A recent Manchester burglary demonstrates the importance of forensic science teams in Hillsborough County. When employees at a recycling company contacted police about the theft of hundreds of pounds of copper from their premises, forensic experts readied for deployment. To the untrained eye the thieves made a clean getaway, but Manchester CSI specialists saw otherwise as they examined tire track marks, footprints, fingerprints, and pieces of evidence that may have contained DNA. The police department’s evidence unit processed the crime scene and sent samples to the State Police’s Forensic Laboratory for further analysis by a forensic lab scientist, also known as a criminalist.
Forensic science in Hillsborough County is a collaborative effort between dozens of town jurisdictions within the county lines, principal among them being the:
- Manchester Police Department Investigative Division’s Evidence Unit
- Merrimack Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, including the East Merrimack area
- Nashua Police Department’s Crime Scene Unit and Evidence Division
Education for a Forensic Science Career in Hillsborough County
The first crime scene investigators to arrive on scene are usually police officers with specialized CSI training who take photographs and collect physical pieces of evidence. If greater expertise is needed police will call in crime scene evidence technicians who will take castings, analyze splatter patterns, and reconstruct the crime scene. The Nashua Police Department has a special crime scene unit for this express purpose, as does the State Police.
CSI jobs with these divisions are competitive, and candidates who possess the following certifications will make themselves more distinguished:
- Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
- Forensic Video
- Crime Scene Reconstructionist
- Forensic Photography
Working as an evidence technician with the State Police requires an associate degree with major study in:
- Health Science
- Laboratory Technology
- Forensic Science
- Physical Science
Forensic science jobs held by criminalists at the State Police Crime Lab require incumbents to possess a bachelor degree in one of the following fields:
- Forensic Science
- Biological Sciences
There are over a dozen schools within a 70-mile radius of Hillsborough County that offer relevant degree programs for candidates who are interested in jobs in the forensic science field. Additionally there are several online schools offering certification and degree programs for a range of specializations.
Forensic Science at Work in Hillsborough County
Candidates interested in how to become a crime scene investigator and forensic scientist in Hillsborough County will also be curious to know what kinds of cases these professionals work with. Most often one thinks about securing evidence for use in trials that convict criminals. However one recent case demonstrates the opposite: a convicted criminal in a 1973 murder case is requesting new DNA tests to prove he is innocent of killing of a woman whose body was found lying on the frozen Merrimack River. In this case he is hoping the technological advances in the forensic field will provide exoneration.