The Criminalist Supervisor assigns, reviews, and coordinates the daily operations of the District Attorney’s forensic laboratory and the work activities of professional, technical, and support staff that conduct forensic laboratory analyses of physical evidence; performs the more complex collection, preservation, and scientific analysis procedures; and testifies in court as an expert witness.
This Criminalist Supervisor is distinguished from the:
• Forensic Laboratory Director class, which plans, organizes, and directs the overall operations of the forensic laboratory.
• Criminalist class, which conducts forensic laboratory analyses of physical evidence and investigates crime scenes.
Supervises staff including planning, assigning, and scheduling staff’s activities and work deadlines; establishes standards for acceptable work products; reviews and accepts, amends or rejects work; assists with conducting the full range of personnel actions such as interviewing, selecting, hiring, training, and coaching staff; conducts disciplinary and termination actions; evaluates employees’ performance; enforces departmental policies and protocols; hears and resolves staff complaints; and gives advice, counsel, and instruction to staff on both work and administrative matters.
Oversees the daily operations of the laboratory; determines priorities and commits necessary resources; determines types of analytical tests to be performed; plans, schedules, and coordinates work operations; monitors and evaluates progress toward meeting operational and service goals and quality assurance compliance mandates; takes corrective action, makes adjustments, and oversees process improvement.
Assists in budget development and administration. Assists in investigating and resolving operational, programmatic, procedural, human resources, budgetary, and quality assurance matters.
Acts as liaison with the courts, law enforcement, coroner, and other public and private agencies.
Ensures the maintenance of the chain of custody and integrity of evidence.
Presents fair and impartial court testimony concerning findings as established by laboratory analyses and practices and interprets findings as a qualified expert witness.
Coordinates and provides training, guidance, and technical assistance to laboratory staff, law enforcement personnel, and other users of laboratory services in the methods of analysis; and collecting, preserving, evaluating, and interpreting physical evidence.
May perform the more complex collection, preservation, and scientific analysis procedures. May investigate physical evidence of criminal cases in the laboratory and in the field. Prepares detailed notes and comprehensive written reports regarding examinations.
Prepares correspondence and reports, laboratory activity reports, and case related statistics.
Researches technical journals, textbooks, chemical manuals, and other source materials to determine the best methods of performing analytical testing.
May be assigned specialty assignments such as Laboratory Quality Assurance Manager or Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Administrator.
Performs other duties of a similar nature and level as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
• Applicable federal, state, and local laws, codes, rules, regulations, and statues
• Principles and practices of leadership, supervision, and training, including managing laboratory casework
• Principles of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physics, physiology, and statistics as related to analytical laboratory work
• Methods, techniques, materials, operations, equipment, apparatus, and automated systems used in a modern crime laboratory
• Principles, procedures, and techniques of modern forensic and criminal investigation, identification, and analysis
• Common types of evidence such as narcotics, toxins, trace evidence, firearms, and biological evidence
• Laboratory safety precautions and procedures
• Laws of evidence, criminal procedures, courtroom procedures and testimony
• Modern methods of classifying, indexing, filing and preserving laboratory records and evidence
• Principles and techniques of quality control and quality assurance implementation and monitoring
• Current trends in forensic science, including recent court decisions and legislative developments
• Standard office procedures, practices, equipment, personal computers and software
• Public administration principles and practices
• Principles of budget development and administration
• Supervising, training, and evaluating professional, technical, and support staff
• Planning, coordinating, and directing a technically complex program and services
• Administering budget within fiscal constraints
• Directing work consistent with goals and priorities
• Analyzing, developing, and implementing policies and procedures
• Interpreting and applying departmental, local, state and federal codes, ordinances, laws, regulations, and policies
• Operating and maintaining laboratory, scientific, photographic, and safety equipment and instruments
• Performing a variety of difficult, complex, and sensitive chemical, instrumental, and laboratory analyses in accordance with prescribed procedures
• Coordinating crime scene investigations
• Using personal computers and office and scientific software applications
• Adhering to established codes of ethics
• Promoting and enforcing safe work practices and handling biohazards and/or hazardous chemicals and materials
• Responding to critical and sensitive issues and events
• Managing multiple and changing timelines and priorities; prioritizing and coordinating project timelines and schedules
• Identifying, observing and analyzing problems, identifying alternative solutions, projecting consequences of proposed actions, and implementing recommendations
• Preparing clear, concise, and comprehensive reports, records, correspondence, statistical documentation, and other written materials
• Communicating complex and scientific information clearly and concisely both orally and in writing; testifying in court
• Working under physical and mental pressure and in potentially hazardous situations and environments
• Establishing and maintaining constructive and cooperative relationships with those contacted in the course of work; demonstrating tact, diplomacy, patience, and compassion.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in chemistry, forensic chemistry/science, biochemistry, toxicology, criminalistics, or a closely related physical or natural science field that included 20 semester / 30 quarter units of general chemistry, organic chemistry (two courses), quantitative techniques, and laboratory sections;
Four years of directly related crime laboratory analyst experience in a class comparable to, or higher than, Solano County’s Criminalist (Senior). Experience must have included qualifications as an expert witness in the respective disciplines.
Note: Master’s degree or higher in one of the scientific fields noted above is desirable and may be substituted for one year of the required experience.
• Employees conducting forensic alcohol analyses must be eligible to conduct such work as specified by the State of California at the time of appointment
• California Driver’s License, Class C
• May require the successful completion of the annual proficiency testing as required by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)
Positions in this class typically require reaching, walking, fingering, feeling, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions. Standing, walking, and/or sitting for long periods, such as while conducting laboratory analyses. Possessing sufficient manual dexterity to manipulate and operate laboratory equipment. Visually distinguish color, shape, size, number, and picture resolution quality. Withstanding exposure to disagreeable elements such malodorous and/or decomposing samples, blood, bodily fluids, etc.
Medium Work: Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.