CITY OF PHILADELPHIA PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT
This is firearms identification work in the Police Department’s Firearms Identification Unit An employee in this class is responsible for conducting forensic examinations and analyzing and identifying a variety of firearms, related weapons and toolmarks. Testifying in court concerning the findings of such examinations is a significant aspect of the work. Work is performed under conditions which can only be partially controlled. Work is performed under the supervision of a technical firearms superior.
ALLOCATING FACTORS: (The following conditions must be met for a position to be allocated to this class.)
- The position must perform firearms, ammunition and toolmark identification work.
- Positions must be located in the Police Department.
TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY)
- Examines and classifies firearms and ammunition; determines the make, model, and serial number of firearms test fires weapons in water tanks and other recovery systems; compares the recovered bullets and fired cartridge cases with those recovered at crime scenes or in IBIS database; utilizes comparison microscope to make bullet specimens and cartridge case comparison; takes photographs employing photomicrographic techniques.
- Identifies and restores serial numbers and identifying marks by employing various processes such as chemical etching, polishing, electrolytic, or magnetic particle separation.
- Prepares reports on all examinations of evidence which include description of weapon or ammunition, results of test firings and/or comparisons and other forensic tests.
- Provides expert testimony in court regarding the results and conclusions of tests on and comparisons of ballistics and toolmarks; attends pre-trial conference and explains how conclusions were drawn.
- Conducts residue tests and experimental research into specialized areas of firearms and ammunition.
- Responds to crime scenes; inspects evidence; makes determinations of firearm caliber and trajectory; performs crime scene reconstruction as it pertains to ballistics.
- Keeps abreast of new developments and current practices in the field of forensic science.
- Participates in continuous training program in areas related to firearms identification and examination; does extensive reading in professional journals and magazines.
- Conducts training and informational sessions to students at Police Academy or law school, District Attorney’s or Medical Examiner’s office; prepares Power Point presentations, charts, graphs and statistics which demonstrate and support information being provided.
- Performs related work as required.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- the operations and safe handling of firearms and ammunition.
- the makes, models, and characteristics of domestic and foreign firearms and ammunition.
- the equipment used to test and identify firearms and ammunition.
- the principles and practices of toolmark, firearms and ammunition identification and comparison.
- current practices and principles of firearms identification.
- federal, state and municipal laws governing firearms.
- techniques used in determining trajectory.
- laboratory techniques used in the performance of microscopic examinations as they pertain to toolmarks, firearms and ammunition.
- the rules, procedures and laws of evidence.
- basic computer operations.
- the care and operation of laboratory equipment, especially microscopes, scales and firearm testing devices.
- identifying toolmarks, firearms and ammunition.
- providing expert testimony in toolmark and firearms identification.
- make precise and accurate microscopic comparative examinations.
- fire a variety of weapons safely.
- disassemble firearms and restore to original condition
- make accurate scientific conclusions.
- make calculations as they relate to trajectory and distance determinations.
- prepare and maintain precise records and reports.
- conduct searches in firearms databases.
- use photographic equipment to document evidence.
- establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public and associates.
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 6/06.)
- Education equivalent to completion of the twelfth school grade.
- Three years of firearms examination experience including one year of laboratory experience in the identifying and classifying firearms, ammunition and toolmarks.
Any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by the Personnel Department.
PHYSICAL AND MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS
- Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of
a position in this class.
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 Firearms Examiner.
- Possession of a valid permit to carry a firearm issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections during tenure of employment as a Firearms Examiner.
PAY RANGE: 18
Class Established: 1/53
Latest Spec. Revision:
CSC: 5/06, Ad Board: 6/06
END OF JOB CLASS SPECIFICATION - 6C04