Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

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Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

Maggie
I am very interested in becoming a crime scene tech. It is something that has always been a dream of mine. I am 28 years old and a mother of 2, and recently decided that I would like to pursue my dream. I know I am getting a late start at this, but would appreciate any advise on what steps I should take. I know there are varied positions in this field, and varied requirements for every job, but any advise on where to start would be helpful. Thank you.
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

csi_Victoria
It seems we have alot in common, I am also 28 and have four year old twins.  I have been going to school for over a year now with Kaplan university.  I will graduate with my associates in criminal justice next february.  It seems kind of daunting at first, but once you get in school you get so much motivation to succed.  I take all online classes and it works wonderfull for me.  I can do my school work while my kids are napping or after they go to bed.  As far as the requirements for the job, that varies between police departments.  Some require a bachelors degree and 2-4 years experience, others just an associates.  And then others require you be a police officer for 1-4 years prior to being able to transfer to the crime scene division.  You will need to do alot of research and phone calls.  If you live in a big city start by looking to see if your police department has a website.  Some of them have lots of information including the hiring procedures and the length of time required before transfering to specialty assignments.  If they don't have this info on their website call and ask to speak to someone in the hiring department.  You can just call and say I have some questions about hiring procedures.  They can direct you to the person you need to talk to.  Tell them what your wanting and ask as many questions as you can think of.  You can also go down yourself and ask to speak to someone.  I would suggest getting in school soon if this is indeed what you want to do. It is going to take you at least two years for your schooling and ifyou are this interested in doing this you want to get a head start on this.  Good luck and tell me if there is anything else you want to know.  I might be able to answer your questions.  
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

wal1809
In reply to this post by Maggie
My advice is to get a degree!!  I also believe in street experience.  No scholl can put in your head what the streets can teach you.  I rode shop for 19 years before I went into crime scene.  They are two totally different worlds but the 19 years of patrol is where I recieved the best training.  Id your serious about crime scene then it can happen.  You have some serious dues to pay and I don't mean just school.  Even with a degree your in competition with a lot of others who want crime scene just as bad as you do.  Get school out of the way, become a cop and then gear your in service training towards crime scene.  Give it some time and you will learn the tiny world of the police system.  You might here of a job with another department, your department might put you on.  Stay with it and someday you will wind up where you want to be.

I know it sucks but you have to look at it from the department's side.  A juror is automatically drawn to a person delivering testimony when asked "How many years ahve you been a policeman".  The more years you can claim the better they like you.  Then you go through the training you have recieved and they are about everything you have to say.  It gives a lot of credibility in your testimony.  You can be the most educated person but with no street experience you are shooting your self in the foot right away.  You better have a CV that is better than anyone else testifying.  Good luck on your journey.
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

danny900
In reply to this post by Maggie
 If you want to be a Crime Scene Technician you usually need less formal education. Some agencies require you be a sworn police officer before becoming a Crime Scene Investigator--most do not.
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

donpenven
In reply to this post by Maggie
Hi Maggie: You have many options. Many municipalities are now hiring civilian CSI's since there is a difference in salary ranges. Either sworn or civilian, you can pick up some great training online. St Leo's College and Kaplan come to mind. Even Boston Univ has a great CJ degree program.

Home study may be the best option for you.

Don
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

Don Penven
In reply to this post by Maggie
Maggie: While you are making up your mind as to what course to follow you can pick up some good CSI info from my blog. It jet went active last week and I have posted articles on CS in general and latent fingerprints.

All the best

Don
HM
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

HM
As others have said, with many departments, being an officer first is considered mandatory.  The places though to look for a civilian crime scene investigator are Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, DC, Virginia, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina.  These places have a higher percentage of job opportunties in the field.

I earned a bachelor of sciene in Criminal Justice 3 years ago, graduated summa cum laude, and did what would be considered a concentration in forensic investigation - criminal psychology, profiling, victimology, scene analysis and investigation, processing, document examination, laws of evidence, blood spatter, and among what seems like 1000 other field topics.  What I have found is that at the moment, its extremely difficult to get a job in this field, regardless of what your school tells you.  Its not always that easy.  Even with 15 years of art (with awards), some forensic anthroplogy experience along with some paleontology, archeology, natural talent etc, and still can't get my foot in the door. Hopefully someone will see this and say hey, I'll hire you... :D
tan
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

tan
Regarding this, I am currently in the military and I have certifications regarding this type of career field and have over a year of fingering printing both in the collection and matching fingerprints through AFIS and other databases and detection of narcotics and explosives, and also cell phone exploitation and computer exploitation. Would I need other certifications to become a crime scene investigation technician. Any info would be great as I will be getting out soon and looking for a job in this career field. Thanks
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

Steve Staggs
Administrator
In reply to this post by Maggie

Maggie--

There are some suggestions on the Becoming a Crime Scene Investigator page on this website.

Maggie wrote
I am very interested in becoming a crime scene tech. ...any advise on where to start would be helpful.

--Steve

Webmaster
Crime Scene Investigator Network
http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

AKCSI
In reply to this post by tan
Tan:  According to what I have been told in the Arizona law enforcement field, you, as military, as long as you have a "clean" record with them and you are honorably discharged they would hire you with what you have already achieved over any person over the age of 30 that would have a Master's Degree in Forensic Science.  They might have some "baggage", however small, in their past that a defense attorney would love to pick at, where as you, assuming you are fairly young and have had the military as your career, would be way more unlikely to have "baggage" since the military is so strict.

Good luck!  So far you are the only one I have seen on here that seem to have a very high advantage at getting into the field.
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Re: Becoming a Crime Scene Tech

AKCSI
In reply to this post by tan
Tan:  According to what I have been told in the Arizona law enforcement field, you, as military, as long as you have a "clean" record with them and you are honorably discharged they would hire you with what you have already achieved over any person over the age of 30 that would have a Master's Degree in Forensic Science.  They might have some "baggage", however small, in their past that a defense attorney would love to pick at, where as you, assuming you are fairly young and have had the military as your career, would be way more unlikely to have "baggage" since the military is so strict.

Good luck!  So far you are the only one I have seen on here that seem to have a very high advantage at getting into the field.