csi technician

Posted by rasheeda rasheeda
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i live in philadelphia pa,im trying to find out if i have to become a police officer to become a crime scene technician or a criminalist?im hearing different stories that i have to be a police officer and then again i dont! what i dont understand is why do they offer college courses for criminal justice but turn around and say i have to become a police officer,i minds as well become a cop a save my money that i will be spending on college.i really really really dont want to become a cop.(not my cup of tea)im totally confused at this point!!! can someone help me please.

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Brenda Brenda
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Re: csi technician

You read my mind. I came on this forum hoping to find out the same answer. I do not want to be a police officer, some states do hire "civilian" crime scene techs. I live in Oregon and some of the major cities hire techs but not entry level positions (that is what I need) I have a 4 year degree but no experience. My understanding to be a criminalist you need a masters degree AND experience....let me know what you find out ok?
carlaCSI carlaCSI
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Re: csi technician

In reply to this post by rasheeda
Some departments have a commissioned crime lab.  What that means is that they are police officers who have put their time in and they have chosen to work as a CSI.  The department I work for does not require that we are commissioned.  The only requirement is that we have a Bachelors degree; however most of us have a Master's degree as well.
I would suggest that you research the departments that do not require that you are a commissioned officer and then find out their requirements for becoming a CSI. Ask if you can do a ride along with their department and get a feel of what it is like.  For instance for every 1 hour on a crime scene you can expect to do at least 1.50 hours of paperwork; more if it is a homicide or death investigation.  Read as much as you can about being a CSI and gain a general knowledge of the basics.  Locard's theory of exchange, basic evidence collection, photography and diagramming.  
If you find that working crime scenes is not your cup of tea (it can be hot, stinky, and gross! I just worked a case where I was getting evidence out of a pile of brain goo) then consider being a latent print examiner, working in the photography lab or being a firearms examiner.
There are many areas within the criminal justice field that may be just for you.  Research, make contacts and ask questions.  
Remember that real life CSI is not like TV CSI...at all!
Hope this helps you!