3H72

PAY RANGE: EP21

 

FORENSIC SCIENTIST 3

(Biology)

(Chemistry)

(Pattern Evidence)

 

GENERAL DEFINITION

 

            This is forensic science work at the advanced performance level in the preservation, examination, handling, and comparative analysis of items of evidence collected in criminal investigations.  Positions in this class are allocated to one of three specialties: Biology, Chemistry or Pattern Evidence.  Positions allocated to the Pattern Evidence specialty are assigned to one of the following disciplines: Documents, Firearms/Toolmarks, or Latent Prints. An important aspect of the work is serving on interdisciplinary committees within the Forensic Science Bureau of the Philadelphia Police Department.  Work in this class differs from the next lower level in that the employee is expected to provide basic instruction to junior examiners and trainees and assist in the development of training materials while maintaining an active forensic caseload. As experience is gained, employees oversee small projects within the area of specialty.

            Work in each specialty includes examining evidence associated with crimes for presentation of laboratory findings in written reports and through expert testimony in criminal trials.  An employee in this class is expected to work independently in the performance of these tasks. All work is performed in accordance with national and international quality assurance standards in the accredited Forensic Science Bureau of the Philadelphia Police Department. Work is performed under the supervision of a higher level forensic scientist or technical superior.

 

ALLOCATING FACTORS: (The following conditions must be met for a position to be allocated to this class.)

 

 

TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY)

 

ALL SPECIALTIES

 

·          Performs the duties of a qualified examiner in the assigned specialty/assignment at the advanced performance level.

·          Serves on interdisciplinary committees within the FSB.

·          Collaborates with other experts in the FSB to ensure that all integrated examinations across disciplines are performed when required.

·          May provide some interpretation of significance of findings during expert testimony on examinations in criminal trials.

·          Provides basic instruction to junior examiners and trainees and assists in the development of training materials, while maintaining an active forensic caseload.

·          As experience is gained, oversees small projects within the area of specialty.

·         Follows evidence control procedures to maintain chain-of-evidence integrity; insures evidence is locked securely in designated locker or space before and after analysis.

·         Operates computer consoles to analyze results of tests or to perform mathematical calculations involved in the analyses of evidence.

·         Maintains data records; prepares reports.

·         Communicates findings and conclusions with investigators and attorneys.

·         Maintains compliance with all quality assurances standards for forensic accreditation.

·         Checks instrumentation for validity and reliability against standards and recalibrates.

·         Participates in research projects by performing routine tests.

·         Provides presentations in the field of specialty.

·         Serves on interdisciplinary committees within the FSB

·          Performs related work a required.

 

BIOLOGY SPECIALTY

 

      Examines physical evidence for trace materials to be tested with presumptive and confirmatory procedures, including but not limited to, those for the presence of blood, semen, saliva, hair, and other biological material.

      Extracts DNA from various biological samples (i.e. blood, semen, saliva, etc.) using DNA extraction techniques, such as, Chelex and organic methods; amplifies extracted DNA for particular genetic markers using PCR technology; prepares samples for DNA analysis and/or outsourced specialty analyses.

            Establishes genetic profiles for biological samples collected from crime scenes and reference samples collected from suspects/victims through the use of standard molecular biology techniques, equipment and software, such as capillary electrophoresis analyzers and GeneMapper; compares genetic profiles established from scene samples to genetic profiles established from reference samples.

            Performs basic statistical calculations to determine frequencies of matching profiles and advanced statistical calculations to evaluate biological relationships associated with kinship.

Performs related work as required.

 

CHEMISTRY SPECIALTY

 

     Collects and analyzes samples of liquid, solid, and gaseous materials, substances and compounds for qualitative and/or quantitative results; logs in samples in compliance with departmental and national forensic accreditation procedures.

            Analyzes macroscopic and microscopic suspected substances for presence of illegal elements, by use traditional and instrumental chemistry techniques; identifies controlled substances, precursors, by products, and substances used for drug dilution; examines and identifies suspected drug paraphernalia; analyzes foodstuffs for the presence of drugs and poisons, and identifies possible poisons; analyzes urine for drug content and quantifies concentrations;

            Analyzes samples with wet chemistry methods or standard laboratory equipment and/or advanced instrumentation, such as, atomic absorption/emission spectrophotometers, gas/liquid chromatographs, UV-visible, infra-red spectrophotometers, mass spectrometers, scanning electron microscopes, compound microscopes and/or any related equipment.

Performs related work as required.

 

PATTERN EVIDENCE SPECIALTY

 

Document Assignment

 

            Examines, classifies and/or compares documents, papers, checks, stickers, stamps, impressions, handwriting and other related evidence; utilizes advanced techniques to restore or visualize identifying marks and obliterated or altered evidence.

Performs related work as required.

 

Firearms/Toolmarks Assignment

 

            Examines, classifies and/or compares firearms, ammunition, tools, toolmarks, and other ballistics evidence; checks files to ascertain if recovered weapons have a previous record of being stolen or wanted as evidence.

            Utilizes advanced techniques to restore identifying marks or serial numbers, which may have been obliterated; performs comparative analysis on various comparison microscopes and documents findings through photomicrography and written notes.

            Test fires weapons and performs safety checks.

Performs related work as required.

 

Latent Print Assignment    

 

            Examines and classifies incoming fingerprint impression evidence; enters work received into a computerized tracking program.

            Evaluates and enters suitable latent prints into an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) for searching; uses AFIS results to pull files for manual comparison

            Makes decisions of individualization based on ACE-V scientific methodology.

Performs related work as required.

 

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES

 

KNOWLEDGE OF:

 

ALL SPECIALTIES

 

·         basic laboratory techniques and the techniques and equipment used in a forensic laboratory related to the specialty/assignment

·         specific laboratory, and analytical, and interpretational protocols related to the procedures utilized in the PPD/FSB in the area of assignment

·         forensic quality assurance practices

·         city, state, national, international and departmental standards, laws, directives, and guidelines that apply to assignment area

·         policies and procedures related to chain of custody

·         policies and procedures related to expert testimony

·         safety practices and procedures as they apply to a forensic laboratory related to the specialty

·         research methods and techniques

·         basic computer operations

·         principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

·         other forensic disciplines

·           

BIOLOGY SPECIALTY

 

·         the principles of biology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, forensic science, and statistics

·         basic biology and molecular biology techniques and equipment used in a forensic biology laboratory

·         National Standards for Forensic DNA Analysis

 

CHEMISTRY SPECIALTY

 

     the principles, methods, and practices of chemistry, in particular analytical chemistry

     mathematics and statistics as they relate to chemistry

•    techniques and equipment used in a forensic chemistry laboratory

 

PATTERN EVIDENCE SPECIALTY

 

·         the principles of comparative analyses used in a forensic science laboratory for pattern evidence, specific to the area of assignment

·         mathematics and statistics as they relate to forensic pattern evidence

·         reference standards in relation to the area of assignment

 

SKILL IN:

 

ALL SPECIALTIES

 

·         identifying characteristics inherent in forensic samples

·         independently performing forensic analysis, according to established protocols as a qualified examiner in the area of specialty/assignment

·         maximizing efficiencies and working progressively more complicated forensic cases.

·         utilizing current laboratory equipment and techniques in the assigned discipline.

·         maintaining forensic quality assurance standards

·         safe and proper handling of laboratory equipment, reagents, and evidence to include items of a potentially hazardous nature

·         communicating in both written and verbal form

·         evaluating statistical data

·         providing basic instruction to junior examiners and trainees

·         providing guidance and training to customers, partners and the public in the area of specialty

·         representing the PPD/FSB at both technical and non-technical events

 

ABILITY TO:

 

ALL SPECIALTIES

 

·         independently analyze forensic evidence in the area of specialization/assignment at the qualified examiner level

·         perform technical reviews of analysis and reports

·         prioritize work and meet deadlines

·         enter and evaluate statistical data

·         continually develop and advance expertise in the principles, practices, materials and equipment used in the assigned discipline

·         use and maintain sophisticated equipment in the assignment area

·         perform the tests, examinations and protocols required in the area of assignment

·         express ideas and facts clearly and effectively both orally and in writing

·         distinguish colors and visually analyze analytical results, which may include color changes, pattern recognition, graphs, charts, tables, and other forms of electronic data

·         perform standard tests and make accurate analyses, using quality control techniques

·         establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates and public

       understand and follow oral and written instructions

·          maintain accurate records and prepare reports

·         testify effectively in court

·         operate a computer console to analyzeresults of tests or to perform calculations involved in the analysis of evidence

·         serve on inter-disciplinary working groups and/or committees within the FSB

·         represent the PPD/FSB to both technical and non technical audiences in a professional manner

·         critically evaluate current protocols and policies, and offer constructive solutions for improvement and advancement of the FSB mission

·         serve as a mentor and trainer to junior FSB staff

 

MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE  (The following statement represents the minimum training and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests.  Applications submitted by candidates for this class will be reviewed based on training and experience requirements as approved on 5/13.)

