Employment Opportunity

Crime Scene Technician

Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Salary: $47,465.60 - $62,836.80 Annually

Final Filing Date: March 16, 2018

This position is responsible for responding to crime scenes and for performing a variety of investigative tasks to collect, process and perform analysis of physical evidence obtained from the scene and for documenting crime scenes through observation, photography, video recording, diagrams, and reports. A Crime Scene Technician (CST) works independently under supervision of the Investigations Sergeant.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Conduct detailed inspections of crime scenes for the presence of evidence including but not limited to; latent prints, footwear and tire impressions, firearms evidence, blood and other physiological fluids, controlled substances, and trace evidence such as hair, fibers, and gunshot residue.
  • Evaluate, photograph, fingerprint, and recover any trace or physical evidence from deceased persons including bodily tissue and fluid at the scene and autopsies.
  • Document crime scenes to include general and comparison photography, note taking, sketching and diagramming crime scenes.
  • Evaluate potential latent print surfaces and conduct latent fingerprint processing using appropriate powders, chemicals, or photographic techniques, as necessary; Obtain finger, palm, and any other type of prints. May be required to provide fingerprint pattern interpretations as necessary.
  • Photograph crime scenes including but not limited to; victims, autopsies, traffic accidents, property damage, stolen property, arson sites, arrestees and deceased animals.
  • Collect and process evidence from various body areas of living and deceased persons.
  • Process stolen and recovered vehicles of criminal offenses.
  • Process collected evidence and maintain appropriate chain of custody to preserve crime scene evidence for presentation in court.
  • Complete detailed written reports related to evidence and property. Maintain accurate records and logs of collected evidence and daily activities.
  • Testify as an expert witness in civil and criminal courts, depositions, pretrial conferences, grand juries, coroner's inquests.
  • Provide input to attorneys regarding submittal of photographs, physical evidence, and diagrams.
  • Ensure the adherence of standard safety precautions when responding to toxic, bio-hazardous, and physically challenging scenes; Determine appropriate safety wear to be utilized to include protective masks, gloves, clothing, and eye wear.
  • Operate technical equipment including but not limited to digital, 35 MM, Polaroid, and fingerprint cameras and related software, photographic lab printers and enlargers; standard office equipment and law enforcement communication equipment, radios and metal detectors. Clean and maintain equipment and work areas.
  • Recover, unload, process, and impound firearms and other weapons using sound safety precautions.
  • Combine prepared chemicals in the lab and field as necessary to process scenes and/or evidence.
  • Maintains security and confidentiality of all reports, records, and investigative information under the incumbents care and control not subject to public disclosure.
  • Stay informed of new trends and innovations in the field of crime scene investigations.
  • Maintain a safe and secure environment to ensure that property and evidence stored at the Department does not become contaminated, altered, lost, stolen, or damaged, and that all infection control steps are being taken.
  • Issue timely release or disposal of evidence and property according to established procedures.
  • Reliable attendance is required of this position. Must be available to be on call and respond as needed at various hours, holidays or weekends.
  • Performs other duties as directed or as the situation dictates.


Typical Qualifications
  • Knowledge of and/or ability to learn and apply local, state and federal laws pertaining to crime scene investigations, fingerprinting and photography.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize a crime scene investigation and to apply crime scene investigation theories and techniques in various field situations.
  • Knowledge of and/or ability to learn and apply the theory of fingerprinting and fingerprints and to methods and techniques of latent fingerprint processing using powders and chemicals.
  • Ability to learn and continue to develop skill in specialized criminalistic operations such as photography, fingerprinting, collecting and preserving evidence, drawing crime scenes and diagrams and performing chemical tests.
  • Knowledge of and ability to adhere to safety precautions associated with the field of crime scene investigations.
  • Knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry, biology, anatomy, and physiology as it relates to crime scene investigations.
  • Knowledge of and ability to accurately perform mathematical concepts to perform geometric and trigonometric calculations.
  • Knowledge of and ability to use chemicals and materials associated with crime scene investigations.
  • Ability to learn Departmental policies and procedures as they relate to crime scene investigations.
  • Ability to take accurate notes and document actions taken; ability to prepare clear and concise reports.
  • Ability to apply deductive, logical reasoning and to make independent decisions.
  • Ability to work in extremely stressful situations and to maintain composure at crime scenes and accident scenes.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize work, meet deadlines, make decisions, and solve practical problems dealing with death investigations.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, Pottawattamie County Medical Examiners, Pottawattamie County Medical Examiner Investigator, victims, suspects, mentally challenged individuals, and law enforcement officials.
  • Ability to deal with hostile, uncooperative, and emotional suspects, victims, and witnesses in a professional manner.
  • Ability to conduct several investigations simultaneously and to perform job duties with thoroughness, accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information as appropriate.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to follow verbal and written instructions.
  • Ability to operate forensic equipment and various types of photographic equipment.
  • Ability to operate standard office equipment in the performance of job duties, i.e. fax machine, copier, personal computer, calculator, etc.
  • Ability to type accurately using a personal computer.
  • Ability to respond to and arrive at scene within one hour of notification.
Special Requirements
  • A high school graduate (or equivalent) and a minimum of two (2) years post secondary training in law enforcement or two (2) years experience related to criminalistic work.
  • Must possess a valid driver's license and maintain it throughout the course of employment.
  • Certifications in crime scene investigation, management and digital photography preferred.

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

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: March 7, 2018

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