CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 104
Established: 03/88; 5/15
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 4

EVIDENCE TECHNICIAN

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under direction, to perform technical and analytical work in collecting, preserving, examining, identifying, analyzing and processing physical evidence as a means for the arrest and conviction of criminals; to testify and present evidence in courts of law; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The Sheriff's Office patrols County roads and rivers, investigates crimes, conducts search and rescue operations, and operates the County jail. The Sheriff's jurisdiction includes the unincorporated areas of the County and within cities which contract for law enforcement services.

The Evidence Technician performs specialized, scientific investigations involving the identification, preservation and analysis of physical evidence. Incumbents are assigned to a specialty unit, typically Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) or Collision Reconstruction and Forensic Team (CRAFT).

The Evidence Technician differs from Detective who performs skilled criminal investigative activities, including interrogating/questioning suspects and witnesses to gather information and performing undercover operations.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Searches, examines, evaluates and processes scenes for physical evidence; identifies and preserves physical evidence; photographs scenes and other physical evidence; preserves pictorial depiction of the at-scene evidence; marks and collects evidence, and prepares for transport.
  2. Provide expert testimony in courts of law regarding specialized area of specialty (fingerprint and palm print identification; traffic accident investigation and scene reconstruction; computer forensics); prepares evidence exhibits for prosecution of cases; marks and controls copies of data and/or exhibits.
  3. Incumbents may functionally supervise or train assigned Deputy Sheriffs; conducts in-service roll call training for law enforcement in methods and techniques of police identification, procedures and preservation of evidence, and information on changes in techniques and technology in area of specialty.
  4. Performs other duties as assigned by supervisor including assisting on criminal search warrants, investigations, interviews, and other law enforcement related activities as assigned.
  5. Submits case with proper charges to District Attorney’s office for consideration of criminal action;
  6. Attends autopsies of crime victims and suspects; records injuries and other items of evidence with photographs; collects and records the finger-palm-foot prints of the deceased for identification purposes; seizes evidence, including blood, hair and urine; identifies and measures trauma marks found on deceased; takes gun shot residue samples and/or fingernail scrapings as needed; examines remains of deceased in various degrees of decomposition, desiccation and maceration utilizing various techniques appropriate for the condition of the deceased.
  7. Performs standard chemical treatments to collected evidence; makes plastic or latex casts of impressions such as tool marks, tire marks, foot prints;
  8. Prepares/packages evidence for transmittal to state and other forensic crime laboratories.

Duties within Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Unit also include:

  1. Discovers, identifies and processes latent prints and impressions; examines the physical evidence for latent fingerprints using regular and macrophotography, fingerprint dust and fingerprint brushes, and chemical treatments including iodine, ninhydrin, silver nitrate and super glue; examines and evaluates latent fingerprints submitted as evidence to determine sufficient ridge detail for identification purposes; classifies and searches latent and ink fingerprints through a computer fingerprint retrieval system; compares latent fingerprints against ink print cards; files latent prints under pattern types and by case numbers.

Duties within Collision Reconstruction and Forensic Team (CRAFT) Unit also include:

  1. Investigates serious injury (alcohol/drugs involved), fatal, and officer involved injury traffic collisions; examines and evaluates traffic accident scenes; evaluates vehicle deformation and human kinetics relating to collisions; records on-scene measurements using a surveyor land based total station instrument and data collector; collects "black box" vehicle pre-crash and post-crash information using specialized computer software and hardware systems; properly identifies pre- and post- tire marks, gouges, chips and scrapes.
  2. Determines vehicle movement and speed using specialized computer software; reconstructs and animates vehicle collisions and crime scenes; reviews police reports, witness statements and related information to determine likelihood of successful civil or criminal prosecution; consults with attorneys, claims representatives and law enforcement personnel on the nature of evidence and assists with their understanding of the dynamics of the collision.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Thorough knowledge of: Criminal investigation theories, techniques, procedures and practices for collection, preservation, and identification of physical evidence and its use in the courts system; criminal law and vehicle codes of Oregon; court procedures and the rules of evidence in criminal law; search and seizure; law enforcement regulations and procedures;
CSI: fingerprint classification principles and methods, practices, records and equipment.
CRAFT: vehicle deformation and human kinematics relating to collisions; collision reconstruction; mathematical applications of traffic reconstruction; fundamentals of traffic engineering.

Working knowledge of: Law enforcement investigation techniques; operating principles, techniques, processes, and materials used in photography, photoprocessing, and related reproduction work; computer operating methods and procedures; crime definitions and elements of crimes; digital video and still photography equipment; use, operations and safety procedures related specialized equipment for area of specialty.

Skill to: Analyze situations accurately and make sound decisions; exercise appropriate judgment in answering questions and releasing information; organize, analyze and present data with scientific accuracy; provide expert testimony and testify effectively in a court of law; prepare reports; research databases; effectively operate specialized equipment related to area of specialty; locate, mark, seize, preserve, and interpret evidence with consideration of chain-of-custody preservation; analyze situations accurately, applying selected knowledge and reaching sound decisions; observe, assimilate, remember and accurately recall facts and details; comprehend, evaluate and interpret written information such as laws, ordinances, orders, technical manuals and other information related to area of specialty; establish and maintain effective working relationships with individuals, co-workers, law enforcement agencies and the public; communicate effectively both orally and in writing; prepare accurate reports; instruct police officers in evidence identification techniques and other areas of specialty; effectively incorporate and use existing and new technology and equipment in area of specialty;
CSI: read and interpret fingerprint evidence in an efficient and timely manner; operate a variety of photographic and photo processing equipment and surveillance equipment; perform limited chemical analysis; reproduce finger and palm prints from bodies in different degrees of decomposition.
CRAFT: determine dynamics of vehicle collision or personal injury; anticipate allegations to defend against or prosecute those allegations.

WORKING CONDITIONS

Tasks are performed in a variety of settings depending on assigned specialty, including office, outdoor environments, in a vehicle, and may involve moderately strenuous physical activity. Duties involve exposure to unpleasant elements of death scenes such as handling, removing and analyzing persons who are deceased as a result of traffic crashes and notification of families of traffic deaths.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Must be certified as a Basic Police Officer by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). Possession of a valid driver's license. Incumbents must possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.
Must pass a pre-employment drug test.
Must be willing to work evenings and weekends as required.

CSI positions require graduation from an approved fingerprint and palm print school with basic, intermediate and advanced coursework; DNA and blood spatter evidence coursework; Oregon State Medical Examiner's Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator course; crime scene photography coursework.

CRAFT positions require graduation from an approved accident reconstruction school with basic, intermediate and advanced coursework; Oregon State Medical Examiner's Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator course; crime scene photography coursework; ability and physical capacity to learn and perform rappelling.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

Promotional opportunity within the Sheriff’s Department. Minimum standards in order to be eligible to compete in the recruitment process are: two years experience as Deputy Sheriff (103) or Detective (105) or combination of the two with the two most recent consecutive performance evaluations documenting performance that meets Sheriff's Office minimum acceptable standards.

OTHER INFORMATION

The individual selected to train for this promotional opportunity will be provided formal academic training as well as on-the-job training opportunities designed to qualify the individual for promotional advancement. The Evidence Technician Trainee will continue to be classified and paid as a Deputy Sheriff (103) or Detective (105) during the one year training period. After documented completion of training, the incumbent will be placed on the promotional register for Evidence Technician.