Crime scene investigators in Kansas City are often faced with gruesome situations – one recent event at a home on Norton Avenue involved a murder where evidence included a knife, baseball bat, and the remains of a victim spread over a large area. However CSI specialists with the Kansas City Police Department are thoroughly trained to treat this and other scenes as their office, going about their business of gathering evidence for analysis by forensic lab techs in the controlled environment of the Kansas City Police Regional Crime Lab.
The KCPD’s Crime Lab welcomes evidence from law enforcement agencies throughout the Kansas City region, including:
- Independence Police Department, who also operate their own crime lab
- Lee’s Summit Police Department
- Clay County Sheriff’s Office
- Blue Springs Police Department
- Cass County Sheriff’s Office
- Liberty Police Department
- Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
- Platte County Sheriff’s Office
Becoming a CSI Agent and Forensic Scientist in Kansas City
Candidates learning about how to become a crime scene investigator or forensic scientist in Kansas City can begin by researching the education requirements for their desired position. The Kansas City Police Department employs crime scene technicians – known popularly as CSI agents – and forensic scientists or criminalists as part of its police force, although these professionals are not commissioned officers.
There is a lot of overlap in the general duties and education between CSI agents and forensic scientists in the KCPD, although the CSI agents tend to work more in the field at crime scenes while forensic scientists tend to do more work in the lab. All of the department’s forensic investigators have certain specializations, and candidates who are interested in applying for forensic science and CSI jobs need to meet related degree requirements:
- Bachelor of Science for positions involving:
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Latent Fingerprints
- Questioned documents
- Bachelor degree in chemistry for positions involving chemistry, such as:
- Substance analysis
- Trace evidence analysis
- Questioned documents
- Bodily fluid analysis
- BS in Biology for:
- Trace analysis of biological materials
- Serology and DNA
- A BS in Genetics or Molecular Biology is preferred for Serology and DNA analysis positions
CSI agents receive additional training in the collection, preservation, and identification of crime scene evidence. As these are the minimum requirements and CSI or forensic scientist jobs in Kansas City are in high demand, it is recommended that candidates also possess additional education and experience.
In the Kansas City area and across the state prospective students will find a variety of colleges and online schools that offer relevant forensic science degrees. There are additional forensic science schools and colleges just across the border in Kansas.
96% Cold Case Conviction Rate with KCPD
Working in cooperation with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, the KCPD’s Crime Lab has had a 96 percent success rate since 2000 in securing new DNA evidence convictions in cases that were previously unsolved- one of the highest rates in the country. And there are still 2,545 old cases in the police department’s evidence inventory yet to be processed that contain potentially recoverable DNA. Using the latest technological advances, forensic scientists are able to bring closure to the victims and their families for cases ranging from homicides and sex crimes to assaults.