Forensic Scientist III

Weld County Sheriff's Office, Greeley, CO, US

Responsibilities

SUMMARY: The Forensic Scientist III is a civilian employee of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office who functions as a senior level scientist with significant experience, technical knowledge and technical skills related to lab disciplines: Chemistry, Firearms, Digital Multimedia, Latent Print, or Biology. This position can be assigned a supervisory role as a section supervisor, technical lead-worker, technical trainer for a section, or an analyst knowledgeable and skilled in more than one lab discipline. 

They are responsible for performing complex analyses on physical evidence in criminal cases submitted to the forensic laboratory, interpreting analytical results, preparing written opinion reports, and testifying as experts in courts of law. This position focuses on maintaining the laboratory's quality processes and ensuring operational compliance with all certifications, accreditation, and legal standards and requirements. This position has the authority to stop casework processes if a problem occurs and the accountability for quality of casework product, compliance documentation, validation of new technology and methods, validation of new personnel beginning in casework, and investigation of casework errors and implementation of corrective measures. 

If supervisory duties are assigned, they may include the following: 

  • Section supervisor; supervise forensic scientists/examiners in a specific discipline(s). 
  • Technical lead position; maintain control over the technical operations of a specific discipline(s). 
  • Technical trainer; maintain training records for other examiners within the discipline, training program design and research. 

The following job duties are established to outline the basic duties and responsibilities of the above captioned position. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. 

  • Provides technical leadership to analysts working in a specific discipline (or disciplines) within the forensic laboratory. 
  • Assists with the training of new personnel, monitoring their progress, and facilitating consistency in training programs. 
  • Assists the Lab Director with documenting and maintaining section compliance with all certifications, accreditation, and legal standards and requirements. 
  • Provides detailed reports and recommendations regarding technical problems, errors, and discrepancies in casework. 
  • Documents and protects evidence according to laboratory procedures, ensuring that the chain of custody is maintained. 
  • In an assigned forensic science discipline, independently examines and analyzes evidence in complex case requests where interpretations could lead to less definitive weighted conclusion, selecting appropriate methods, techniques, and instruments.
  • Prepares detailed investigation and laboratory reports; assembles and organizes statements, evidence and exhibits for presentation in court and before grand jury; and attends court and grand jury proceedings and presents evidence and provides testimony effectively based on expert opinion of findings. 
  • Provides peer review and participates in proficiency testing to maintain expertise. 
  • Utilizes computerized data entry equipment and various word processing, spreadsheet and/or file maintenance programs to enter, store and/or retrieve information as requested or otherwise necessary and summarizes data in preparation of standardized reports. May utilize a specialized computer database for evidence comparisons. 
  • Trains law enforcement personnel and community groups in proper techniques and procedures of recognition, collection and preservation of physical evidence and general Criminalistics. Prepares and conducts classroom and field instruction and demonstrations. 
  • Reviews professional journals and current bulletins and maintains knowledge of trends and developments in forensic investigation methods and techniques. 
  • Assists with the annual budget proposals in coordination with the Laboratory Director, including analyzing past and future expenditures to determine resource needs. 
  • Assists in maintaining adequate stock of consumables and reagents and helps perform routine maintenance of instrumentation and equipment within section. Maintains a clean, professional workspace, and helps prioritize caseload. 
  • Ensures quality of all lab work and maintains records of all actions. 
  • May assist with the identification, collection, and acquisition of evidence at crime scenes, as assigned. 
  • Must successfully complete all laboratory training requirements for assigned discipline 
  • May perform scientific research. 
  • Serves on committees as assigned. 
  • Performs other related work as assigned.

Qualifications

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: 

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Criminalistics, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Physics, or Forensic Science. Examples of related fields, including but not limited to, are pharmacology, medical technology, genetics, analytical chemistry, clinical chemistry, nuclear chemistry, or toxicology. 
  • Five years of technical experience in a forensic science laboratory performing analyses of physical evidence, which includes testifying as an expert witness in courts of law. 
  • Biology (DNA) – successful completion of undergraduate or graduate level coursework totaling at least nine cumulative semester credit hours (or equivalent) in the following subjects: biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology; and statistics and/or population genetics as it applies to forensic DNA analysis. 
  • Must have the ability to read, write, and speak English. 
  • Basic math skills, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using whole numbers, fractions, and decimals; and the ability to count, sort, and categorize inventory items. 
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of variables, in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form. 
  • Ability to operate telephones, computer terminal, keyboard, photocopier, printer/scanning instrumentation, and specialized equipment specific to the assigned discipline 

CERTIFICATIONS/LICENSES REQUIRED: 

  • Valid state-issued driver’s license 
  • Discipline specific certifications are required. Certification expenses will be paid for by the employer. 

RECOMMENDATIONS: 

  • Proficient in the following or equivalent technologies: GlobalFiler, YFiler Plus, ThermoFisher Applied Biosystems instrumentation and STRmix

Compensation

$43.74 - $55.41 per hour plus benefits (see benefits tab on the job posting). 

As an applicant for this position, you should be aware of Senate Bill 19-085, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. The act requires employers to announce the pay range for job openings. This range encompasses the nine pay steps available should you receive the position and demonstrate satisfactory performance over time. 

This position is non-exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

How to apply

Please apply to our website: https://www.weldgov.com/Government/County-Information/Join-Our-Team 

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