Employment Opportunity

Forensic Scientist II - Controlled Substances

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas, Nevada

Salary: $69,388.80 - $102,731.16 Annually

Final Filing Date: May 24, 2017

Incumbents perform a variety of scientific laboratory examinations and analyses on physical evidence in controlled substances, interpret test results, formulate conclusions, and prepare reports. Incumbents also provide scientific assistance to external parties and testify in court as an expert witness.

Forensic Scientist I and II – Controlled Substances job announcements are open simultaneously. As an applicant, you may only apply for one position – either Forensic Scientist I or Forensic Scientist II (not both). Based on the minimum qualifications previously stated, if you have three or more years of full-time forensic scientist professional experience in seized drug analysis, please apply only for level II. If you have less than three years and more than one year of full-time forensic scientist professional experience in seized drug analysis, please apply for level I. If you apply for both positions, you will be contacted to choose whichever ONE testing process matches your experience.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


All Assigned Forensic Scientists:
  • Exemplify the Department values, both on and off duty.
  • Perform laboratory analyses of physical evidence in one or more of the disciplines of the forensic laboratory; regularly demonstrate proficiency in assigned forensic discipline; multi-task to meet caseload requirements.
  • Collect, receive, preserve and handle physical evidence; implement evidence control; document and maintain chain of custody; and preserve the integrity of evidence examined.
  • Ensure accuracy of information received; prepare detailed notes to properly document analytical results and support conclusions; interpret and analyze test results; maintain appropriate case file documentation.
  • Prepare comprehensive scientific reports, declarations, and affidavits regarding examinations and conclusions; collect statistical data.
  • Operate specialized software on equipment and multiple computer platforms.
  • Prepare a variety of reagents, solutions, standards and controls using established forensic laboratory practices.
  • Conduct research and evaluate new procedures and methods; recommend new procedures and update existing ones.
  • Participate in the development and validation of new methods and/or instrumentation.
  • Operate, calibrate, troubleshoot and perform minor repairs and preventive maintenance on laboratory equipment and analytical instruments.
  • Coordinate work activities with other sections of the Department; provide consultation regarding analytical results, investigative leads and execution of search warrants.
  • Train and provide technical instructions and guidance to lower level staff; train law enforcement personnel.
  • Prepare evidence for presentation in court; meet with attorneys, investigators or other law enforcement personnel regarding the interpretation of examinations conducted; testify as an expert in court in relation to scientific principles and examination results.
  • Follow standard forensic laboratory operating procedures.
  • Independently examine evidence and draw scientific conclusions.
  • Stay current in new trends and innovations in the field of forensic science; attend seminars, lectures, and other training and development activities.
  • Review other analysts' data and reports using technical, and/or administrative review protocols.
  • Collect and maintain specimens/materials for reference collections.
  • Ensure adherence to accreditation standards in performance of job duties.
  • Provide scientific assistance to attorneys, state law makers, and regulatory agencies.
In addition to the essential functions listed for all Forensic Scientists, when assigned to the Controlled Substances discipline:
  • Determine proper testing techniques and perform chemical, instrumental, microscopic and comparative laboratory tests on suspected controlled substances and dangerous drugs.
  • Isolate and separate analytes from various matrices including solid dose samples.
  • Operate, calibrate, troubleshoot and perform minor repairs on laboratory instruments including, but not limited to, chromatographs, mass spectrometers, Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence instrument, and spectrophotometers.
  • May be assigned to the Clandestine Laboratory Response Team and respond to suspected controlled substances manufacturing sites or unknown chemical hazards. Evaluate crime scenes to determine the hazards involved and the need for additional personal protective equipment; evaluate the chemicals, glassware, and equipment to determine if controlled substances are being manufactured; collect samples.


  • Three years of full-time, forensic scientist professional work experience in seized drug analysis. Experience testifying as an expert witness in courts of law is desired.
  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a physical or natural science or a forensic science related field and successful completion of 24 college level credits in chemistry. Applicants MUST attach a copy of their LEGIBLE transcript(s), which demonstrates proof of educational requirements, to their application at the time of submission. Failure to attach a legible transcript will result in automatic disqualification.
License or Certificate:
  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate, valid Nevada driver license.
Best Candidates Will Have
  • Recent experience performing the following:
    • Forensic analysis in identification of controlled substances and other unknowns;
    • Forensic analysis of clandestine laboratory evidentiary samples suspected to contain controlled substances and their precursors;
    • Response and collection of evidentiary samples at clandestine laboratory scenes;
  • Knowledge of and ability to use, troubleshoot and maintain analytical instrumentation used in controlled substances analysis, including GC/MS and FTIR;
  • Familiarity with the ASCLD/LAB-International and/or ISO17025 Accreditation program;
  • Experience in providing technical training to analysts in a laboratory setting and general forensic training to law enforcement personnel and attorneys;
  • Experience in computer hardware and/or software used in a forensic lab setting;
  • Participation in formal external proficiency test programs;
  • Experience in courtroom testimony; and
  • Experience in performing controlled substances technical review.

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

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: May 1, 2017

NOTE: The is not responsible for typographical errors or omissions in employment notices on this web site. Often, employers change final filing dates, change duties and/or requirements, or close employment openings without notice. If you are interested in a job posted on this site be sure to contact the employer to see if changes in the filing date or job announcement have been made. Employers can also provide more information about open positions that does not appear in the announcements on these pages.