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

The Saint Paul Police Department solves crimes with one of the best forensic science and CSI teams in the state. Forensic scientists survey crime scenes and collect evidence for later analysis, fulfilling the role traditionally known as CSI agent. Evidence is then brought to the police department’s crime lab where it is thoroughly examined, tested, and evaluated by criminalists in a controlled laboratory environment with particular specializations.

Recently in August of 2013 the police department held an open house to show off its improved crime lab. $1 million-worth of the latest and best technology was installed to significantly improve the lab’s capabilities, especially in the area of fingerprint matching and comparison. 18 months later the police department also hopes to gain national accreditation for their revamped crime lab.

The new lab will improve the amount of cases the department solves, such as recently when 30 years after a Saint Paul murder, the Police Department’s Cold Case Unit was able to identify a suspect and finally make an arrest, thanks to new technology and DNA analysis. Forensic scientists were able to match DNA from the three-decade old crime scene that had since been in storage to a man who had previously been convicted in a separate case.

Getting Credentialed for CSI and Forensic Science Jobs in Saint Paul

Whether candidates are interested in forensic scientist or CSI jobs, they must first have the right education credentials in the form of at least a four-degree in certain specific science fields. The entry-level criminalist position requires a bachelor degree in any of the following subjects:

  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Any related Physical Science

To join the ranks of Saint Paul’s finest as a forensic scientist, candidates will need to complete the Saint Paul Forensic Laboratory Training Program within nine months of hire, in addition to having a bachelor degree in any of the following:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • A related field with at least 30 semester credits of science courses

Candidates based in the Saint Paul area are fortunate to have several online schools and colleges in the vicinity which offer four-year degree programs in these subjects. Once they are qualified, candidates may begin applying with the City of Saint Paul’s Human Resources Department.

What to Expect on the Job in Saint Paul

CSI forensic scientists and those working in the lab as criminalists will have plenty of opportunities to get to know each other, as work in both fields involves a significant amount of overlap. The police department’s crime lab specializes in the following methods of analysis:

  • DNA and trace evidence
  • Presumptive and species-specific blood testing
  • Latent print and fingerprints

CSI forensic scientists working in the field are often involved with:

  • Crime scene reconstruction
  • Photography, measurement and documentation
  • Evidence collection
  • Field print processing

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