Employment Opportunity

Criminalist II (Forensic Firearms)

Oakland Police Department, Oakland, California

Salary: $83,757.24 - $102,843.84 Annually

Final Filing Date: March 24, 2017

The City of Oakland is seeking qualified individuals to fill one Criminalist II (Forensic Firearms) vacancy within the Oakland Police Department, Criminalistics Division. This is a journey-level professional civilian position in the Crime Laboratory's Firearms Unit. The laboratory is ASCLD/LAB-International accredited and meets ISO 17025 standards. The work in the crime laboratory firearms unit offers exposure to challenging casework and an opportunity to expand experience while working on varied and complex casework, predominantly from serious firearms related crime.

The eligibility list established from this recruitment may be used to fill other vacancies that may occur within the City including full-time and permanent part-time positions, if applicable.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


For General Criminalist II Positions
  • Perform physical and chemical examination of evidence using quantitative and qualitative laboratory techniques; evaluate nature, origin and significance of evidence in criminal cases.
  • Use instrumentation, apparatuses and techniques such as microscopy, electrophoresis and photography applicable to the assigned job category.
  • Examine and identify controlled substances.
  • Examine evidence for biological materials and conduct DNA analysis.
  • Research technical journals, textbooks, and other source materials to determine the best methods of performing analytical testing.
  • Conduct research into new methods and procedures of scientific criminal investigation.
  • Perform forensic alcohol analysis.
  • Make accurate observations regarding examination; prepare detailed notes and comprehensive written reports regarding examinations.
  • Present fair and impartial court testimony concerning findings as established by laboratory analyses and interpret findings as a qualified expert witness.
  • Maintain chain of custody and integrity of evidence under their control.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment, instruments and work areas.
  • Provide technical training, guidance and advice to less experienced laboratory personnel, law enforcement officers, or other users of laboratory services in the methods of analysis employed in the laboratory and in the methods of collecting and preserving evidence.
  • May be subject to extended or additional work hours for crime scene duties or other time sensitive work.
For Selectively Certified Criminalist II Positions in Forensic Firearm
  • Specialized duties may include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Apply analytical techniques to the examination of firearms and firearms related physical evidence.
  • Use a comparison microscope in forensic firearms examinations.
  • Perform comparative evaluation of toolmarks and form competent opinions on common origin.
  • Evaluate gunshot residue pattern on clothing or other surfaces and perform muzzle to target distance tests.
  • Use IBIS/NIBIN for evidence entry and correlation reviews.
  • Provide expert testimony in the Firearms discipline.


Any combination of education and experience that is equivalent to the following minimum qualifications is acceptable.

For General Criminalist II Positions
  • Education:
    • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's degree in Criminalistics or a closely related physical or natural science which must include the successful completion of a minimum of 17 semester (or equivalent quarter) units of chemistry course work. Chemistry coursework must include laboratory and cover general chemistry and organic chemistry.
    • Candidates seeking appointment to a (selectively certified) forensic biology position must meet the FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards educational standards for DNA Examiner, which require successful completion of nine (9) cumulative semester hours or equivalent that cover the required subject areas of biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology; and course work or training in statistics and/or population genetics as it applies to forensic DNA analysis.
  • Experience:
    • Two years of progressively responsible work experience comparable to a Criminalist I in the City of Oakland including a demonstrated skill in two or more areas of Criminalistics or have exceptional documented expertise in a single area.
  • Other Requirements:
    • Possession of Diplomate certification in General Criminalistics issued by the American Board of Criminalistics is desirable. Incumbents are strongly encouraged to attain Diplomate certification by the American Board of Criminalistics in General Criminalistics as well as certification in a relevant specialty area by an external, nationally recognized forensic certifying body within two years of appointment to the position of Criminalist II.
  • License:
    • Individuals who are appointed to this position will be required to maintain a valid California Driver's License throughout the tenure of employment.
For Selectively Certified Criminalist II Positions in Forensic Firearm
  • Education:
    • Completion of a comprehensive training program for a minimum of one year in forensic firearms/toolmarks examinations conducted under the guidance of an experience forensic/toolmarks examiner;
    • and
    • Completion of independent forensic firearms/toolmarks casework for a minimum of one year.
  • Experience:
    • Experience should include the following essential functions:
      • Determination of operational capabilities of firearms.
      • Comparison of fired projectiles and cartridge cases.
      • Muzzle-to-target distance determinations.
      • Toolmark examinations and comparisons.
      • Serial number restoration.
      • Photographic documentation of evidence and comparisons.
      • Interpretation of laboratory analysis and results.
      • Operation of the IBIS/NIBIN system.
      • Preparation of reports in forensic firearms analysis
      • Qualification previously as a expert witness in court regarding in forensic firearms examinations.
    • Experience should be recent and encompass the range of armory currently encountered in casework.
Other Requirements
  • Must be twenty one (21) years of age or older.
  • Must pass a thorough background investigation.
Knowledge of:
  • Basic principles, methods, materials and techniques of Criminalistics.
  • Basic principles of chemistry, biochemistry, physics and physiology.
  • Statistics and photography as related to Criminalistics. Principles of scientific instruments and apparatus used in a Criminalistics laboratory.
  • Laws of evidence, criminal procedure and crimes.
  • Recent developments, literature and sources of information relevant to Criminalistics.
  • Determination of operational capabilities of firearms.
  • Comparison of fired projectiles and cartridge cases.
  • Muzzle-to-target distance determinations.
  • Toolmark examinations and comparisons.
  • Serial number restoration.
  • Photographic documentation of evidence and comparisons.
  • Interpretation of laboratory analyses and results.
  • Operation of the IBIS/NIBIN system.
  • Preparation of reports in forensic firearms analyses.
  • Qualification previously as an expert witness in courts on forensic firearms examinations.
Ability to:
  • Conduct various technical, chemical and other comparative laboratory analyses. Follow detailed technical instructions.
  • Make accurate observations.
  • Prepare and maintain analytical and other laboratory records and technical reports.
  • Communicate clearly in oral and written form.
  • Operate instruments and scientific apparatus with skill and care.
  • Read, interpret and follow departmental policies, rules and instructions.
  • Adopt quick, effective and responsible course of action, giving due regard to the circumstances of each situation.
  • Testify effectively in court as an expert witness.
  • Adhere to the laboratory's code of ethics.
  • Assist in training assigned staff in the fundamentals of Criminalistics and areas of specialization.
  • Apply theories and principles of chemistry and forensic science to forensic casework situations.
  • Resolve analytical problems arising from casework through consultation of the scientific literature and/or applied research.
  • Establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.

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How to apply: Apply online

Posted: March 1, 2017

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