Crime Scene Specialist

  • City of Costa Mesa, CA
  • Costa Mesa, California
  • Jun 04, 2022
Full Time Criminology and Forensics
  • Salary: $65,700.00 - $88,044.00 Annually USD

Job Description

SALARY: $5,367 - $7,193 per month
*Effective July 2022: 2% Salary Increase will be applied


Under general supervision, to perform a variety of specialized technical duties involved in processing crime scenes including collecting, protecting, and preserving evidence for criminal prosecution; and to maintain records and prepare reports regarding activities.


Applications must be completed and submitted on-line. This recruitment will remain open until filled and may close without prior notice, therefore prompt application is encouraged.

The first application review date will be Thurs day, April 28, 2022 .

Candidates are requested to provide specific information regarding their education and experience as it relates to the position by completing all fields of the application. Applications may be rejected if incomplete . Do not include text or attached resumes, as they will not be accepted or reviewed in the application process. Based upon the information presented on the application, a limited number of candidates who possess qualifications most pertinent to the position will be invited to participate in the selection process. The selection process may include, but is not limited to the following components: application review and evaluation, written examination or exercise, physical examination, practical exercise and interview evaluation. Please notify the Human Resources Division 72 hours in advance of the test date if you have a disability which requires accommodation for the testing process. The eligibility list will be in effect for one (1) year, unless exhausted sooner. The eligibility list established from this recruitment may be utilized to fill lower-level vacancies which occur during the life of the list.

It is recommended you use a personal email address on your application instead of a work email address . Notifications during this recruitment will be sent by email only (regardless of the notification preference selected during the on-line application process). Notifications will be sent to the email address that is listed on your on-line application.

All employment offers made by the City are contingent upon establishing proof of a prospective candidate’s legal authorization to work in the United States and successfully passing all components of the pre-employment process which may include, but is not limited to: comprehensive background check, criminal history check (livescan fingerprint check), polygraph examination, post-offer psychological evaluation and post-offer medical evaluation (may include drug screen).

Note: The provisions of this job bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provisions contained within may be modified or revoked without notice.

Essential Functions
These functions may not be present in all positions in this class. When a position is to be filled, the essential functions will be noted in the announcement of position availability. Management reserves the right to add, modify, change or rescind work assignments as needed.

Identify, document, collect, protect, and preserve any material or substance as physical evidence at crime scenes and other locations using a variety of specialized equipment and techniques for the purpose of criminal prosecution.
Process crime scene for latent fingerprints and conduct latent print comparisons and Cal-ID entries.

Perform basic presumptive tests for blood, narcotics, and other types of physical evidence.

Document crime scenes with photographs, video recordings, diagrams, and reports.

Take various types of photographs of physical evidence, recovered property, and persons including injuries to the body.

Collect buccal (DNA) swabs, finger and palm prints from victim(s), suspect(s) and other individuals when deemed necessary.

Process major case suspect(s) which includes photography, buccal (DNA) swabs, finger/palm print collection and when necessary suspect rape kit collection.

Prepare and maintain a variety of records, reports, and schedules including those regarding the detection, protection, collection, and preservation of physical evidence in a crime scene; testify in court as necessary regarding findings.

Assist Crime Scene Investigation Supervisor in the processing of evidence and photography.

Transport physical evidence, drugs, and biological evidence back and forth to the Orange County Crime Lab.

Perform matron duties when applicable.

Performs related duties as required.

Qualification Guidelines
A typical way to obtain the requisite knowledge and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities of this classification is as follows:


One year of experience in public safety support work. Experience in the collection and preservation of physical evidence, photography, latent prints, identifying items of evidential value, and preparing related written reports is preferred.
Graduation from high school or its equivalent, supplemented with college-level course work in Police Science or a related field. Specialized training in field collection and preservation of physical evidence, photography, latent prints, or a related field is preferred.

Possession or the ability to obtain a valid California Driver's License, Class C or higher, before the date of appointment. Revocation of license during employment may result in disciplinary action or reassignment.


Knowledge of the principles and procedures of photography and knowledge to make high quality photographic enlargements and court exhibits;
Knowledge of the operating characteristics of technical equipment including cameras and surveillance camera equipment;

Knowledge of photo processing machines, and computers; principles, practices, procedures, methods, and techniques used in evidence collection;

Knowledge of the protection, preservation, photography, and identification of physical evidence;

Knowledge of fingerprint pattern recognition, classification and the ACE-V process;

Knowledge of principles, practices, procedures, and techniques of development and lifting latent fingerprints with black powder, other chemicals and photography;

Knowledge of proper techniques to preserve evidence and handle bio-hazard materials of evidence;

Knowledge of the procedures, methods, and techniques of rolling suspect and victim finger and palm prints;

Knowledge of modern office practices, methods, and computer equipment;

Knowledge of principles and procedures of record keeping;

Knowledge of pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and regulations;

Knowledge of safe driving principles and practices;

Skill in operating modern office equipment, including computer equipment; and a motor vehicle safely.


Ability to use a variety of specialized equipment and techniques to collect and analyze physical evidence including performing rape kit examinations, gunshot residue collection , making impressions with silicone casting material , and making plaster casts of shoe and tire track impressions;

Ability to interpret and apply the policies, procedures, laws, codes, and regulations pertaining to assigned programs and functions;

Ability to develop and lift latent fingerprints with black powder and other chemicals;

Ability to perform responsible evidence collection work with accuracy, speed, and minimal supervision;

Ability to investigate criminal misconduct and identify items of evidential value;

Ability to collect, compile, and preserve evidence and information;

Ability to interview victims, witnesses, and suspects to obtain information;

Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information;

Ability to prepare and maintain accurate and complete records;

Ability to prepare clear and comprehensive reports;

Ability to exercise good judgment, flexibility, creativity, and sensitivity in response to changing situations and needs;

Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing;

Ability to establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work;

Ability to work various shifts/hours as assigned including early morning, day, evening, weekends, holidays, and overtime.

Supplemental Information


Please contact Human Resources for a summary of the essential tasks and environmental factors for this classification.

Employee accommodations for physical or mental disabilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To view benefit information for all groups, Click Here

New employees contribute the following amounts on a pre-tax basis towards the 2%@60 or 2%@62 CalPERS retirement formula depending on eligibility:
  • Effective July 8, 2018: 12% of their salary

Employees receive the following health insurance flexible benefits contribution:

  • Effective June 2022: $1,500 monthly

The City does not participate in the Social Security system; however, federal mandate requires new employees to contribute 1.45% of wages to Medicare. As a condition of employment, all new employees are required to enroll and participate in the direct deposit program.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Special Instructions


Job Address

Costa Mesa, California United States View Map