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ISP Forensic Scientist 2 and ISP Forensic Scientist 1 - DNA Discipline

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Posting Begin Date: 2024/03/08
Posting End Date: 2024/03/24
Category: Forensics
Sub Category: Law Enforcement
Work Type: Full Time
Location: Meridian, ID, United States
Minimum Salary: 25.20
Maximum Salary: 50.05
Pay Rate Type: Hourly

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Description



Idaho State Police –  Meridian, Idaho

State of Idaho Limited Service Opportunity

This announcement is being used to fill up to two DNA positions. These will either be Forensic Scientist 2 (FS2) or Forensic Scientist 1 (FS1) positions as an underfill. If you are interested in being considered for these positions you must apply under this announcement.  

This is a full-time state position supported by grant funding through the US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) and DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Grant Programs. This limited service full-time position does include State of Idaho benefits that can be reviewed at https://dhr.idaho.gov/StateEmployees/Benefits.html

The Idaho State Police (ISP) Forensic Scientist 2 (FS2) position is the second level in a series of increasingly technical forensic science positions, possessing expertise in one or more forensic science specialty areas. Incumbents are expected to meet requirements and successfully undergo routine proficiency testing and certification specific to their discipline. Pay range for the FS2 is $29.03 to $50.05 per hour.

The Forensic Scientist 1 (FS1) is an entry-level position, which will work under the direct supervision of a more experienced Forensic Scientist. The incumbent may be certified as an FS2 upon successful completion of a specified training program and two (2) years experience in the FS1 position (or) demonstration of meeting the minimum qualifications and qualifying work experience of an FS2 position and a six-month probationary period of 1,040 hours. Pay will be adjusted accordingly at the time the incumbent is certified as a FS2. Pay range for the FS1 is $25.20 to $39.38 per hour.

Candidate will be required to obtain specialty certification by the American Board of Criminalistics in Forensic DNA within three (3) years of being selected for or promoted to a Forensic Scientist 2 position.

Incumbents routinely handle toxic/carcinogenic chemicals and biological hazards. Circumstances may require physical exertion and the ability to lift heavy objects. They must pass a rigorous physical examination in order to participate in clandestine laboratory investigations. This may include periodic biological and medical testing.

All Idaho State Police Forensic Laboratories are accredited to the ISO 17025 Standard. State Police Forensic Laboratories serve state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies; state and county prosecutors; and public defenders. 

You must attach your official transcripts to this application by the closing date. Applications without the supporting transcripts will not be accepted. Your detailed resume outlining your education and experience must also be attached to this application by the closing date.

PLEASE NOTE: The successful applicant will be required to complete a background investigation and polygraph examination, which includes drug screening. Please review the ISP Drug Policy and ISP Grooming and Appearance Standards.

The candidate selected for hire will be required to submit a DNA sample after starting work. The DNA profile generated from the sample will be entered into the Idaho State Police Forensic Services staff DNA elimination database. This DNA database is used to identify any instances of contamination of evidence by staff members.

Learn more about a career of a lifetime with the Idaho State Police and how the State of Idaho can be your forever home.

EXAMPLE OF DUTIES ISP Forensic Scientist 2:

Scientific Analyses

  • All duties of the Forensic Scientist 1
  • Conduct complex examinations of evidence and/or individual characteristic database samples
  • May optionally respond to crime scenes, clandestine laboratories, and autopsies to provide assistance, knowledge and expertise; this may include assistance with recognizing, documenting, and collecting evidence/samples. If approved for crime scene or clandestine laboratory response must complete the specialized training program associated with approval to respond

Training 

  • Complete any required training on new techniques or instrumentation
  • Train Forensic Scientists 1 in the utilization of analytical techniques and methods of scientific analyses utilized in the specific discipline
  • Train police officers in collection and packaging of evidence
  • Provide background information training for police officers, attorneys, and general public

 Communication/courtroom testimony

  • All duties of the Forensic Scientist 1
  • Interpret findings for prosecutors and defense attorneys 
  • Prepare attorneys for presentation of expert's findings
  • Testify as an expert witness in trials and other criminal hearings 
  • Qualified to offer opinions and answer hypothetical questions
  • Train police officers in collection and packaging of evidence; provide background information training for police officers, attorneys, medical personnel and general public as assigned 

 Administrative Duties

  • Respond to supervisors, technical leaders and headquarters staff for review and planning of programs, policies, manuals, and quality audits
  • Provide statistical information
  • Create goals, objectives, and employee development plan

Biology/DNA Casework

  • Performs biological screening and DNA analyses on forensic samples 
  • Performs mixture interpretation and uses mixture interpretation software 
  • Interprets DNA profiles and makes comparisons of DNA profiles
  • Authors reports on forensic biology screening and forensic DNA analysis Performs technical review of screening and DNA reports
  • Testifies in court about forensic biology screening and DNA analysis
  • Imports casework samples into CODIS and evaluates potential matches. (COmbined DNA Index System) and evaluates potential matches. CODIS the software used to operate local, state and national DNA database enabling laboratories to provide additional investigative leads

