Forensic Scientist (Crime Scene) / Crime Scene Analyst

Government of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC3.3

Note: This is an interdisciplinary position that involves work in two different occupational series and may be filled under the Forensic Scientist (Crime Scene), 0401 series or the Crime Scene Analyst, 0301 series, relative to the qualifications of the candidate selected.

This position is located in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (ODMPSJ) in the Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS). The mission of the DFS is to provide high-quality, timely, accurate, and reliable forensic science services using best practices and best available technology, focusing on unbiased science and transparency, to enhance public safety and health.

The position is responsible for recognizing, recording, and recovering evidence in criminal investigations at the scene(s) of crime(s) by analyzing, photographing, collecting, preserving, and presenting physical evidence. Crime scenes include person crimes, such as homicides, sexual assaults, and robberies, as well as property crimes and traffic crashes, etc.

Duties and Responsibilities

Receives training in and/or investigates assigned crime scenes in various locations in the city; assists with sealing the crime scene to protect and preserve important evidence. Receives training in and/or collects fingerprints/palm prints, tire and shoe prints, tool mark impressions, firearms, wound imprints of the deceased person(s) to facilitate positive identification and/or elimination, hair, clothing, fibers, and biological evidence or any other physical evidence deemed necessary; analyzes and records crime scenes showing correlation between evidence and the scene. Performs various chemical and photographic processes in the field or laboratory. Receives training in and/or uses digital cameras to photograph evidence at the crime scene that specifically correlates with collected data and other evidence deemed appropriate for the case. Ensures that all persons who enter/visit the crime scene do not tamper with any evidence to avoid “evidence tampering” which might become an issue in court proceedings. Receives training in and/or processes evidence in the laboratory using latent print powders, chemical solutions, forensic light sources, and various cameras, lenses, and filters in order to develop and preserve evidence. Receives training in and/or attends autopsies to photograph injuries, fingerprint the deceased for identification purposes, and collect relevant physical evidence.

Assists with improving operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly with other scientists/staff members or the public to provide seamless customer service; also researches to determine if new and/or revise methods for performing analyses are warranted or determines the effectiveness of current analytical methods. Follows evidence control procedures to maintain proper chain-of-custody on evidence, proper packaging, storage and integrity and ensures evidence is locked securely in a designate location before and after analysis. Advises on the collection of evidence in each case, including those involving deaths, especially when homicide is suspected; evaluates risks concerning or identifying hazardous materials in the field and the laboratory. Receives training in and/or conducts a wide variety of complex and difficult analyses; decides what tests and procedures to use; and may conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis by using specific techniques, including but not limited to physical testing, visual analysis, identification and classification, comparisons, etc. Utilizes computer software to analyze results of tests in order to perform calculations and keeps up-to-date on current studies, pamphlet, journals, and books for use in devising methods and tests; develops charts, graphs, and tables as aids to conduct tests; evaluates laboratory test results in the area of concern; prepares technical reports on findings and project results. Testifies in court in connection with the evidence processed, developed and preserved as well as any examinations or analyses performed. Prepares detailed reports and supplements; accepts documents, and bar-codes evidence associated with each crime scene case.

The incumbent is subject to handling dead and decomposed bodies and bodies that may pose a health risk, strong odors, insects, hostile and emotionally charged situations and animals. Manual dexterity, flexibility and boxes/cases that may require considerable strenuous physical exertion such as lifting/moving objects up to fifty (50) pounds; and long periods of standing, walking, stretching, bending and sufficient eye sight and hand coordination is required. The incumbent must be prepared to work in confined spaces; at various building heights or on booms and ladders.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Education

Forensic Scientist (Crime Scene), CS-0401-09

Basic Requirements: Degree in the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


Combination of Education and Experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in the Basic Requirements above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to the basic education and experience above, the incumbent must also have one (1) year of experience equivalent to the grade 07 level. Experience that is directly related to the position which has equipped the incumbent with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position to include such work as, investigating and analyzing crime scenes; protecting and preserving evidence; or similar crime scene work.

Crime Scene Analyst, CS-0301-09

No basic degree requirement, however, degree in related fields of study such as criminal justice is preferred and may be substituted for one (1) year of experience at the grade 07 level.

Experience that is directly related to the position which has equipped the incumbent with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position to include such work as, investigating and analyzing crime scenes; protecting and preserving evidence; or similar crime scene work.

License, Certification and other Requirements
None required, however, incumbent must be able to successfully complete the DFS Crime Scene Science Competency Testing

Certification from the International Association for Identification is preferred.

Work Conditions/Environment

Work is performed in the field (crime scenes), in the laboratory during the testing, analysis, and autopsies, as well as, in an office setting when preparing documentation/reports, etc. Also work in a variety of weather conditions with exposure to the elements and travel/walk over rough, uneven, or rocky surfaces. The incumbent may be exposed to hazardous materials, toxic substances, and blood borne pathogens and is required to follow safe field and laboratory practices and wear protective clothing, including facial masks, safety glasses, gloves, etc. Additionally, may be exposed to various objectionable material (e.g. pornography, etc.) The work may require the incumbent to be in unstable locations necessitating the wearing of a ballistic safety vest.

The position requires the use of electronic communication devices including (but not limited to):

Cell phones, communication radios, and wireless computers.

Other Significant Facts

This position is covered under a collective bargaining agreement

Shift, weekend, and holiday work is required

Duration of Appointment: Career Service Permanent

Career Ladder Progression CS-09/11/12

Designated as "Safety" sensitive per DPM Chapter 4, Suitability; and "Essential" per DPM Chapter 12, Essential and Emergency Employees.