3H73

PAY RANGE: EP23

 

FORENSIC SCIENTIST 4

(Biology)

(Chemistry)

(Pattern Evidence)

 

GENERAL DEFINITION

 

††††††††††† This is forensic science work at the program leader level. Positions in this class are found in 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.† Additionally, a Quality Assurance assignment exists that may be filled with a qualified individual from any of the forensic specialties.† Employees in this class serve as a program leader, developing and overseeing scientific programs within a specialized unit or an interdisciplinary program at the Forensic Science Bureau of the Philadelphia Police Department.† 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 or ensuring that forensic examinations are conducted within national and international quality standards.

††††††††††† This class is differentiated from lower-level technical classes by the development of program design, identification of program goals within defined parameters, evaluation of program results in response to new regulatory and legislative requirements and development of quality assurance procedures. Work includes networking with professionals and scientists in private industry, government agencies and universities to remain current in the relevant techniques and methodologies. Employees in this class function as a technical expert and provide guidance to a team of technical personnel within the context of assigned projects. 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 general direction of a Forensic Supervisor.

 

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

 

         Positions in this class must perform programmatic or quality assurance work in the respective specialty/discipline at the program leader level, and serve as a technical expert and provide guidance to a team of technical personnel within the context of assigned projects.

         Positions in this class must develop and identify program goals within defined parameters, evaluate program results in response to new regulatory and legislative requirements and develop quality assurance procedures within a specialized unit or an interdisciplinary program.

         Positions must be located in the Forensic Science Bureau of the Philadelphia Police Department.

 

TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY)

 

ALL SPECIALTIES:

 

         Performs the technical casework duties of the lower level, Forensic Scientist 3 in the assigned specialty/assignment

         Performs the duties of the assigned specialty/discipline at the program leader level.

         Conducts initial analyses of new regulatory and legislative requirements or proposed service enhancements; determines and makes recommendations regarding the scope and direction of a program; develops and sets initial program goals, objectives and work plans; identifies timetables, staffing levels, equipment requirements, and budget needs; conducts initial research work; designs and performs initial experiments; researches current literature, regulations and legislation related to a program field; gathers and analyzes data; selects statistical methods to evaluate test results; develops, tests, and documents methodology; consults with program personnel on interpretation of test results; determines the need for related discipline analyses and plans; coordinates and reviews such analyses.

         Provides technical direction to a professional staff on an assigned project; evaluates research results; prepares written reports to summarize data, document findings and recommend treatment; makes oral presentations; prepares reports for publication.

         Prepares quality assurance project plans and standard operating procedures for laboratory programs; keeps current with changes in regulatory and legislative certification requirements; evaluates laboratory compliance with quality assurance procedures; may participate in the evaluation of contractor laboratories.

         Makes recommendations to management regarding the need for ongoing programs; develops on-going monitoring strategies; oversees implementation of program procedures and protocols; provides technical guidance in the development of computerized databases for the storage of analytical data, communication and response procedures, statistical and computer applications, quality assurance procedures, and sampling and analytical methodologies; provides on-the-job training; reviews results and recommends changes in procedures and protocols.

         Develops training materials and provides basic instruction to lower level examiners and trainees; trains personnel in the theory and operation of instrumentation for the appropriate specialty.

         May alter computer-assisted instrumentation to enhance interpretation of results; researches appropriate available computer software to improve instrument interpretive capability.

         Determines adequacy of department's resources to accomplish program goals; may serve as project officer for consultants; may technically review work on a contract and make recommendations to a technical superior.

         Serves as resource to the Department in area of expertise; interacts with members of the legal system; interacts with the public for general education purposes or to address issues of concern; arranges evaluation of public responses to areas of departmental responsibility.

         Presents expert testimony in court that is understandable to non-professional court participants. Appears in court to testify on individual findings of chemical and physical tests; may provide some interpretation of significance of findings.

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

         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.