Minimum qualifications ISP Forensic Scientist 2:

Education:

A Forensic Scientist 2 must hold a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree in a physical or biological science from an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution

  • Acceptable institutions are those accredited by or those which have pertinent educational programs accredited by commissions or agencies recognized by the U.S. Office of Education
  • The education of each employee shall be verified prior to being hired by Forensic Services 
  • A copy of the college transcript (including specific required coursework) and proof of graduation for all personnel with education requirements listed in the Minimum Qualification (MQ) Specialties section must be provided to ISPFS. Successful completion of a course means a college or university defined passing grade
  • Degree must be in a biology or chemistry related science. Must have successfully completed a minimum of seventeen (17) semester (or 26 quarter) units of chemistry or biology related college level coursework. Coursework must include at least one course each in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and statistics or population genetics totaling 12 semesters (or 14 quarter) units
  • When performing DNA analysis and where applicable, analysts shall meet the educational requirements of the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories (coursework hours as required/stipulated by the current ISPFS Quality Manual and current applicable Quality Assurance Standard)
  • Must have a minimum of two (2) years’ experience performing forensic biology screening and/or DNA casework
  • Will be required to obtain specialty certification by the American Board of Criminalistics in Molecular Biology within three (3) years of being selected for or promoted to a Forensic Scientist 2 position

Experience:

  • Two (2) years of qualifying work experience in the specified discipline. Qualifying work experience includes:
    • Working independently, planning, managing, and prioritizing caseloads or individual characteristic database samples (as applicable), successfully engaging in independent research, evaluation, and validation activities
    • Performing and documenting a range of examinations regarding forensic evidence 
    • Providing training and consultation services to professional criminal justice and scientific audience
    • Testifying as an expert regarding the forensic examinations performed in the specified discipline
    • Must have a minimum of two (2) years’ experience performing forensic biology screening and/or DNA casework
    • Will be required to obtain specialty certification by the American Board of Criminalistics in Molecular Biology within three (3) years of being selected for or promoted to a Forensic Scientist 2 position

Desirable qualifications:

    • B.S or Graduate degree in biological science 
    • Certification with the American Board of Criminalistics
    • Member of related professional forensic science organization(s)
    • Experience performing audits under the FBI's DNA quality assurance standards and/or ISO 17025 standards
    • Experience using automation as it applies to the analysis of DNA samples in a forensic laboratory
    • Experience using CODIS as an analyst or administrator and knowledge of the NDIS operational procedures as applied to DNA eligibility requirements

    EXAMPLE OF DUTIES ISP Forensic Scientist 1:

    Scientific Analyses

    • Employ various methods of scientific analysis to make determinations regarding samples submitted as evidence in criminal cases or for individual characteristic database entry 
    • Assume responsibility for and maintain the integrity of evidence
    • Interpret scientific data and ensure validity 
    • Author and issue laboratory reports
    • Perform technical review and/or technical verification or others work
    • Maintain established standards of laboratory cleanliness, safety, and efficiency 
    • Perform routine maintenance of laboratory instruments and equipment 
    • Maintain specific levels of proficiency and certification in assigned discipline(s) 
    • Demonstrate proficiency through routine proficiency testing
    • May optionally respond to crime scenes, clandestine laboratories, and autopsies to provide assistance, knowledge and expertise, this may include assistance with recognizing, documenting, and collecting evidence/samples for analysis. If approved for crime scene or clandestine laboratory response must complete the specialized training program associated with approval to respond

    Training

    • Work closely with advanced forensic scientists to complete the discipline specific specialized training program
    • Acquire new skills and improve techniques, perform scientific analysis per the current laboratory protocol, gain greater knowledge of scientific instrumentation

    Communication/courtroom testimony

    • Provide detailed explanations/testimony regarding the methods of analysis performed and communicate and support the results of analysis
    • Demonstrate concepts and teach cutting-edge technology in courtroom settings 
    • Educate officers, attorneys, and investigators
    • Instruct in the proper techniques and procedures used to collect, maintain, and submit evidence

    Administrative duties

    • Respond to supervisors, technical leaders and headquarters staff for review and planning of programs, policies, manuals, and quality audits
    • Provide statistical information
    • Create goals, objectives, and employee development plan

    Biology/DNA Casework

    • Preparation of reagents, supply ordering, and all technician tasks as assigned
    • Duties may also include:
      • Performs biological screening and DNA analyses on forensic samples
      • Performs mixture interpretation and uses mixture interpretation software
      • Interprets DNA profiles and makes comparisons of DNA profiles
      • Authors reports on forensic biology screening and forensic DNA analysis
      • Performs technical review of screening and DNA reports
      • Testifies in court about forensic biology screening and DNA analysis
      • Imports casework samples into CODIS (COmbined DNA Index System) and evaluates potential matches. CODIS the software used to operate local, state and national DNA database enabling laboratories to provide additional investigative leads.

