How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator Forensic Scientist in Saint Louis, Missouri

The Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) uses a team of highly-trained crime scene forensic experts to investigate and gather evidence in cases involving everything from unsolved crimes, homicides and fatality accidents to sex crimes, burglaries, and cold cases. With a specially equipped Crime Laboratory, the department employs forensic scientists who work in the lab’s controlled environment to meticulously examine and analyze evidence gathered by the department’s Evidence Technician Unit, also known as CSI agents. Working closely not only with the police department, the SLMPD’s Crime Lab also conducts evidence analysis for materials submitted by fellow law enforcement agencies, including:

  • O’Fallon Police Department
  • Saint Charles County Sheriff’s Department
  • Saint Charles Police Department
  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Florissant Police Department
  • Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
  • Saint Peter’s Police Department

Obtaining an Education for CSI and Forensic Science Jobs in Saint Louis

Although there is a working environment distinction between CSI agents employed in the field to gather evidence and forensic scientists working in the Crime Lab, the roles played in these positions often overlap. It therefore follows that the education and experience required for both positions is generally similar among categories of expertise.

Although officially the only written requirement to become a CSI agent or forensic scientist with the Saint Louis Metro Police Department (SLMPD) is a high school diploma, the high demand for these jobs and the required level of skill in effect mandates that candidates for forensic science and CSI jobs have at least a relevant certification or bachelor degree in their field of expertise. Experience is also a definite plus. Certification programs include:

  • Certified Criminal Investigator
  • Certified Forensic Physician
  • Certified Forensic Photographer
  • Certified Medical Investigator
  • Certified Forensic Instructor

Associate and bachelor degrees in the following areas can also be considered, depending on an applicant’s area of expertise:

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Genetics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

As the largest combined statistical area in the state, there are a number of colleges and online schools in the Saint Louis Metro region and across Missouri where students can find the education programs that are right for them. Just on the other side of the border in Kentucky students can also find colleges and schools where they can obtain a forensic science degree.

Working in Forensics with the SLMPD’s Crime Lab

The Crime Lab’s special CSI Evidence Technician Unit is on-call 24 hours a day, ready to respond at a moment’s notice anywhere they are needed. This team specializes in:

  • Lifting latent fingerprints
  • Collecting DNA evidence
  • Taking photographs
  • Preserving and collecting physical evidence

Forensic scientists have a variety of specializations and are differentiated by their previous education and training. Some of the Crime Lab’s sections include:

  • Biology and DNA
  • Firearms
  • Drug and Chemical Analysis
  • Print Identification
  • Graphic Arts
  • Quality Assurance

Learning about the process of how to become a crime scene investigator or forensic scientist is the first step towards a career in these fields that can be both challenging and rewarding.

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