Criminalist I - Seized Drugs Section

(Grant Funded)

Recruitment #2108-6321-001


Founded in 1960, the Tucson Police Department Crime Laboratory is one of the oldest crime laboratories in Arizona and was one of the first municipal crime laboratories in the United States to gain national accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors-Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB). The mission of the crime laboratory is to provide our community with quality forensic science and excellent service.

This position is housed in the TPD Seized Drugs Unit, which supports the Tucson Police Department and the Counter Narcotics Alliance (CNA), a multi-agency collaborative task force composed of officers and special agents from local, state, and federal agencies. The work performed by the Criminalist I provides scientific evidence to TPD and the CNA, and produces reports, presents findings, conclusions, and evidence to courts of law.

This position is funded, as needed, by a recurring federal grant that is renewed annually contingent upon availability of government funding. In accordance with Civil Service Rules, Section 5 - Employment in Grant Funded Positions, any person employed by the City, who on initial entry into City employment under any type of appointment in a position specifically designated as funded in whole or in part through a grant from a public or private source, shall be informed in writing by the Director at the time of appointment, and the person shall acknowledge in writing, that the provisions have been read and understood that employment will cease at the termination of the grant regardless of the status of the employee and without regard to length of service. Persons so terminated are not entitled to any right of appeal. 27 CITY OF TUCSON CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION RULES AND REGULATIONS REVISED 10-31-14 RULE VI A grant funded employee may, subject to other provisions provided for by these rules, be transferred, promoted or demoted into a non-grant funded position and become subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Rules and Regulations governing other city employment. Permanent classified employees who have previously completed a probationary period in a non-grant funded position and are serving in a grant funded position are exempt from the requirements of this section. Employees paid through an annually recurring funding source as defined in Rule I, Section 3, are covered by the layoff provisions found in Rule VIII, Section 2. 

This is an exciting opportunity to support the Tucson community and to work with a collaborative team that supports the Tucson Police Department in examining evidence to verify and prove facts for resolution of criminal investigations.

Join our team today!

General Description

Performs scientific analysis of physical evidence, prepares written reports and provides expert testimony. Other duties include quality assurance, maintenance and utilization of scientific instrumentation.

Essential Functions

Performs scientific analysis of physical evidence by using chemical, instrumental and comparative techniques meeting the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) requirements, responding to crime scenes, documenting findings through extensive note taking and photographic methods, writing technical reports and providing expert testimony.

Processes evidence by logging the evidence into a computerized tracking system, and analyzing, repackaging and returning evidence to storage in a manner that maintains the integrity of the evidence and the safety of the individual with regards to blood borne pathogens and other toxins.

Oversees general instrument maintenance by performing troubleshooting of laboratory instruments, conducting periodic quality assurance and quality control checks including running standards and performing general maintenance in accordance with the ANSI National Accreditations Board (ANAB) requirements.

Provides expert testimony by discussing laboratory results with officers and attorneys, attending pre-trial conferences and testifying in court.

Remains current in scientific advancements in the forensic field by reading technical publications, making presentations, attending training seminars and providing general scientific information to personnel and agencies.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Education Level & Type: Bachelor’s Degree

Minimum Experience Qualifications: No experience

Special Job Requirements

The ideal candidate will possess the above minimum qualifications as well as relevant experience in the areas listed below:

  • Bachelor’s degree must be in a chemical, physical, or biological science or forensic science field
  • Must obtain Arizona Criminal Justice Information System Network Terminal Operator Certification within one year of hire
  • Successful completion of competency in testing modules and proficiency tests at the conclusion of the training program within one year of hire

Pre-Screen Questionnaire Instructions

The Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire is a fillable web form and can be found as a link below and in the supplemental questions when you apply. You must complete your application with the City of Tucson (COT) AND submit a completed Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire by the deadline to be considered for this job opening (both are required).

Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire link:

City of Tucson Job Posting Link:

The deadline to submit the COT application and the Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire is Monday, September 27, 2021, at 5:00 PM (Arizona Time). 

Completed Preliminary Applicant Questionnaires can only be submitted online. No other form of delivery will be accepted. You will need to type your responses into this web form document and submit into the system when prompted to do so in the supplemental question portion of the application. Please ensure you complete all the questions in the Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire. You may start and save, to complete and submit at a later time. If you utilize this save and close feature, a link will be emailed to you so you can return to where you left off. Do not return to the original link to complete the questionnaire. Doing so will require you to start over.

Please fully disclose all relevant information on the Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire. Discrepancies and omissions will be uncovered during an exhaustive background investigation, it is in your best interest to be truthful. One of the fundamental requirements of working in law enforcement is the ability of an individual to adhere to and demonstrate the highest legal and ethical standards. Unfortunately, it is our experience that a number of applicants will fail due to material omissions or untruthfulness. If you are untruthful, dishonest, knowingly omit, falsify, conceal, or obscure required information during any part of the application and hiring process, you will be PERMANENTLY DISQUALIFIED from ever being employed by the Tucson Police Department in ANY capacity. 

Selection Plan

As part of the online application process all applicants are required to submit their unofficial transcripts under the "College Transcript or Degree" tab AND resume under the "other" tab or email both documents to prior to the close date of the job posting.  Please ensure your application contains the required documents prior to submission.

Applications received without unofficial transcripts and resume will be considered incomplete and will not receive further consideration.

Applicants who successfully complete an employment application, meet minimum qualifications, and successfully complete the Preliminary Applicant Questionnaire by 5:00 PM (Arizona time) on September 27, 2021, will be evaluated on the education and work experience in their employment profile and the responses to their supplemental questions. The highest scoring applicants will then be invited to participate in an oral board interview. Up to, but no more than twenty (20) applicants will be invited to virtual oral board interviews.

  • Virtual Oral Board Interviews will be held: October 21 - 22, 2021

Applicants invited to the virtual oral board interview will be invited to participate via Microsoft Teams. Applicants will need to ensure they have a web camera, microphone, and a reliable internet connection to participate in the virtual oral board interview process. 

Upon completion of all examination processes, the highest scoring applicants will be placed on the Civil Service Employment List that will be used to fill vacancies occurring within the next (6) months. A candidate’s ranking on the Civil Service List will be based on their final score which will be calculated as:   

  • 10% of your rating for education and work experience
  • 90% of your oral board interview   

The highest scoring candidates placed on the Civil Service Employment List may be invited to participate in a selection interview. If candidates are invited to the selection interview, they will be asked to participate via Microsoft Teams.

  • Selection interviews may be held the week of November 1, 2021  

Veterans, Native American, or Disability preference points will be added to the final score for those that are placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  If you qualify for preference points as outlined in the Employment Profile, you must upload your documentation as part of the application process or email it to The DD 214 must be a copy that indicates characterization of service.  

If you are in need of Americans with Disabilities Act-related accommodation during the testing process, please call Demetria Lopez at (520) 837-7755 at least 48 hours prior to the evaluation.

Candidates placed on the Employment List must successfully pass the following:

  • An extensive background investigation, including local, state and national criminal and fingerprint checks
  • Motor Vehicle History         
  • Pre-employment medical and psychological evaluations

**The City of Tucson values the safety of our employees, our residents, our community, and our visitors.  In support of these values, if you are selected for this job, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except when vaccination is not medically advised or violates your sincerely held religious beliefs. If you are invited to join our team, you must submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to your initial HR representative, or you must request an exemption from your representative. New employees must either provide proof of vaccination or be granted a medical or religious exemption before working with the City of Tucson.**


You are highly encouraged to print and save this bulletin as a PDF, because it contains important testing dates and information that you will need to refer to later, as it will not be available after the closing date.

CONTACTS: Communications throughout this process will be sent via email exclusively so please ensure your browser accepts emails from and check your email account regularly. Failure to respond or follow instructions will result in disqualification.   

All email inquiries should be directed to the individuals listed below:    

Demetria Z. Lopez, 520.837.7755 or email:

Jennifer Urbina, 520.837.7762 or email:

Chalis Ruiz, 520.837.4176 or email:  

Pre-employment Medical Testing Requirements

Basic Physical

Hep B Vaccine/Titer

Blood Lead/ZPP

Non-NIDA Drug Test

**The City of Tucson values the safety of our employees, our residents, our community, and our visitors.  In support of these values, if you are selected for this job, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except when vaccination is not medically advised or violates your sincerely held religious beliefs. If you are invited to join our team, you must submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to your initial HR representative, or you must request an exemption from your representative. New employees must either provide proof of vaccination or be granted a medical or religious exemption before working with the City of Tucson.**

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To ensure accurate payroll information for tax purposes, the successful candidate will need to provide their original Social Security Card or original letter from the Social Security Administration with their social security number prior to beginning work with the City of Tucson.

The City of Tucson hires lawful workers only - US citizens or nationals and non-citizens with valid work authorization - without discrimination. Federal immigration laws require all employers to verify both the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States. In its efforts to meet the law's requirements, the City of Tucson participates in the E-Verify program established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to aid employers in verifying the eligibility of workers.

Retired City of Tucson employees receiving benefits from the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System who are considering reemployment with the City should be aware that pursuant to Section 22-37(g) of the Tucson City Code, retirement benefits shall be suspended during the period of reemployment with the City of Tucson unless you have been separated at least twelve consecutive months before returning to work AND you return to a non-permanent employment classification. Creditable service does not accrue during any reemployment period.

Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet.