According to data provided by the FBI and Uniform Crime Reports, the incidence of violent crime in the state of Massachusetts has risen from 2512 in 1960, when the state’s population was 5,148,578; to 26,953 in 2012, when the population of Massachusetts was recorded at 6,646,144. Crime scene investigators (CSI) in Massachusetts likely investigated many of these violent crime scenes, collecting evidence to analyze in helping to solve the crimes. Massachusetts CSI professionals work in the regional offices of federal agencies, as well as within local and state law enforcement agencies. In recent years, CSIs in Massachusetts have been busy collecting evidence at high-profile crime scenes, including the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013; and the arrest and subsequent conviction in September 2013 of a man in Worcester who was plotting to kidnap and eat children.
Crime scene investigators in Massachusetts may first start out in law enforcement jobs such as that of police officer and deputy sheriff, and rise through the ranks to CSI. Civilians with the proper education and training, however, are also readily accepted into the CSI profession in Massachusetts.
Titles of CSI jobs in Massachusetts include:
- Forensic anthropologist
- DNA technician
- Latent fingerprint examiner
- Crime scene investigator
- Police officer
Crime Scene Investigator Education in Massachusetts
As CSI jobs in Massachusetts vary, so does the type of education offered to prepare for them. Jobs at different levels require different educational credentials and training. Certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in disciplines within crime scene investigation are offered in Massachusetts and are applicable to a myriad of CSI jobs throughout the state.
The Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences may accredit a college or university that offers programs in crime scene investigation and/or forensic science /forensic studies. While some employers prefer to hire CSI professionals who graduated from accredited institutions, this is not mandatory.
CSI Certificates and Associate Degrees in Massachusetts
Evidence technology and collection jobs in Massachusetts usually require an associate’s degree or certificate from an accredited college or university. Types of CSI jobs in Massachusetts requiring an associate’s degree or certificate are:
- Evidence Technician
- DNA Technician
Associate degree and certificate programs in crime scene investigation that are offered in Massachusetts include:
- Associate of Science in Biotechnology, Concentration in Forensic DNA Science
- Associate of Science in Forensic Science
CSI Bachelor and Graduate Degrees in Massachusetts
Possession of at least a bachelor’s degree is required for these CSI jobs in Massachusetts:
- Forensics Examiner, Department of Homeland Security
- Forensic Science Examiner, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Fingerprint Examiner, County and City Police Departments
Massachusetts institutions currently offer the following bachelor’s and higher CSI-related degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
- Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Concentration in Forensic Science
- Master of Science in Forensics
- Master of Science in Forensic Anthropology
- Master of Science in Biomedical Forensic Science
Professional CSI Certification in Massachusetts
Professional organizations offer certification to CSI workers in Massachusetts who have experience in the field. These professional certifications can enhance a resume, and include:
- Crime Scene Certification – International Association for Identification
- Certified Crime Scene Investigator
- Certified Crime Scene Analyst
- Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst
- Certified Crime Scene Reconstructionist
- American Board of Forensic Anthropology
Law Enforcement Organizations that Support CSI Jobs in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section – The state police’s Crime Scene Services Section is responsible or documenting, collecting and processing evidence at major crime scenes throughout Massachusetts. This includes laboratories in North Sudbury, Devens, Danvers, Springfield, Lakeville, Bourne and Boston.
- Worcester Police Department Investigative Division, Crime Scene Unit – The Crime Scene Unit of this city police department’s Investigative Division examines crime scenes throughout the city, using crime analysis, technology and investigative strategies.
- Town of Framingham Police Department – Crime Scene Services – Even smaller Massachusetts towns such as Framingham with a population under 70,000 have an Identification Bureau within its Crime Scene Services unit. Collecting and processing evidence, photography, videography and fingerprint collecting are just a few of the CSI techniques used by this department.
- Northampton Massachusetts Police Department Crime Scene Services Unit – This city police department’s Crime Scene Services Unit employs Crime Scene Technicians (CSTs) who process all crime scenes occurring in the city.
- FBI-Boston Division – Evidence Response Teams – The FBI’s Boston Division has its own Evidence Response Team which is deployed to federal crime scenes to gather and process evidence. An example of a recent crime scene in which this team was used is the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, in which evidence was collected and analyzed to determine who to charge with the crime.