How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator Forensic Scientist in Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minneapolis Police Department has been steadily pushing down the total number of crimes committed over the past three decades, going from 37,319 total offenses in 1982 down to 23,345 in 2012. One of the primary resources used to solve these crimes and secure convictions against their perpetrators was the police department’s crime lab.

Forensic science specialists work in the lab’s controlled environment to analyze crime scene evidence and make reports on their findings. The job of gathering the evidence at the crime scene falls to the department’s forensic scientist field operations unit, members of which are commonly called CSI agents. Oftentimes job duties between these two occupations are shared.

Preparing for CSI and Forensic Science Jobs in Minneapolis

Both the crime scene investigators and forensic science professionals working with the Minneapolis PD are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a specific field of science. Researching how to become a crime scene investigator will reveal the following requirements:

  • Bachelor degree in any of the following subjects:
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Biochemistry

Candidates researching how to become a forensic scientist with the Minneapolis PD will also encounter the degree requirement:

  • Bachelor degree in criminal justice
  • Bachelor degree in the physical sciences including:
    • Biology
    • Criminalistics
    • Forensic Science
    • Chemistry
    • Any other related physical science field

In the Minneapolis area there are a variety of both online colleges and schools with campus locations across the local community where interested students can discover these degree programs. It is recommended to check with each institution about entry qualifications as these can vary.

Local Working Environment in the Minneapolis Police Department

Crime scene investigator jobs in Minneapolis can involve several departments. In addition to the primary CSI Field Operations Section, the police department also uses CSI experts in its:

  • Arson Squad
  • Bomb Unit
  • Homicide Unit
  • Sex Crimes Unit

Forensic science jobs with the department’s Crime Lab involve working with state-of-the-art technology in activities including:

  • Firearms and toolmarks
    • Function testing
    • Serial number restoration
    • Bullet and casing examination
    • IBIS (integrated ballistic identification system)
  • Computer forensics
    • Desktop and laptop computers
    • Cellular phones
    • Digital media devices
    • Child pornography and internet solicitation cases
  • Video and audio forensics
    • Archival enhancement
    • Analysis, comparison, and evaluation of audio and video
  • Photo lab
    • Digital photograph processing
    • Film photograph processing
    • ID and administrative photos

  • Forensic garage, processes vehicles that are stolen or otherwise involved in crimes for DNA, fingerprints, and other physical evidence

The Minneapolis Police Department is proud of the fact that its Crime Lab is accredited by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Lab Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB).

Often times CSI and forensic scientist jobs appear to be the same because there is a lot of overlap in the police department. However training subjects for the two positions do vary, and team members in both fields each have their own unique specializations.

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