This is supervisory field and administrative office work investigating deaths which fall under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner.  The employee in this class supervises a staff of investigators engaged in the investigation of sudden, violent or suspicious deaths.  Participating in the more complex cases, responding to scenes of mass disasters and forming conclusions as to the cause and manner of such deaths is a significant aspect of the work.  Employees in this class are frequently exposed to undesirable situations.  Work is performed under the direction of a technical superior.


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


·         The position must perform supervisory field and related office work investigating deaths which fall under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner.

·    The position must perform the work in the Medical Examiner's Office.




            Plans, evaluates, coordinates and reviews the work of a staff of investigators engaged in the investigation of sudden, violent, or suspicious deaths; plans, evaluates coordinates and reviews the work of college interns training in forensic investigations; trains subordinates and interns in the more complex aspects of medico-legal death investigations, principles and techniques of fingerprinting and photography, the identification and preservation of physical evidence and related safety practices.

            Supervises staff engaged in conducting follow-up investigations to determine identity of decedents and next of kin; monitors staff activities to ensure that investigations and next of kin notifications are performed in accordance with Medical Examiner's Office policies and procedures; monitors the status of cases; conducts special investigations in cases where identity of decedent is difficult to establish or location of next of kin has not been determined; releases bodies to appropriate parties; maintains the integrity and security of evidence and personal effects in custody.

            Reviews completed case files concerning reported deaths for accuracy and validity of conclusions; selects cases for review and coordinates meetings for reviewing case findings with medical examiner, district attorney, police, ballistics and forensic unit personnel.

            Responds to inquiries or complaints from physicians, attorneys, friends and relatives of decedents regarding actions taken by the Medical Examiner or members of the Medical Examiner's staff; refers inquiries to appropriate individuals as required; conducts meetings with funeral directors and law enforcement representatives to discuss the medico-legal aspects of staff investigations.

            Assists in the preparation of computerized, statistical and narrative reports requested by the Medical Examiner, public relations staff and other agencies; studies and recommends changes in investigative procedures and revises related forms.

            Advises subordinate investigators in cases of unusual complexity or difficulty; conducts on-the-scene investigations in unusually difficult cases or in cases of mass disasters; uses fingerprinting and photographic equipment to support case documentation; participates as a member from the Medical Examiner’s Office on a team responding to mass disasters such as natural disasters, transportation accidents and fires in order to identify victims, notify victims’ families and collect and maintain evidence relating to the cause and manner of death.

            Utilizes a computer to enter data and prepare reports and documents related to forensic investigations; prepares and reviews death certificates, investigative reports and related materials via computer; ensures that data entered and reports prepared by staff are complete and accurate.

            Serves subpoenas for medical records; makes arrangements for cremations and other final dispositions of Medical Examiner's cases; maintains related records.

            Ensures that an adequate inventory of supplies and safety-related items required to conduct forensic investigations is maintained.

            Performs related work as required.






•           principles of crime and accident investigation and of the identification and preservation of physical evidence

•           photographic, fingerprinting and interviewing principles and techniques

•           laws and regulations pertaining to the investigation of deaths

•           laws and rules of arrest and evidence

•           recognized medical causes of death

•           safety precautions related to forensic investigations

•           supervisory methods and techniques

•           computer entry and retrieval methods and software applications related to work assignment




•           utilize a computer to enter and retrieve information

•           plan, assign, and supervise the work of subordinate investigators

•           present ideas effectively, both orally and in writing

•           maintain records and prepare reports

•           establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates, representatives of private and governmental agencies, decedent representatives and family members and the general public


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 3/13.)




            Education equivalent to completion of the twelfth school grade.





            Two years of experience in field investigatory work.





            Four years of experience of experience conducting field investigations of sudden or unusual deaths, one year of which has been at the full performance level.




            Any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by the Office of Human Resources.




            Education at an accredited college or university may be substituted for the general experience requirement on a year-for-year basis.




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




            Possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator's license as issued by any state prior to appointment and possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator's license as issued by the Common­wealth of Pennsylvania within six months of appointment and during tenure of employment as a Forensic Investigation Supervisor.


Class Established 11/85

Spec. Revision: CSC - 9/00 Ad. Bd. - 12/00

Latest Spec. Revision:

CSC - 2/13

Ad. Board - 3/13