CITY OF PHILADELPHIA PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT
POLICE FIREARMS LABORATORY SUPERVISOR
This is supervisory firearms examination work. The employee in this class is responsible for supervising and participating in the activities pertinent to the examination and identification of firearms, weapons, cartridges, bullets, and similar evidence. Testifying in court concerning the results of such examinations, giving expert testimony on general firearms capabilities and examination methodology, and aspects of the work. Work is performed under the general supervision of an administrative superior.
ALLOCATING FACTORS: (The following conditions must be met for a position to be allocated to this class.)
- This position must supervise lower-level firearms examination and firearms identification personnel in the examination, test firing, and classification of a wide variety of firearms.
- This is a one-position class.
- This position is located in the Police Department.
TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY)
- Plans, assigns and reviews the work of a group of forensic firearms examiners and fire identification technicians engaged in the examination and classification of firearms and ammunition received in the laboratory; establishes work standards and evaluates performance; interviews applicants.
- Conducts a formal training program for firearms laboratory staff In the identification, make, and other characteristics of firearms, bullets and cartridges, in the performance of ballistics testing, in the use of scales, calipers, cameras, microscopes, and other laboratory equipment, and repair and adjustment of police firearms; develops and conducts formal training of detectives, police supervisory personnel, police recruits, civilian crime investigators, medical and nursing professionals and other civilian personnel at hospitals, City agencies and elsewhere in forensic matters, principally on the proper collection of ballistics and related evidence; oversees and instructs college forensic interns and provides Master's degree accreditations in laboratory practicum.
- Advises attorneys on court strategy and witness examination concerning firearms evidence in preparation of prosecution cases; prepares subordinates for expert testimony in court concerning firearms evidence; anticipates defense challenges when possible.
- Examines and classifies firearms and ammunition connected with the more difficult and/or important cases such as major homicides; test fires weapons in specialized water tanks and other recovery systems, and compares the recovered bullets and the fired cartridge cases with those contained in the laboratory’s files or recovered at crime scenes; utilizes comparison microscope to make bullet specimen and cartridge case comparisons; takes photographs of ammunition employing photo micrographic techniques; makes ballistics tests and calculations for interior, exterior, terminal and forensic ballistics studies; advises police officers and investigators in the collection and handling of ballistics and firearms at crime scenes.
- Prepares reports on all examinations of evidence which include description of weapon or ammunition and results of test firing and/or comparisons.
- Evaluates laboratory systems, methods, techniques and equipment; researches new system and equipment availability to determine suitability, prepares recommendations and justifications for new systems and equipment; initiates improvements in methods and techniques; reads technical material and attends seminars and demonstrations concerning advancements in firearms laboratory science.
- Evaluates various kinds and manufacture of weapons, ammunition and ballistics equipment; recommends specific purchases; prepares specifications for ammunition, weapons and equipment; tests ammunition and rejects substandard items; issues firearms to police officers to replace lost, defective, or damaged weapons.
- Supervises a small clerical staff engaged in typing reports, letters, memoranda, and maintains routine records of employees’ time.
- Determines laboratory equipment supply and workforce needs; prepares budget data and justification for inclusion in the departmental budget; processes the destruction of firearms evidence.
- Provides expert testimony in court as to the findings of tests performed in the laboratory and concerning general firearms examination science; rebuts challenges of outside experts on firearms evidence; provides justification through analysis of evidence for probable-cause basis needed for warrant issuing.
- Develops, assigns and/or participates in research projects related to firearms and ammunition identification; provides input to federal computer data banks concerning firearms evidence; evaluates laboratory needs for computerization of evidence records; provides data for programmers for development of computer programs and report formats.
- Performs related work as required.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- the makes, models, and characteristics of domestic and foreign firearms and ammunition
- equipment used to test and identify firearms and ammunition
- the principles and practices of firearms and ammunition identification and comparison
- the operations and handling of firearms and ammunition
- federal, state, and municipal laws governing firearms.
- laboratory techniques used in the performance of microscopic examinations as they pertain to firearms and ammunition
- the rules of evidence and courtroom procedures
- general principles of external and terminal ballistics
- the procedures pertaining to chemical restoration
- the operation of laboratory equipment, especially microscopes, scales, and other firearms testing devices
- make precise and accurate microscopic examinations
- testify effectively in court
- maintain records and prepare reports
- supervise a technical staff engaged in firearms and ammunition examination and pertinent record work
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 11/06.)
- Completion of a bachelor's degree in forensic science or criminology from an accredited college or university.
- Two years of firearms examination experience at or above the trainee level.
- Three years examining, test firing, identifying, and classifying firearms and ammunition at the full performance level.
Any equivalent combination of acceptable education and experience which has included education equivalent to completion of the twelfth school grade as an educational minimum.
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 a Police Firearms Laboratory Manager.
- Possession of a valid permit to carry a firearm as issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections prior to appointment.
PAY RANGE: EP20
Class Established: 1/53
Re-establishment of class:
CSC: 7/06, Ad Board: 11/06
END OF JOB CLASS SPECIFICATION - 6C07