    Minimum Qualifications:

    A Forensic Scientist 1 must hold a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree in a physical or biological science from an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution.

    • Acceptable institutions are those accredited by or those which have pertinent educational programs accredited by commissions or agencies recognized by the U.S. Office of Education
    • The education of each employee shall be verified prior to being hired by Forensic Services
    • A copy of the college transcript (including specific required coursework) and proof of graduation for all personnel with education requirements listed in the Minimum Qualification (MQ) Specialties section must be provided to ISPFS. Successful completion of a course means a college or university defined passing grade
    • Degree must be in a biology or chemistry related science . Must have successfully completed a minimum of seventeen (17) semester (or 26 quarter) units of chemistry or biology related college level coursework . Coursework must include at least one course each in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and statistics or population genetics totaling 12 semesters (or 14 quarter) units
    • When performing DNA analysis and where applicable, analysts shall meet the educational requirements of the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories (coursework hours as required/stipulated by the current ISPFS Quality Manual and current applicable Quality Assurance Standard)

    Desirable qualifications:

      • B.S or Graduate degree in biological science
      • Qualifying work experience in forensic DNA casework or DNA database
      • Certification with the American Board of Criminalistics
      • Member of related professional forensic science organization(s)
      • Experience performing audits under the FBl's DNA quality assurance standards and /or ISO 17025 standards
      • Experience using automation as it applies to the analysis of DNA samples in a forensic laboratory
      • Experience using CODIS as an analyst or administrator and knowledge of the NDIS operational procedures as applied to DNA eligibility requirements
      • Experience using probabilistic genotyping software
      NOTE: the successful candidate is required to obtain certification by the American Board of Criminalistics within three (3) years of being selected/promoted for the position of Forensic Scientist 2 (if not currently certified).

      SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:

      Applicants with education obtained at a foreign institution must, at their expense, have credentials evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., Milwaukee, WI; International Education Research Foundation, Inc., Culver City, CA; or World Education Services, Inc., New York, NY. Reports must be sent directly to ISP Human Resources by the evaluating organization.

      ISP has a salary plan called Project CHOICE (Creating Hope, Opportunity, and Incentive for Career Employment) designed to provide incentives for recruitment and retention. The Project CHOICE plan distributes pay increases to employees for the attainment of certificates and other achievements relevant to their job class and the ISP mission. The purpose of Project CHOICE is to attract potential applicants to the ISP workforce, retain the workforce already in place, and reward employees who take on additional duties or tasks, and who work to better themselves in academic and professional settings.

      Forensic scientists and lab management personnel earn CHOICE pay increases for a variety of discipline specific achievements related to skill acquisition. A few of these are listed below:

      • Bachelor Degree - $1.25/hour
      • Master Degree - $1.75/hour
      • Doctorate - $2.25/hour (only the highest college degree attained is awarded)
      • Completion of Probation/Independent Casework- $1.00/hour
      • Proficiency Test in two Disciplines - $.30/hour Clan Lab/Crime Scene - $.45/hour
      • Serve as an ISO 17025 or ISO 17020 Assessor - $.30/hour
      • Forensics Specialty Areas Certification: $.50/hour for up to 2 areas of expertise 

        • American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) Diplomate
        • ABC Fellow in a Specialty
        • International Association for Identification (IAI) Latent Fingerprint Analyst 
        • Association of Firearm & Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) Firearms Examiner or equivalent
        • American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) or equivalent 
        • IAI Footwear Examiner
      • Lab Safety Officer - $.30/hour
      • Deputy Quality Manager - $.30/hour 
      • CODIS Administrator - $.30/hour

      Benefits:

      The State of Idaho offers a robust total compensation package, including medical, vision, and dental insurance; PERSI retirement benefits; paid sick, vacation, and parental leave; and 11 paid holidays per year. For additional information related to benefits and/or State programs, please visit https://dhr.idaho.gov/StateEmployees/Benefits.html.*

      EEO/ADA/Veteran:

      The State of Idaho is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, political affiliation or belief, sex, national origin, genetics, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.

      The State of Idaho is committed to access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, auxiliary aids and services are available upon request. If you require an accommodation at any step in our recruitment process, you are encouraged to contact (208) 334-2263 (TTY/TTD: 711), or email [email protected].

      Preference may be given to veterans who qualify under state and federal laws and regulations.

        *Benefits may not be applicable for temporary or seasonal positions.

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