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Police Identification and Records Officers
SOC Code: 33-3021.02

Collect evidence at crime scene, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.

Sample of reported job titles: Crime Scene Evidence Technician, Crime Scene Investigator, Crime Scene Technician, Criminalist, Field Identification Specialist, Forensic Specialist, Identification Officer, Identification Technician, Latent Fingerprint Examiner, Latent Print Examiner

Tasks

  • Maintain records of evidence and write and review reports.
  • Package, store and retrieve evidence.
  • Submit evidence to supervisors, crime labs, or court officials for legal proceedings.
  • Testify in court and present evidence.
  • Analyze and process evidence at crime scenes, during autopsies, or in the laboratory, wearing protective equipment and using powders and chemicals.
  • Look for trace evidence, such as fingerprints, hairs, fibers, or shoe impressions, using alternative light sources when necessary.
  • Photograph crime or accident scenes for evidence records.
  • Dust selected areas of crime scene and lift latent fingerprints, adhering to proper preservation procedures.
  • Create sketches and diagrams by hand or with computer software to depict crime scenes.
  • Serve as technical advisor and coordinate with other law enforcement workers or legal personnel to exchange information on crime scene collection activities.
  • Coordinate or conduct instructional classes or in-services, such as citizen police academy classes and crime scene training for other officers.
  • Interview victims, witnesses, suspects, and other law enforcement personnel.
  • Process film and prints from crime or accident scenes.
  • Perform emergency work during off-hours.
  • Identify, compare, classify, and file fingerprints, using systems such as Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) or the Henry Classification System.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - DataWorks Plus Digital CrimeScene; Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS; National Crime Information Center NCIC database; National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN (see all 5 examples)
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; Digital Image Management Solutions Crime Scene; Microsoft Visio ; The CAD Zone The Crime Zone (see all 12 examples)
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Alcohol analysers - Breathalyzers
  • Axes
  • Binocular light compound microscopes - Compound light microscopes
  • Biological evidence collection kits - Blood collection kits; Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA collection kits
  • Biometric identification equipment - Fingerprint scanners
  • Bolt cutters
  • Bullet proof vests - Bulletproof vests
  • Camera lens - Camera lens filters; Orange filter lenses; Polarized filter lenses; Wide angle camera lenses (see all 7 examples)
  • Claw hammer - Claw hammers
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras - Digital video cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Distance meters - Electronic measuring devices
  • Fingerprint applicators or brushes - Fingerprint brushes
  • Fingerprint latent print kits - Fingerprint evidence kits
  • Footprint lifters - Electrostatic dust lifters; Impression casting kits
  • Footwear covers - Footwear protectors
  • Forensic magnifiers - Magnifying glasses; Ridge counters
  • Fume hoods or cupboards - Fume hoods
  • Gas generators - Power generators
  • Geological compasses
  • Hacksaw - Hacksaws
  • Handheld thermometer - Handheld digital thermometers
  • Hazardous material protective apparel - Biohazard suits
  • Infrared lamps - Infrared light sources
  • Instant print cameras
  • Laboratory scalpels - Evidence collection scalpels
  • Laboratory scissors - Evidence scissors
  • Laboratory tools - Evidence tweezers
  • Laboratory vials - Glass evidence vials
  • Lasers - Laser trajectory pointers; Portable lasers
  • Locking pliers - Vise grip pliers
  • Masks or accessories - Filter masks
  • Measuring wheels for distance - Distance measuring wheels
  • Metal detectors
  • Microscope slides
  • Narcotic test kits - Drug testing kits
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers; Mobile data computers
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers - Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Portable data input terminals - Handheld evidence collection computers
  • Protective gloves
  • Pry bars
  • Pullers - Automobile door handle removers
  • Respirators
  • Rulers - Crime scene rulers
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdrivers - Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
  • Shovels
  • Socket sets - Socket wrench sets
  • Still cameras - 35 millimeter cameras
  • Tape measures - Crime scene tape measures
  • Two way radios
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps - High wavelength ultraviolet UV light; Low wavelength ultraviolet UV light
  • Utility knives
  • Wire cutters
  • Wood chisels

Knowledge

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Interests

  • Interest code: CRI
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 87% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 87% responded “Very important results.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 86% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 86% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone - 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 89% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 77% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Contact With Others - 78% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 74% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 77% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 49% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 55% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 37% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Time Pressure - 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 36% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 41% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 38% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections - 29% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 55% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
28%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $38.45 hourly, $79,970 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 111,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 7,500

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