of related policy; interprets and administers pertinent laws; evaluates staff; prepares or assists in preparation of laboratory budget; maintains contacts with individuals both within and outside of laboratory who might impact on program activities; reviews circumstances surrounding each death and considers age of decedent, manner of death, occupational and lifestyle histories as well as evidence of drug abuse or natural disease; specifies tissue specimens to be used for analysis and selects analytical techniques appropriate to each case; identifies related evidence including suspected poisons submitted by medical examiners, police, and other persons; coordinates pick up, delivery, and receipt of specimens from examinations and autopsies in Medical Examiner's cases; conducts more difficult analyses; collates laboratory results and discusses findings with pathologist or Chief Medical Examiner; prepares final toxicology reports; interprets laboratory results for courts and medical community; conducts research and may develop new analytical procedures; may participate in training programs; performs related duties as required.

<View complete job listing>
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CSI In The News

UC Davis lab takes CSI to the next level by helping police catch killers through pet DNA
It's a little mind-blowing, but killers are getting caught because they stepped in dog poop at the scene of their crime, or left behind hair from their pet pooch.
The Sacramento Bee - By Foon Rhee - September 1, 2013

Forensic pathologist is 'lucky' to have such an interesting job
“There are five manners of death - natural, homicide when somebody kills you, suicide when you kill yourself, accidental like if you’re walking along and get hit by a car, or undetermined,” Manion said.
South Jersey Times - By Kelly Roncace - August 29, 2013

New technology at DPS returns DNA profiles in 2 hours
DNA evidence is key in identifying suspects in crimes. Typically, processing DNA evidence can take weeks, sometimes months. But new technology is changing all of that. - By Jessica Flores - August 23, 2013

CSI: Saint Mary's, going behind the scenes of a crime
For many of us, the only experience we have behind the scenes of a crime is what we see on television.
CTV News - August 23, 2013

LB police, firefighters tap into technology
From underwater sonar gear to 3D crime scene scanners, Long Beach's firefighters, police officers and city officials are finding new technology to fight crime, improve response times and keep the public safe.
Orange County Register - by KELLY PUENTE - August 21, 2013

Minnesota's top forensic scientists study blood spatter
We know that DNA evidence has changed criminal investigations, led to arrests, convictions, exonerations. The same is true for another type of forensic science. - by Trisha Volpe - August 16, 2013

How one CSI learned to cope with trauma
If you want to be a CSI, you have to deal with disturbing scenes — and get your hands very, very dirty - with Leischen Stelter - August 15, 2013

Baltimore County police show off latest crime fighting technology
A 360-degree crime scene room scanner, a device that can match bullet casings like fingerprints and a high definition impression analyzer may sound like crime-fighting tools found in popular science fiction... - August 14, 2013

Read more CSI in the News

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