The City of San Antonio Police Department maintains monthly and up to the minute crime statistics for all crimes occurring within the city at any given moment. Recent (September 2013) analysis of these crime statistics indicate that the majority of reported crimes in San Antonio are related to theft. Friday is the most common day of the week in which crime occurs in San Antonio, and the middle of the month is when most crimes occur in the city. Statistics such as these are of interest to those pursing jobs in crime scene investigation and forensic science in San Antonio, as they can infer when they would be at their busiest performing the duties of their jobs.
Per the Bexar County Criminal Investigation Laboratory, most forensic science jobs in San Antonio and Bexar County, Texas require at least a Bachelor of Science degree in one of the natural sciences or forensic science. Because competition for forensic science jobs in San Antonio is competitive, a graduate degree is preferred. A criminal justice degree is usually not sufficient for a CSI or forensic scientist job in San Antonio.
Degree programs in CSI and forensic science offered in the San Antonio area include:
- Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
- Master of Science in Forensic Science
- Certificate in Forensics
- Certificate in Computer Forensics
Professional Training for Forensic Science and CSI Jobs in San Antonio
Some employers of forensic laboratory scientists and crime scene investigation professionals in the San Antonio area require that their employees be trained and certified through a credentialing organization.
For example, the Texas Department of Public Safety and many county crime laboratories (Bexar County, San Antonio included) require that evidence technicians have one of the following certification/memberships, showing proof of completion of training:
- Texas Association of Property and Evidence Inventory Technicians (TAPEIT) – In order to become TAPEIT certified, one must complete these steps:
- Attend at least one TAPEIT conference
- Be currently working in property and evidence and have worked there for at least one year
- Pass the TAPEIT Basic Certification Test with a score of at least 80
- Complete one of the following courses:
- TAPEIT-approved eight hour basic class
- TEEX Basic Property Training online class with certificate of completion
- TAPEIT conference Basic Certification Course
- International Association of Property and Evidence (IAPE) certification – To become certified as a Property and Evidence Specialist, one must:
- Become a paid member of IAPE
- Complete IAPE’s Property and Evidence Management Training Class in-person or online
- Have at least one year of full-time experience as a Property and Evidence custodian
- Pass an online written examination based on IAPE Professional Standards
Organizations Supporting Forensic Laboratory Science and CSI Jobs in San Antonio
Bexar County Criminal Investigation Laboratory – This is an independent fee-for-service crime laboratory in San Antonio, Bexar County. It offers services to the public and law enforcement in analyzing trace evidence, DNA analysis, firearms analysis, drug identification and evidence receiving.
Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office – Located in San Antonio, the county’s Medical Examiner’s Office performs forensic analysis on suspicious and/or unattended deaths occurring in Bexar County, Texas.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Forensics Lab – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Forensics Lab is located in San Marcos, about 50 miles from San Antonio. It is located at the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery, where forensic scientists and technicians conduct tests on wildlife and fish to help game wardens find cases of illegal poaching for sale (as an example, of snapping turtles, which are a threatened and protected species in Texas).
City of Pflugerville, Texas Crime Laboratory – The Crime Laboratory for the Police Department of the city of Pflugerville Texas (about 80 miles from San Antonio) processes evidence from crime scenes located throughout the city and neighboring areas.