 

Quality Assurance Assignment

 

Actively performs internal audits across disciplines of the FSB; participates in the preparation and planning for external audits; coordinates external proficiency testing programs; reviews and edits protocols and policies for compliance to national and international quality assurance standards

Develops and implements training and other quality projects to maintain FSB accreditation; monitors unit compliance, tracks progress, recognizes trends, identifies risks, and implements mitigation procedures as necessary.†

Performs basic statistical calculations as they relate to forensic science.

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 a 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 a 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.

 

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 a 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 a required.

 

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES

 

KNOWLEDGE OF:

 

ALL SPECIALTIES/ALL ASSIGNMENTS

 

         basic and advanced laboratory techniques and the techniques and equipment used in a forensic laboratory related to the specialty

         basic program management principles and practices

         forensic quality assurance practices

         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

         current federal, state and municipal legislative procedures and court decisions regarding forensic sciences

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

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

         guidelines, procedures and regulations from the National Research Council, Scientific/Technical Working Group(s), ISO standards, and any other relevant city, state, national or international forensic standards, and the implementation of the recommendation(s) within the laboratory environment

         the principles and practices of quality assurance as they relate to the laboratory setting

         the critical elements involved in the preparation of a scientific program and its successful implementation

         the application of information systems as they relate to forensic analyses, data analyses and report generation

         research methods and techniques

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

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

 

QUALITY ASSURANCE ASSIGNMENT

 

         national accreditation procedures and policies

         ISO 17025 standards and audit techniques

         basic and advanced techniques used in a laboratory.

         forensic quality assurance practices.

         policies and procedures related to chain of custody

         policies and procedures related to expert testimony

         safety practices and procedures as they apply to a molecular biology laboratory

 

SKILL IN:

 

ALL SPECIALTIES/ALL ASSIGNMENTS:

 

         identifying characteristics inherent in forensic samples

         independently performing forensic analysis according to established protocols as a qualified expert in the area of specialty or assignment

         establishing, developing, and maintaining technical programs in the area of assignment

         representing the PPD/FSB on committees or working groups at the national level.

         maximizing efficiencies and working the most complicated forensic cases.

         utilizing current laboratory equipment and techniques in the assigned discipline.

         maintaining forensic quality assurance standards

         evaluating statistical data

         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

         training junior members of the staff

         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/ALL ASSIGNMENTS:

 

         Direct scientific and technical personnel towards the successful achievement of goals and objectives

         Train various professionals and technicians in scientific procedures and techniques

         Simplify, improve, adapt and standardize analytical procedures necessary to resolve problems

         Prepare and interpret reports detailing the results of tests and analyses

         Coordinate program activity with scientific and technical personnel in order to achieve program data quality objectives prioritize work and meet deadlines

         independently analyze forensic evidence submitted in the area of specialization or assignment

         assume responsibility over the most difficult and complicated casework

         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 analyze results of tests or to perform calculations involved in the analysis of evidence

         serve on interdisciplinary working groups and/or committees within the FSB

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

         represent the PPD/FSB on national programs, committees and/or working groups

         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

 

††††††††††† Five years of forensic science work, two years of which shall have been as a qualified examiner, equivalent to a Forensic Scientist 3, in the preservation, examination, handling, and comparative analysis of items of evidence collected in criminal investigations in the assigned specialty/discipline, with responsibility for providing basic instruction to junior examiners and trainees and assisting in the development of training materials.†

 

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 education 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 from the International Association for Identification (IAI).

 

AND

 

EXPERIENCE:

 

††††††††††† Five years of forensic science work, three years of which shall have been as a qualified examiner, equivalent to a Forensic Scientist 3, in the preservation, examination, handling, and comparative analysis of items of evidence collected in criminal investigations in the assigned specialty/discipline, with responsibility for providing basic instruction to junior examiners and trainees and assisting in the development of training materials.†

 

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 laboratoryís 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 laboratoryís 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 expertís 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 4.

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 4 if required by work assignment.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Class Established:

CSC: 4/13

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† AdBoard: 5/13

 

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