How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator Forensic Scientist in New Orleans, Louisiana

The city of New Orleans was recently ranked the third deadliest city in the United States due to its higher than average rate of violent crime. New Orleans saw 193 reported murders in 2012, which amounts to more than 53 murders per 100,000 citizens. Violent crime in general, and murder in particular, have been rampant in the city of New Orleans for a number of years and as such there is a tremendous demand for qualified individuals to thoroughly investigate crime scenes.

Educational Requirements for CSI Professionals in New Orleans

Crime scene investigation work involves the identification, collection, and analysis of physical evidence found at the scene of a crime. CSI’s are also responsible for the accurate documentation and processing of that evidence which can include blood, hair, and various fibers. The key to performing tasks like these and performing them well is education.

Becoming a crime scene investigator in New Orleans typically requires a minimum of an associate’s degree preferably in a field of study directly or indirectly related to criminal justice. Most police departments, however, mandate that crime scene investigator applicants have a bachelor’s degree.

There are a number of relevant fields of study:

  • Forensic Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

Applying for Jobs as a Crime Scene Investigator

Agencies in New Orleans that hire crime scene investigators include:

  • The New Orleans Police Department, Crime Lab and Evidence Division
  • The New Orleans Police Department, Criminal Investigative Division
  • The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab

The New Orleans Police Department also has a Forensic Support Unit that is responsible for providing specialized investigative services including microscopic examinations of firearms and firearm-related evidence, physical evidence comparison, and other crime scene evidence analysis.

Ongoing Education and Certification

Earning a master’s degree in a specific area of forensic science or becoming certified as a crime scene investigations professional are two of the best ways to help further education, sharpen skills, and become a more proficient investigator. Certification requires preparing for and passing an exam given by the American Board of Criminalistics.

Since the proliferation of crime scene investigator-themed movies and television shows the competition for jobs in this particular field has become incredibly fierce. Jurisdictions like those in a city like New Orleans, where the violent crime rate is well above the national average and contributes to the relatively high demand for CSIs, often hire only the most qualified, experienced, and highly educated applicants.

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