 

 

EDUCATION:

 

Completion of a bachelor's degree program at an accredited college or university with major coursework in:

 

SPECIALTY:                        DEGREES               

 

 

BIOLOGY:                 Any of the following degrees, which include at least 3 credits in                                           EACH of the following courses: molecular biology, genetics and                                          biochemistry:

 

1.    Chemistry

2.    Biological Science

3.    Forensic Science

4.    Biomedical Engineering

5.    RELATED SCIENCE DEGREE

 

AND

 

Candidates must also have, prior to appointment, successfully completed 3 coursework credits or have documented training/experience in population genetics or statistics, in accordance with FBI Quality Assurance Standards.

 

CHEMISTRY:

1.    Chemistry

 

OR

 

      Any of the following degrees with 24 semester hours in chemistry or       biochemistry:

 

1.    Biological Science

2.    Forensic Science

3.    Physical or Natural Science

4.    Applied Science

5.    Chemical Engineering

                              

PATTERN

EVIDENCE:

 

1.    Chemistry

2.    Biological Science

3.    Forensic Science

4.    Physical or Natural Science

5.    Applied Science

6.    Engineering

OR

1.    SCIENCE OR NON-SCIENCE DEGREE with coursework in statistics or applied research methods

 

 

AND

EXPERIENCE:

 

ALL SPECIALTIES

 

             Three years of forensic science work, at least one year of which shall have been at the qualified examiner level, equivalent to a Forensic Scientist 2, in the preservation, examination, handling, and comparative analysis of items of evidence collected in criminal investigations in the assigned specialty/discipline. 

 

NOTE: Candidates must provide documentation to support their qualification as a qualified forensic examiner. See QUALIFIED EXAMINER DOCUMENTATION (below) for details.

 

NOTE: For the first exam holding following establishment of the Pattern Evidence specialty for this class, the following requirements will be accepted for the minimum training and experience standards listed above.

 

PATTERN EVIDENCE SPECIALTY

 

EDUCATION:

 

Document Assignment:

 

            Certification from the Board of Forensic Document Examiners (BFDE) or the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE) or from a comparable certifying body recognized by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board.  

 

Firearms/Toolmark Assignment

 

            Certification from the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) or the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE) or from a comparable certifying body recognized by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board.

 

Latent Print Assignment

 

            Certification by the International Association for Identification (IAI).

 

AND

EXPERIENCE:

 

All Assignments

 

            Four years of forensic science work, at least two years of which shall have been at the qualified examiner level, equivalent to a Forensic Scientist 2, in the preservation, examination, handling, and comparative analysis of items of evidence collected in criminal investigations in the assigned specialty/discipline. 

 

NOTE: Candidates must provide documentation, prior to appointment, to support their qualification as a qualified examiner. See below for details.

 

QUALIFIED EXAMINER DOCUMENTATION- Must be provided to the Police Department at the time of interview.

 

            Proof of successful completion of a training program within an accredited forensic science organization, which resulted in qualification as an expert (forensic examiner) in the area of specialty and assignment.  Qualification must have included independent forensic casework, routine proficiency testing, and testimony as an expert in the area of specialty/discipline. External candidates must provide documentation to support their qualification as an expert.  Documentation should include:

 

1.     A certificate or letter from an accredited forensic laboratory that details the area and date of qualification.

2.    Proof of the laboratory’s accreditation from either ASCLD-LAB, FQS, or another ISO 17025 forensic accrediting body.

3.    Proof of successful completion of routine proficiency test may include copies of proficiency test results, a summary document from the laboratory’s quality assurance program, or other documentation that details scope and completion of proficiency testing.

4.    Proof of testimony experience may include a copy of a court transcript from one or more trials, or a letter from a court official detailing the expert’s experience testifying in court as an expert in a specific discipline.

 

NOTE: Employees must maintain status as a qualified Forensic Examiner during tenure of employment as a Forensic Scientist 3.

 

NOTE: Selective Factor Certification may be utilized, as needed, to fill specific positions. In accordance with Civil Service Regulation 11.032 - Selective Factor Certification - the appointing authority may request certification of eligible candidates with one or more of the required degrees and/or specific experience to fill specific positions in this class. Certification to fill such positions will be made from the two highest-ranking eligible candidates on the eligible list who possess the specified degree and/or experience.

           

PHYSICAL AND MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

 

            Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.

            Ability to visually distinguish test results, which may include color changes, pattern recognition, and interpretation of electronic data (tables, graphs and charts).

 

LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS AND/OR CERTIFICATES

 

            Possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator's license as issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to appointment and during tenure of employment as a Forensic Scientist 3 if required by work assignment.

 

Class Established:

CSC: 4/13

                                                                                                            AdBoard: 5/13

 

 

MA