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Job Descriptions & Pay


Class Code: 5321
Salary Schedule: Approved Arizona Law Enforcement Merit System Council Salary Schedule
One Salary
Annual / Hourly
Annual salaries are calculations based on approved hourly rates.

Summary Statement: Plans, schedules, supervises, and evaluates work and activities of a crime laboratory unit; assigns cases and performs scientific analyses; prepares technical and management reports; provides expert testimony in court; provides technical advice and guidance to unit personnel and to members of the criminal justice system; approves scientific methodology and purchase of sophisticated scientific instrumentation; acts as a liaison between unit and other agencies; and performs related work as required.

Supervision is received from the Regional Crime Lab Manager or the Scientific Analysis Superintendent.

Supervision may be given to Laboratory Technicians, Laboratory Electronic Technicians, Latent Print Examiners, Associate Criminalists, and Criminalists I through IV. This is a competitive classification.

Essential Functions: (not intended to be all inclusive)

1. Plans, organizes, prioritizes, and schedules the workload of a crime laboratory unit in order to maximize productivity.

2. Evaluates and implements the appropriate scientific methodology to be used by the unit in order to perform analyses with efficiency and reliability.

3. Supervises the preparation of unit reports in conformance with scientific principles, laboratory accreditation requirements, legal constraints, etc.

4. Accompanies criminalists to court to review and critique the presentation of expert testimony and contacts county attorneys and investigating officers regarding expert testimony and scientific examination results for the unit.

5. Inspects facilities, technical equipment, scientific instrumentation, and personnel to ensure compliance with laboratory accreditation requirements, OSHA, and other safety regulations and procedures.

6. Evaluates the work performance of assigned subordinates to ensure compliance with quality assurance procedures and to provide feedback and guidance on employee performance.

7. Designs, supervises, and conducts new employee training programs and continuing education programs to enhance the skills of unit personnel.

8. Prepares budget requests and monitors budgets to ensure that the work unit operates within its resources.

9. Provides long-range planning for a crime laboratory work unit.

10. Researches and prepares responses to defense expert challenges to crime laboratory procedures.

11. Assists in the design and maintenance of a computerized crime laboratory case tracking and management information system in order to provide criminalists with pertinent forensic-related data.

12. Examines, identifies and evaluates suspected evidence which may include blood, semen, hair, fibers, paint chips, glass fragments, questioned documents, fire accelerants, soils, firearms, latent prints, drugs, poisons, alcoholic beverages, etc. Utilizes physical, chemical, microscopic, photographic, comparative, classification, computer, molecular biology, chromatographic and visualization techniques and instrumentation which may include gas chromatography, ultraviolet spectrophotometry, infrared spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray, variable wavelength forensic light sources, spectrofluorimetry, and immunoassay.

13. Initiates and develops new standards files and other reference material for the purpose of comparing, identifying, and evaluating physical evidence.

14. Prepares highly detailed, technical written reports to document scientific analyses and results.

15. Prepares written reports to communicate unit events and other information to management.

16. Communicates with officers and attorneys, attends pre-trial conferences, prepares exhibits for courtroom use, and provides expert testimony in courts throughout Arizona in order to present forensic evidence.

17. Remains current on scientific advancements in the forensic field through technical publications, presentations, and training in order to apply appropriate methodologies.

18. Responds to crime scenes in order to gather, preserve, and move items of evidence to crime laboratory for further analysis.

19. Researches and evaluates new methods of analysis to update scientific methodology.

20. Provides technical advice and guidance to unit criminalists to assist with difficult analyses.

21. Instructs law enforcement personnel in training schools throughout Arizona in the proper laboratory procedures of identifying, handling, and examining physical evidence.

22. Prepares bid specifications and evaluates new equipment, instruments, and other laboratory tools as well as vendors, to provide recommendations on purchases.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Required: Knowledge of:

1. current laws, rules, and procedures concerning the activities of a crime laboratory.

2. principles and analytical procedures of chemistry, biology (including molecular biology), toxicology, criminalistics, fingerprints, questioned documents, or related sciences.

3. the principles and practices of supervision.

4. coaching and training techniques to provide technical advice and/or training to law enforcement and court officials or employees.

5. time management techniques.

6. scientific research and methodology.

Skill in:

1. oral and written communications.

2. operating laboratory instruments, equipment and computer systems related to areas of responsibility.

Ability to:

1. accurately analyze and interpret scientific data.

2. define problems, establish facts, and draw valid scientific conclusions.

3. develop, evaluate, and revise long-range plans.

4. provide expert testimony and undergo intense examination in court.

5. recognize minute differences in shape and form.

6. remain calm under stress.

7. work effectively with people at all levels of an organization, other law enforcement agencies, and the public.

8. perform detailed work with a high degree of accuracy.


May be exposed to fumes or dust, bodily fluids, toxic or caustic chemicals or materials that transmit infectious disease (e.g., AIDS, Hepatitis B), are corrosive, carcinogenic, or explosive.

May be required to move items up to twenty (20) pounds.


Must be able to respond to crime scenes and court appearances as needed.

Minimum Qualifications: A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course of study in chemistry or closely related physical or natural science with minimum of thirty (30) semester hours in chemistry, and seven (7) years of experience as a criminalist in a recognized crime laboratory.

Additional criminalist experience, beyond the required seven years, may substitute for semester hours of chemistry (one (1) year additional criminalist experience equals ten (10) semester hours).

Must successfully complete the examination process.

FLSA Status - Non-Exempt

Current as of: 7/22/2014 10:44:57 PM