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Job Descriptions & Pay


Class Code: 6415
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: Utilizes chemical, microscopic, chromatographic, and comparative techniques and instrumentation to examine, identify and evaluate physical evidence which may include: controlled dangerous substances; blood, urine, and other biological specimens; firearms; questioned documents; latent prints; trace evidence; and other items of evidentiary value. Prepares technical reports; provides expert testimony in court; and performs related tasks as required. Supervision is received from a Supervising Criminalist. This may be a competitive OR a progressive classification.

Essential Functions: (not intended to be all inclusive)

1. 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.

2. Prepares technical written reports in order to document scientific analyses and results.

3. Attends pre-trial conferences, prepares exhibits for courtroom use, and provides expert testimony in courts throughout the state.

4. Discusses laboratory test results and evidence collection with officers and attorneys.

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

6. Responds to crime scene incidents in order to gather, preserve and move items of evidence to crime lab for further analysis.

7. Researches problems associated with routine methods of analyses.

8. Provides general scientific information in response to questions from Department staff, other agencies and the public.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Required: Knowledge of:

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

2. basic uses and effects of controlled substances.

3. hazards and toxicity of chemicals.

4. statutes and case law applicable to assigned forensic discipline and use of physical evidence in court.

5. rules of criminal procedure concerning time limits, discovery, evidence and expert witnesses.

6. crime scene procedures.

7. techniques for processing items of evidence at crime scenes.

8. mathematics related to analyzing scientific data.

Skill in:

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

Ability to:

1. define problems, establish facts, interpret information and draw valid scientific conclusions.

2. recognize minute differences in shape and form.

3. chemically identify and quantitate compounds such as drugs, diluents and poisons.

4. interpret scientific data to establish statistical probabilities of origin of biological and commercial products.

5. effectively communicate findings of scientific tests both orally and in writing.

6. testify and undergo intense examination in court.

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

8. read and interpret scientific materials.


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: If initial hire is to D.P.S. Criminalist I, the classification requires a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course of study in chemistry or closely related physical or natural sciences with minimum of thirty (30) semester hours in chemistry and one (1) year of experience as a criminalist in a recognized crime laboratory. Additional criminalist experience, beyond the required one (1) year, may substitute for semester hours of chemistry (one (1) year additional criminalist experience equals ten (10) chemistry semester hours).

Progression to this classification may be attained after one (1) year of standard performance as an Associate Criminalist with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Must successfully complete the examination process.

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Current as of: 7/23/2014 10:19:51 AM