Employment Opportunity

Forensic Scientist IV (Latent Print Examiner)

Phoenix Police Department, Phoenix, Arizona

Salary: $66,518 - $99,195

Final Filing Date: April 3, 2017

Forensic Scientists in the Latent Print Comparative Section (LPCS) are responsible for the analysis and comparison of latent prints recovered from crime scenes and evidentiary items, formulating conclusions, and presenting those conclusions in both a written format and oral testimony as an expert witness. Forensic Scientist IVs in the LPCS are also responsible for supervising a squad within the Section, assisting the Section Supervisor in planning day-to-day operations, and other duties as assigned.

The fundamental reason this classification exists is to apply the physical sciences to the investigation of crimes by performing laboratory analyses on physical evidence. A Forensic Scientist IV is required to maintain and demonstrate proficiency in the field or fields of forensic science in which case work is analyzed. This is a senior, professional classification that represents the fourth level in the Forensic Scientist class series. A Forensic Scientist IV supervises and trains Forensic Scientists I, II, and III in advanced case work and legal aspects of evidence evaluation and executes administrative duties within an assigned laboratory section. The incumbent must be qualified to appear in court as an expert witness. Supervision is exercised over Forensic Scientists I, II, and III. This classification is distinguished from a Forensic Science Section Supervisor who has full administrative and supervisory responsibility for one or more sections. Supervision is received from a Forensic Science Section Supervisor, Crime Laboratory Administrator, or other supervisor, and work is reviewed through reports and results achieved.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Supervises forensic scientists and technicians engaged in performing laboratory tests and analyses of physical evidence.
  • Supervises a shift of technical staff assigned to the Latent Print Section.
  • Conducts technical and/or administrative reviews on scientific reports.
  • Monitors case submissions and turnaround time ensuring cases are processed in an accurate, complete, and timely manner.
  • Accompanies Forensic Scientists to court to review and formally critique expert testimony presentations.
  • Maintains knowledge of currently used technologies and procedures through extensive reading of forensic literature and training by senior laboratory personnel.
  • Studies new techniques and procedures in the field of forensic science;
  • Ensures compliance with safety rules and regulations.
  • Attains and maintains proficiency in conjunction with ASCLD/LAB and/or applicable national standards.
  • Works with biological and chemical materials.
  • Prepares and conducts quality control testing on reagents and supplies.
  • Compares and identifies latent print evidence requiring the highest skill level.
  • Makes the more difficult decisions relating to choice and applications of chemical and physical analysis in microscopic examinations.
  • Consults and coordinates with experts, police officers, attorneys, private experts and others on plans for the solution of problems involving analysis, identification, and comparison of physical evidence.
  • Develops and implements professional training and seminars, in-service training, and the professional development of the laboratory staff.
  • Conducts research in the development of new techniques, methods, and equipment.
  • Analyzes most forms of physical evidence by chemical, physical, and instrumental techniques.
  • Compares and identifies inked and fragmentary latent fingerprints and palm prints in complex cases.
  • Interprets first, second, and third level detail in the evaluation of latent prints to those of known individuals.
  • Examines evidence with filtered ultraviolet light, X-ray, and adjustable wavelengths of light from a forensic light source.
  • Evaluates and develops new techniques, methods, and equipment.
  • Instructs law enforcement personnel and legal personnel in the proper procedures in handling, collection, identification, and preservation of physical evidence.
  • Develops and implements in-service training programs for police officers on evidence recognition, collection, and evaluation.
  • Develops methods of identifying new drugs of organic or synthetic origin.
  • Takes charge of and is responsible for field investigations at scenes of crimes and other pertinent locations and searches for, collects, and preserves evidence for laboratory analysis and comparison.
  • Reconstructs situations and physical evidence of a crime in the demonstration and proof of the connection of persons, instruments, or materials with the crime.
  • Prepares findings for court presentation, depositions, and interviews; interprets complex scientific-legal questions; and provides expert testimony.
  • Trains police officers to operate breath testing equipment and field screening equipment.
  • Develops training programs for other forensic scientists or attorneys with respect to analysis of evidence and evaluation of the finding from both scientific and legal aspects.
  • Participates in the budget process ensuring forensic scientists are provided the training and tools necessary to perform quality forensic analyses.
  • Oversees analysis of physical evidence by chemical, physical, and instrumental techniques.
  • Schedules and maintains records for facility inspections and instrument calibrations to ensure compliance with laboratory protocols, laboratory policies, ASCLD/LAB requirements, and OSHA.
  • Maintains regular and reliable attendance.
  • Demonstrates superior seamless customer service, integrity, and commitment to innovation, efficiency, and fiscally responsible activity.
  • Works more than forty hours in a workweek without additional compensation to perform assigned job duties, including weekends, evenings, early morning hours, and holidays as required.


