County of Alameda

DNA Technical Lead (#8529)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Misc Prof/Tech (011)
$58.30-$70.90 Hourly / $4,664.00-$5,672.00 BiWeekly /
$10,105.33-$12,289.33 Monthly / $121,264.00-$147,472.00 Yearly

Under general supervision, to assist the Criminalistics Laboratory Director in overseeing the technical aspects of the Laboratory’s Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis programs, with the specific objective of ensuring that those programs maintain compliance with accreditation requirements and statutorily imposed quality assurance standards.


This is a single position class located in the Sheriff’s Criminalistics Laboratory, reporting directly to the Laboratory Director. The class is distinguished from all others in that it is assigned responsibility for ensuring that the technical aspects of the Laboratory’s Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis programs are in compliance with American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors - Laboratory Accreditation Board Standards and with the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This class is distinguished from that of Supervising Criminalist, in that the latter has general supervisory authority over employees, as well as overall administrative responsibility for the program operations, including responsibility for casework management, program coordination and grant administration. The DNA Technical Lead is responsible for the technical oversight of day-to-day quality assurance and accreditation compliance activities.

The class is distinguished from those of Criminalist I, II and III in that the major responsibility of incumbents in the latter classes is the performance of technical forensic casework, using methods and procedures that comply with established standards of practice. While the DNA Technical Lead does have casework responsibilities, particularly with respect to the more complex cases, the primary duty of the position is to ensure that the methodology and procedures used in performing casework are in compliance with established standards.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Oversees the day to day aspects of the Laboratory’s Quality Control Program and the activities of Criminalists and Crime Laboratory Technicians assigned to the DNA Unit, including their preparation and verification of reagent lots, routine calibration checks of equipment, routine monitoring of quality control sample results, and quarterly review of compiled quality control logs including temperature logs, calibration logs, thermal cycler logs, hot shaker logs and kit logs.
2. Reviews and proposes changes or additions to the DNA quality assurance, quality control, and procedures manuals. Reviews and proposes analytical protocols and modifications to be used for casework.
3. Evaluates analytical or interpretive problems revealed by the quality assurance/quality control process and proposes corrective action to resolve them. Oversees the preparation of quality control samples for casework. Ensures that routine quality control checks of equipment (e.g., freezers, refrigerators, thermal cyclers) are conducted and documented.
4. Oversees the development and validation of new DNA typing capabilities, including the preparation of final casework protocols and quality control procedures. Conducts quarterly reviews of logs documenting quality control procedures.
5. Ensures that reagents and materials used for DNA analysis are properly prepared and checked prior to use in casework. Evaluates quality control lots submitted for approval; accepts or rejects lots as appropriate.
6. Where proficiency tests or quality control data indicate the need, recommends the suspension of analytical activity until corrective action has been taken and documented and analytical activity can be demonstrated to be in compliance.
7. Brings data that appears to indicate serious quality control problems to the attention of the Supervising Criminalist, the Laboratory Quality Manager and the Laboratory Director. Ensures that corrective action indicated by the quality control results and approved by the Laboratory Director is taken and documented.
8. Reviews casework analysis of Criminalists assigned to the DNA Unit for technical merit and adherence to quality assurance policy. May perform Second Reader and/or Technical Review functions.
9. Provides or arranges for training of Criminalists assigned to the DNA analysis program.
10. Conducts casework as necessary, including examination and DNA typing. Performs analytical duties as necessary, including examination of evidence for biological stains; chemical, immunological and microscopic testing of stains to determine their nature; extraction, quantization and amplification of DNA; fragment analysis of DNA using Genetic Analyzer; and analysis and interpretation of DNA data.
11. Participates in proficiency testing when conducting casework. Provides expert witness court testimony.


Possession of a Master’s degree in a biology, chemistry or forensic science-related area from an accredited college or university:


Successful completion of twelve (12) semester or equivalent credit hours from a combination of undergraduate and graduate course work covering the following subject areas: biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and statistics and/or population genetics, or other subjects which provide a basic understanding of the foundation of forensic DNA analysis. The 12 semester or equivalent credit hours shall include at least one graduate level class registering three (3) or more semester or equivalent credit hours. If the candidate’s Master’s degree requirement was previously waived by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) in accordance with criteria approved by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), possession of such degree will not be required for this position.


The equivalent of three years of human DNA (current or previous) experience as an analyst on forensic samples. The technical leader shall have previously completed or successfully complete the FBI-sponsored auditor training within one year of appointment.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Principles of forensic science, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, photography, molecular biology, statistics, genetics and natural sciences as related to criminalistics.
• American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors and federal DNA quality assurance accreditation standards.
• Principles of quality assurance and quality management.
• Modern criminal investigation and identification techniques and procedures.
• Methods and techniques used in examining crime scenes.
• Laboratory health and safety procedures.
• Recent developments, current literature and sources of information in the field of criminalistics.
• Preservation of biological evidence.

Ability to:

• Conduct DNA typing analysis on biological evidence.
• Conduct chemical, physical and microscopic examinations of biological evidence.
• Conduct on-the-scene investigations of crime.
• Relate pieces of evidence to each other and draw logical conclusions.
• Operate advanced laboratory instrumentation, such as photographic equipment, thermal cycler, genetic analyzer, and laboratory information systems.
• Present evidence clearly and accurately in court when called on as an expert witness.
• Provide training and assist in evaluating the work of others.
• Prepare clear and concise reports of findings.
• Communicate effectively orally and in writing
• Make appropriate decisions.

DS:po 1/29/08
Newspecs: 8529.doc
CSC Date: 2/27/2008


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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