According to documents that were leaked to several news sources throughout the city of San Antonio, Texas, city officials are considering the elimination of as many as 37 civilian Crime Scene Investigator jobs. The documents are known as “reduction efficiency forms” and they reveal that the city stands to save an average of over $2 million every year if the positions are in fact eradicated from the city’s payroll.
Representatives for the city’s civilian CSI community stated in response to the documents that whatever money is saved by San Antonio in eliminating their positions would only be drained by the inevitable need to train the individuals who replace them.
Crime Scene Investigators are tasked with the job of analyzing evidence that is collected at crime scenes and then generating reports based on that collected data so that it can be used to help investigators track down suspects and help prosecutors argue court cases.
The city of San Antonio has long used civilian CSIs for the work necessary at crime scenes, but in 2011 began contracting the work out to investigators at Uniform Evidence Detectives (UED), a privately owned investigations firm, to carry out the evidence gathering and analysis tasks at some of the city’s crime scenes. The city is now considering using UED investigators full time as a replacement for the civilian CSIs on payroll.
According to Detective Mike Helle, who is the president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, the change would allow the department to make more promotions to the rank of detective so that evidence analysis could be handled more efficiently.
City officials have contemplated the change for quite some time, but they say they understand that there would need to be a process of incorporating UED’s advanced investigative techniques into compliance with the city’s policies in order to make them official full time investigators.