Knowledge of:
  • Principles and analytical procedures of chemistry, biology, toxicology, criminalistics, fingerprints, questioned documents, firearms, controlled substances, related sciences.
  • Principles, methods, materials, equipment, and techniques of forensic science.
  • Chemistry, physics, biochemistry, physiology, zoology, botany, and photography as related to forensic science.
  • American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Standards.
  • Fingerprint classification, identification and search procedures, both manual and computerized.
  • Forensic photography, infrared, ultraviolet, aerial, filters, color, and black and white films.
  • Recent developments, current literature, and sources of information in the field of forensic science.
  • Recent case decisions in the forensic sciences.
  • Laws pertaining to the collection, preservation, analysis, and presentation of physical evidence.
  • Police Department operations and procedures.
  • Safe and proper use of forensic science laboratory equipment.
  • Principles and practices of supervision, personnel administration, and technical guidance and training.
  • Laboratory, ASCLD/LAB, bureau, and department policies and procedures.
Ability to:
  • Communicate in English by phone or in person in a one-to-one or group setting.
  • Perceive the full range of the color spectrum.
  • Remain in a sitting position for extended periods of time.
  • Plan, organize, make efficient use of time, and manage multiple tasks.
  • Comprehend and make inferences from material written in the English language.
  • Move objects weighing less than 20 pounds short and long distances.
  • Learn job-related material through oral instruction, observation, structured lecture, and reading in the English language.
  • Produce written documents in English with clearly organized thoughts using proper sentence construction, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Operate a variety of forensic lab equipment.
  • Work cooperatively with other City employees.
  • Remain calm under stress.
  • Measure distance using a measuring device.
  • Demonstrate mastery of all Lab equipment in assigned area of specialty.
  • Perform a broad range of supervisory responsibility over others.
  • Travel across rough, uneven, or rocky surfaces.
  • Move objects weighing less than 20 pounds short and long distances.
  • Perform physical inventories.
  • Instruct others in a classroom setting.
  • Work in a variety of weather conditions with exposure to the elements.
  • Draw or letter charts, schedules, graphs, maps, or similar objects.
  • Observe, compare, or monitor objects and data to determine compliance with prescribed operating and safety standards.
  • Work safely without presenting a direct threat self or others.
Additional Requirements:
  • Appointments to positions in the Police Department are subject to appropriate polygraph and background standards.
  • Professional certification may be required dependent upon the forensic discipline.
  • Some positions require the use of personal or City vehicles on City business. Individuals must be physically capable of operating the vehicles safely, possess a valid driver's license and have an acceptable driving record. Use of a personal vehicle for City business will be prohibited if the employee is not authorized to drive a City vehicle or if the employee does not have personal insurance coverage.
  • Some positions will require the performance of other essential or marginal functions depending upon work location, assignment, or shift.
Acceptable Experience and Training
  • Two years of experience at the level of a Forensic Scientist III in a forensic laboratory performing advanced laboratory analyses,
  • AND
  • A bachelor's degree in a natural science, criminalistics, or a closely related field.
  • Other combinations of experience and education that meet the minimum qualifications may be substituted.
Background Process
  • Candidates will be required to successfully pass polygraph and background checks required by the Phoenix Police Department.

Do you have the Education Required? See available on-line and campus-based degree programs now!

How to apply: Apply online

For questions relating to this position, please contact Shawna Hilliard, Forensic Science Section Supervisor, at

Posted: March 13, 2017

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