Crime scene investigators in the Louisiana work every day to make their communities safer and gather evidence to secure convictions. Last year there were 110 dedicated forensic specialists employed in CSI jobs in Louisiana, and many more law enforcement officers with specialized CSI training. Along with lab technicians, together these professionals combined forces to form an effective evidence gathering and analysis team.
Crime scene investigators work with law enforcement agencies across the state to ensure justice is served, and partner in close cooperation with bodies such as:
- Louisiana State Police Crime Lab
- Crime Lab and Evidence Team of the New Orleans Police Department
- Metairie Police Department
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Metairie
- Lafayette Police Department
Additionally, a new North Louisiana Crime Lab is under construction in Shreveport.
CSI Schools and Certification
A number of colleges and institutes of higher education are located across the state and online for students who are interested in pursuing a CSI degree in Louisiana.
Associate programs will prepare candidates with a general foundation and an intro to a specific CSI field, while a bachelor’s degree should be considered – and can be a minimum requirement depending on the agency – for candidates who are interested in a long-term CSI career and having more upwards mobility.
Degree programs include:
- Forensic Anthropology
- Criminal Psychology
- Mechanical Physics
It is important to check with individual hiring agencies to determine the specific requirements of how to become a crime scene investigator. For example, bachelor degrees are required for more advanced positions with the State Crime Lab.
When researching how to become a crime scene investigator in Louisiana candidates will find having the right CSI education and certification is essential.
Organizations such as the Louisiana Division of the International Association for Identification (LA-IAI) offer certification for those interested in pursuing a CSI career in the state, including:
- Forensic Science Investigation
- Latent Print Analysis
- Crime Scene Digital Imaging and Photography
The Louisiana Crime Lab additionally offers training to law enforcement officers in areas such as:
- DNA recovery and analysis
- Firearm and toolmark ballistics
- Tread mark and shoe print identification
Recent CSI Cases in Louisiana
CSI detectives were recently able to identify the perpetrator of burglary in a New Orleans suburb after he broke into a home while its occupants – including small children – were sleeping, pilfering electronics and a set of car keys before proceeding to steal the car and escape. Days later law enforcement discovered the car abandoned and crime scene investigators were called to the scene. After recovering DNA from the gear shift a suspect was identified who later confessed to the burglary.
Thanks to advances in technology, detectives were recently able to arrest a Baton Rouge man in connection to an unsolved cold-case murder he allegedly committed in 1992. Because of the thorough work of crime scene investigators at the time, the man’s fingerprints were recovered from the murder-burglary scene, and when compared with a new computer database of stored fingerprints, forensics specialists were able to single out one suspect. Even if justice is served more than 20 years late, crime scene investigators can rest knowing a murderer was taken off the streets and closure brought for the victim’s family and friends.