Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$51.15-$68.54 hourly / $8,866.00-$11,880.00 monthly / $106,392.00-$142,563.20 yearly


Under direction, assist the Forensic Services Director in overseeing the technical aspects of the Laboratory’s programs, with the specific objective of ensuring that those programs maintain compliance with accreditation requirements and statutorily imposed quality assurance standards; plan and direct the activities of forensic services unit(s); act as liaison with other county criminal justice agencies as administrator of the local CAL-ID/AFIS (California Identification Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems and Automated Fingerprint Identification System) or CODIS (Combined Offender DNA Information System).

Distinguishing Characteristics

This class  supervises staff in one or more forensic services unit(s); performs the most varied and complex forensic analysis, which requires significant technical expertise; researches and develops new methods, lead oversight, technical guidance and training of laboratory staff on a regular and recurring basis.


The Forensic Services Supervisor is distinguished from the Forensic Laboratory Director class in that the latter plans and directs the overall operations of the forensic laboratory. This class is distinguished from the Criminalist series in that these lower lever classifications conducts forensic laboratory analyses of physical evidence and investigating crime scenes.     

Typical Tasks

  • Oversees the technical operations of the laboratory
  • Evaluates and documents approval of all validations and methods used by the laboratory  
  • Performs and provides technical training and direction in courtroom procedures and preparation of courtroom exhibits
  • Reviews and approves the training, quality assurance, safety and proficiency testing in the laboratory
  • Provides supervision, training and technical assistance to subordinate personnel
  • Establishes procedures for the operation of the forensic services unit(s)
  • Develops and implements appropriate laboratory and crime scene safety precautions and monitors the laboratory staff compliance with state and federal standards
  • Provides operational and statistical reports to federal, state and local boards or agencies, such as state CAL-ID, local R.A.N. (Random Access Network) board, FBI CODIS, CAL DOJ, and any user agencies; establishes procedures for associated operations
  • Develops systems with user agencies for the exchange of information
  • Assists in the recruitment, hiring, processing and orientation of new personnel
  • Oversees maintenance of laboratory equipment and supplies
  • Researches and proposes the feasibility of new equipment and services and develops and oversees techniques to be utilized in the forensic laboratory and crime scenes for discovery, collection and preservation of physical evidence
  • Monitors, arranges and provides forensic services to outside law enforcement agencies, maintains professional relationships with all contracting agencies, keeps detailed records and submits appropriate billing based on approved charges and fees
  • Meets and negotiates with outside agency representatives and/or vendors to customize forensic services and support systems
  • Drafts supplies and equipment bids and contracts for forensic services unit(s); reviews bids and participates in bidder/vendor selections
  • Conducts research and/or validates new methods and procedures of scientific criminal investigation
  • Works under physical and mental pressure and in potentially hazardous situations and environments
  • Understands, interprets and explains regulations and policies governing the collection and preservation of evidence
  • Presents evidence clearly and accurately in court when called on as an expert witness
  • Conducts crime scene investigations and collects evidence in the field
  • Biology/DNA assignment: authorizes the initiation, suspension and resumption of forensic human DNA analytical operations of the laboratory or individuals

Employment Standards



Thorough knowledge of:


  • Practices, methodologies and techniques used to manage, train and perform forensic services such as crime scene investigation, latent print examination, biological evidence screening, DNA processing and analysis, digital evidence examination, forensic anthropology and firearms and toolmarks examination
  • Methods of identification, collection, interpretation, preservation and handling of evidence


Working knowledge of:


  • Principles and practices of supervision/management in the public sector
  • Forensic laboratory safety standards
  • Standards for preparation of case notes and automated report writing in a law enforcement environment
  • Current professional standards and guidelines for the relevant forensic disciplines
  • Automated computerized fingerprint systems, such as California Identification Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (CAL ID), Automated Latent Print System (ALPS), the Santa Cruz County Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the Remote Access Network
  • Automated computerized DNA systems, such as Combined Offender DNA Identification System (CODIS)
  • Laws of evidence, criminal procedure and court room procedure
  • Recent developments, literature and sources of information relative to the assigned forensic function(s)
  • Laws, rules, regulations, procedures and court requirements affecting assigned duties


Some knowledge of:


  • County and Sheriff’s Office procedures and guidelines
  • Automated and manual record keeping and billing systems


Ability to:


  • Collect and analyze data, draw logical conclusions and make appropriate recommendations
  • Establish and monitor procedures to provide forensic services to other law enforcement agencies and maintain cooperative and professional communication
  • Plan, organize and coordinate departmental programs
  • Supervise, train and evaluate the work of others
  • Define, analyze, evaluate and solve administrative problems
  • Develop policies, procedures and training material
  • Write logical and concise reports and prepare and maintain clear, accurate and concise notes and records
  • Testify in court in areas of expertise
  • Interpret, apply, explain and comply with laws, regulations and professional practices governing law enforcement services and operations
  • Research regulations, procedures and/or technical reference materials
  • Maintain confidentiality of information
  • Operate laboratory, photographic, and computer equipment
  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with departmental personnel, representatives of other law enforcement agencies and others contacted in the course of work 
  • Communicate effectively before groups
  • Work in a safe and prudent manner
  • Adhere to Sheriff’s Office code of ethics


Desired Qualifications:

·        Active certification through the International Association for Identification (IAI) as a crime scene investigator, crime scene analyst, crime scene reconstructionist or senior crime scene analyst is highly desirable

·        Active certification through the professional association or accrediting agency associated with at least one (1) forensic discipline


Education and Experience


Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


Graduation from an accredited college or university  with a Bachelor’s degree in chemical, physical, biological or forensic science, criminalistics, physical anthropology, computer science,  or in a closely related field AND four years of progressively responsible experience as a forensic scientist in a public jurisdiction or private forensic firm OR Possession of a Master’s degree from an accredited university in chemical, physical, biological or forensic science, and three years of  increasingly responsible experience as a forensic scientist in a public jurisdiction or private forensic firm.


Additional requirements for  Biology/DNA assignment:

A Bachelor’s (or its equivalent) or an advanced degree in relation to biology, chemistry, or forensic science and successful completion of course work (graduate or undergraduate level) covering the following subject areas: biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology; and course work and/or training in statistics and/or population genetics as it applies to forensic DNA analysis.  A Master’s degree is highly desirable with graduate course work covering biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, statistics or population genetics.


Special Requirements/Conditions:

  • Mentally and physically capable of performing the classification’s essential functions as summarized in the typical tasks section of this job specification with or without reasonable accommodations
  • Physical Ability:  Tasks require the ability to exert up to 50 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 20 pounds of force constantly to move objects; typically involve some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling; and may involve lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials
  • Sensory Requirements:  Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, sounds, forms, textures or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks or people
  • Environmental Factors:  Exposure to variable temperatures, confined work spaces and heights; strong unpleasant odors, infectious bio-hazardous materials, such as blood, urine and semen which might cause chronic disease or death; dust, pollens, chemical irritants; toxic substances; individuals who may be hostile and abusive; evidence that may be disturbing, such as homicide evidence
  • Hours:  May be required to work flexible hours, shifts, weekends and holidays and be subject to holdover and callback duty; and to provide a telephone number or means by which employee can be reached
  • License Requirement:  Possession and maintenance of valid Class C California Driver License issued by the California State Department of Motor Vehicles by the time of appointment
  • Background Investigation:  Ability to pass a full background investigation


Bargaining Unit:  11

EEOC Job Category: 02

Occupational Grouping: 62

Worker's Comp Code: 0285


CLASS: BN8; REV: 6/1/2014;