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How to Train as a Police Evidence Technician

by Clayton Browne

Law enforcement investigative techniques have advanced fast in the early 2000s, largely driven by scientific advances in a wide variety of fields. The science of forensics has been revolutionized by modern ballistics, DNA analysis and other scientific advances. Twenty-first century police evidence technicians, or forensic science technicians, must have broad technical knowledge in a number of fields, and most have undergraduate degrees. Some forensic technicians work as interns or apprentices the first six months to a year on the job, and many also earn specialized certifications in firearms or genetic analysis methods.

Go to college and earn a bachelor's degree program in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or forensic science. Although some police evidence technicians or crime scene investigators might only have associate degrees, forensic science technicians who work in a lab are generally required to have a bachelor's degree.

Apply for an entry-level police evidence technician positions in your area or in another city where you want to live. Most cities, large counties, the state police and federal law enforcement agencies operate crime labs.

Complete the on-the-job training program for forensic science techs at your place of employment. Most crime labs have an extensive training program for new evidence technicians so they can learn department-approved techniques for gathering evidence and conducting lab tests.

Develop one or more areas of specialization. Crime labs often offer specialized training programs for forensic science technicians. DNA-based evidence analysis training programs typically take around a year, and firearms analysis training programs can last as long as two to three years.

Tip

  • Make it a point to stay abreast of new developments in your specialty area. Continuing education is especially important in a rapidly evolving field such as evidence analysis and crime scene investigation.

About the Author

Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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