Click to Print

Job Descriptions & Pay


Class Code: 5322
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: Provides technical supervision and coordination for all functions of a forensic science discipline in all regional crime laboratories. Performs scientific analyses; prepares technical and management reports; provides expert testimony in court; provides technical advice and guidance to a forensic discipline's personnel statewide and to members of the criminal justice system; approves scientific methodology and purchase of sophisticated scientific instrumentation; acts as a liaison with other agencies; and performs related work, as required. Supervision is received from the Scientific Analysis Superintendent. This is a competitive classification.

Essential Functions: (not intended to be all inclusive)

1. Develops, coordinates, and monitors a forensic discipline's scientific program and quality assurance/quality control protocols for the entire crime laboratory system.

2. Researches, evaluates, updates and implements the appropriate forensic discipline's scientific methodology to be used by the crime laboratory system in order to perform analyses with efficiency and accuracy.

3. Supervises the preparation of the forensic discipline's reports in conformance with scientific principles, laboratory accreditation requirements, legal constraints, DNA Advisory Board (DAB) Standards, National Scientific Working Groups, 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 personnel of a forensic discipline.

5. Inspects facilities, technical equipment, scientific instrumentation, and personnel to ensure compliance with laboratory accreditation requirements, DNA Advisory Board Standards, Scientific Working Groups, and other regulations and procedures.

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

7. Designs, supervises, and conducts statewide training programs and continuing education programs to enhance the skills of personnel in a forensic discipline.

8. Prepares budget and grant requests and monitors budgets related to a statewide forensic discipline.

9. Provides long-range planning for a crime laboratory systemwide forensic discipline.

10. Researches and prepares responses to defense expert challenges regarding a forensic discipline.

11. Monitors proficiency tests for criminalists statewide in a forensic discipline in compliance with accreditation and national requirements.

12. Conducts laboratory audits of a forensic discipline for compliance with protocols and national standards (DAB, SWG, etc.).

13. Examines, identifies, and scientifically evaluates suspected evidence.

14. Utilizes physical, chemical, microscopic, photographic, comparative, classification, computer, molecular, biology, chromatographic, and visualization techniques and instrumentation which may include capillary electrophoresis, ultraviolet spectrophotometry, infrared spectrophotometry, fluorescence spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, variable wavelength forensic light sources, spectrofluorimetry, radiography, gene sequencers, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, etc.

15. Initiates and develops new standards files and other reference material for the purpose of a forensic discipline.

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

17. Prepares written reports to communicate a forensic discipline's events and other information to management.

18. 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.

19. Remains current on scientific advancements in a forensic discipline through technical publications, presentations and training in order to apply appropriate methodologies.

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

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

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

23. 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, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and related sciences.

3. the principles and practices of supervision.

Skill in:

1. the operation and maintenance of scientific equipment used in the performance of the job.

Ability to:

1. accurately analyze and interpret scientific data.

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

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

4. organize, conduct, and evaluate scientific research.

5. plan, direct, and evaluate the human, material, and fiscal resources and production of a crime laboratory.

6. plan, organize, make efficient use of time, and manage multiple tasks.

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

8. communicate technical information to various audience levels (scientists, officers, attorneys, etc.) in a group setting, or one-on-one.

9. prepare effective written communications containing technical and non-technical information for various levels of readership.

10. recognize minute differences in shape and form.

11. remain calm under stress.

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


Required to safely handle hazardous specimens and materials (infectious, corrosive, carcinogenic, explosive, etc.)

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

May be required to travel statewide in the performance of the job.

Minimum Qualifications: Requires a master's degree from an accredited college or university with major course of study in chemistry, biology, toxicology or closely related physical or natural sciences with a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours in chemistry and twelve (12) semester hours relating to a specific forensic discipline.
Requires six (6) years of experience as a criminalist in a recognized crime laboratory, three (3) years of which must have been in a specific forensic discipline. An additional six (6) years of experience in a forensic discipline may substitute for a Master's degree.

Must successfully complete the examination process.

FLSA status- non-exempt

Current as of: 7/23/2014 11:02:53 PM