According to the 2011 New Jersey Uniform Crime Report (UCR), crime in major cities in the state has dropped from 2002’s statistics. The state’s total crime rate dropped by 17 percent from 2002 to 2011. In the six major urban cities in New Jersey (Camden, Elizabeth City, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson and Trenton), crime decreased by 21 percent, and in the other 15 urban cities in New Jersey, crime decreased by 26 percent during the same time period.
Crime scene investigators, or CSIs, in New Jersey still have plenty of crimes to investigate, however. It is their duty to collect all evidence at a crime scene, process it, and analyze it in order to help solve a crime. Becoming a crime scene investigator in New Jersey requires the right kind of education and, in some cases, a college degree.
Titles of crime scene investigation jobs found in New Jersey include:
- Police officer
- Prosecutor’s agent
- Crime scene investigator (CSI)
Keep reading to discover more information on how to become a crime scene investigator in New Jersey.
Crime Scene Investigator Education in New Jersey
Career training schools and degree granting colleges and universities in New Jersey offer degrees at various levels in crime scene investigation and related disciplines. Depending upon a student’s desired career track, a two, four or six year degree might be necessary to secure a CSI job in New Jersey.
Crime Scene Investigation Certificates and Associate Degrees in New Jersey
Jobs like the following require a minimum of a certificate or associate degree in New Jersey:
- Evidence technician (ET)
- Field technician
Schools in New Jersey offer the following CSI certificates and associate degree programs:
- Forensic Science Certificate
- Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
- Associate of Science in Forensic Science
- Associate of Science in Criminal Investigations
CSI Bachelor and Graduate Degrees in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the following classifications of CSI jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree:
- Crime scene investigator (CSI), city police department
- Investigator, County Prosecutor’s Office
- Detective, County Prosecutor’s Office
- Prosecutor’s Agent, County Prosecutor’s Office
These crime scene investigation degrees are available in New Jersey at the bachelor’s level and above:
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice-Forensics Track
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Psychology Track
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Psychology Track
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
Professional Organizations for Crime Scene Investigators in New Jersey
There are a variety of professional organizations for crime scene investigators in New Jersey. Some of these organizations may offer training or certification to professionals to maintain or advance their career status.
- New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists
- New Jersey State Division, International Association for Identification
- New Jersey Association of Criminal Justice Educators
Law Enforcement Organizations Sustaining CSI Jobs in New Jersey
New Jersey State Police Crime Scene Investigations Unit – Located in three areas of New Jersey, the State Police Crime Scene Investigation Units help other law enforcement agencies with full service, partial service or consultant services in crime scene investigations. The North Crime Scene Unit is located in Totowa, the Central Unit is in Hamilton, and the South Crime Scene Unit is in Buena Vista.
Ewing Police Department Crime Scene Unit – The crime scene unit of the city’s police department employs Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) and Evidence Technicians (ETs). They document and investigate the scenes of homicides, sexual assaults, suicides, shooting, suspicious deaths and armed robberies.
Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Technical Services Unit – This unit of the county prosecutor’s office is responsible for seizing, collecting and analyzing evidence from crime scenes throughout the county.
Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit – The county prosecutor’s office has its own investigation unit responsible for investigating all types of crimes occurring in Ocean County, New Jersey. Recently, investigators were on the scene of the boardwalk fire in Seaside to determine if a crime had been committed. It was determined to be an accidental fire.
FBI- Newark Division – The Newark, New Jersey Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) works on federal crime scenes in the area. There are five satellite offices from which agents may work investigating crime scene, in Trenton, Red Bank, Garret Mountain, Franklin Township and Atlantic City. (The Philadelphia Division of the FBI covers the rest of New Jersey, including Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties).