Career summary

Details for Police Identification and Records Officers


Description

Collect evidence at crime scene, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.

Tasks

  • Maintain records of evidence and write and review reports.
  • Package, store and retrieve evidence.
  • Submit evidence to supervisors, crime labs, or court officials for legal proceedings.
  • Testify in court and present evidence.
  • Analyze and process evidence at crime scenes, during autopsies, or in the laboratory, wearing protective equipment and using powders and chemicals.
  • Look for trace evidence, such as fingerprints, hairs, fibers, or shoe impressions, using alternative light sources when necessary.
  • Photograph crime or accident scenes for evidence records.
  • Dust selected areas of crime scene and lift latent fingerprints, adhering to proper preservation procedures.
  • Create sketches and diagrams by hand or with computer software to depict crime scenes.
  • Serve as technical advisor and coordinate with other law enforcement workers or legal personnel to exchange information on crime scene collection activities.
  • Coordinate or conduct instructional classes or in-services, such as citizen police academy classes and crime scene training for other officers.
  • Interview victims, witnesses, suspects, and other law enforcement personnel.
  • Process film and prints from crime or accident scenes.
  • Perform emergency work during off-hours.
  • Identify, compare, classify, and file fingerprints, using systems such as Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) or the Henry Classification System.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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