Forensic Evidence Specialist

Department

Office of the Medical Examiner

Preferred Qualifications

An Associate’s degree in Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, Biology, Chemistry, or other related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted, but a minimum of 24 credit hours must be in the area of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Chemistry, Biology, or other related course work as it applies to the Duties, Knowledge and Skills of this Job.

Job Summary

Under limited supervision, provide a variety of support tasks in the Office of the Medical Examiner. This includes but is not limited to receiving evidence from law enforcement agencies; inspecting evidence for proper labeling and packaging; recording evidence received into the Laboratory Information Management System; transferring evidence to Forensic Scientists for analysis; storage and return of evidence upon completion of analysis. Court appearance may be required to testify as to the procedures followed during handling of the evidence.

Duties:

  • Receive, document, store and ensure proper custody and control of physical evidence/property in the custody of the Medical Examiner’s Office.
  • Safeguard and maintain the integrity of all evidence and chain of custody as per the policies and procedures of the Medical Examiner’s Office.
  • Coordinate activity between submitting agencies and the Medical Examiner’s Office in the receipt, return, and handling of evidence.
  • Act as an interface between the Laboratory, submitting agencies and District Attorney’s Office. Provides administrative support functions to assist the Director, Laboratory Managers and Laboratory Staff.
  • Appear in court to testify as to the procedures followed during receipt, storage, and transfer of evidence throughout the Laboratory.
  • Conduct inventories of all evidence and supervise the release, destruction and subsequent paperwork of same.
  • Archive, maintain, store and organize case folders. 
  • Work with a variety of hazardous items including: weapons, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, toxins, body fluids, flammable and explosive materials, and unsanitary materials. 
  • Maintain manual and computerized records including evidence custody documents, chain of custody documents, property receipts, property control files, and related reports.
  • Perform other related duties as required or requested.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge Of:

  • Basic computer skills to include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Basic data entry skills.
  • Laboratory information and management systems.
  • Basic knowledge of proper evidence handling, transport, and storage to limit loss, cross transfer, contamination or deleterious change.

Ability To:

  • Utilize proficient verbal and written communicative, auditory, and visual skills.
  • Establish effective working relationships with managers, co-workers (Scientists, Pathologists, Autopsy/Histology Technicians, Forensic Investigators), law enforcement agencies, and the District Attorney’s Office.
  • Pass a background check and drug screen.
  • Pass a weight lifting test (50 lbs.).
  • Use a personal computer (PC).
  • Stand for a prolonged period of time and engage in frequent bending, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and reaching
  • Sit for prolonged periods of time and engage in typing, reading, reaching, talking, listening, and interacting with law enforcement.
  • Walk for prolonged periods of time delivering evidentiary material.
  • Communicate both verbally and in writing.
  • Lift and/or move evidence storage bins and file folder boxes with a weight of
    fifty (50) lbs on to storage shelves that may be overhead or require use of step ladder.
  • Work under adverse and extremely unpleasant conditions such as abnormal sights, sounds, and odors.
  • Deal and work effectively with highly emotional situations and personnel.
  • Maintain strict chain of custody in accordance with established protocol.
  • Maintain proper storage of evidence and test items in accordance with established protocol.

Residency

Must become a resident of Allegheny County within one (1) year of appointment

Veteran’s Preference

Will be awarded to eligible candidates