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

Rochester law enforcement officials have a close relationship with forensic scientists from the State Public Safety Department’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). The Rochester Police Department’s 130 sworn officers frequently use the crime scene processing services provided by BCA forensic scientists and special agents, who assist the police in gathering evidence at the scenes of crimes that will later be analyzed in a controlled laboratory environment. The Rochester-based Investigations Division of the Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office also employs seven detectives who will also occasionally call upon the services of BCA forensic scientists.

When their assistance is needed, BCA forensic scientists will form a Crime Scene Team to proceed to a requested location. This team consists of themselves and special agents from the BCA who will assist the forensic scientists in gathering evidence under their close supervision.

Evidence obtained by the BCA in cooperation with the Rochester Police Department and the Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office is processed by forensic scientists in the state’s crime lab in Saint Paul, and if additional expertise is required it will be sent to the BCA’s other crime lab in Bemidji.

Qualifying for CSI Forensic Science Jobs in Rochester

Candidates who are interested in pursuing forensic science CSI jobs with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) need to demonstrate they have the right education to be competent professionals in their field.

This means having considerable knowledge of the following:

  • Practices and principles of mechanics, analytical chemistry, and physics
  • Federal, state, and local criminal laws and regulations
  • Process of examination, interpretation, and analysis of results

Having knowledge in these fields translates to either significant experience as a law enforcement officer or forensic scientist, and/or an associate or bachelor degree in any of the following:

  • Forensic Science
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement

There are a number of educational facilities such as colleges and online schools which offer degrees in these fields throughout Minnesota, including in the Rochester area. Prospective students can conduct additional research to determine entry requirements at the various schools and colleges across the state.

What to Expect in a Rochester CSI Forensic Science Career

BCA forensic scientists based out of Rochester have helped to solve thousands of cases with the Rochester Police Department and Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office. Using the latest technology available, crime scene evidence is analyzed with a variety of laboratory procedures. The procedure for analysis depends on the type of evidence, such as:

  • Firearm and Toolmark Evidence:
    • Trace metal detection
    • Lab test for lead
    • Casting materials comprised of silicone
    • Gunshot residue analysis

  • Trace Evidence:
    • Glass
    • Paint
    • Hairs
    • Fibers

  • Biological Evidence:
    • Semen
    • Blood

  • Documents:
    • Handwriting
    • Authenticity

Some of the analysis and evaluation methods in a BCA forensic scientist’s toolbox include:

  • Electrostatic dust print lifter
  • Cyanoacrylate fuming
  • Leucocrystal Violet
  • Sulfur Casting
  • Electronic Distance Measuring (EDM) Device and Date Recorder
  • Metal Detector

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