How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator Forensic Scientist in Providence County, Rhode Island

Forensic science professionals work with the leading law enforcement agencies in Providence County to develop solid court-admissible evidence for all criminal activities that occur in the region. Last year this included 17 murder or manslaughter cases, 84 rapes, and 362 robberies throughout the jurisdiction of the police department alone.

In addition to these ongoing cases, forensic experts continue to monitor unsolved crimes for any new evidence that comes in through tips or that becomes possible to obtain through technological advancements in the forensic science field. On-site CSI evidence gathering is carried out by several law enforcement agencies which operate in the county:

  • Providence Police Department
  • Cranston Police Department
  • East Providence Police Department
  • Pawtucket Police Department
  • Rhode Island State Police

There are two crime labs in the area that process forensic evidence obtained by these law enforcement agencies:

  • Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory located in Kingston
  • Department of Health’s Forensic Sciences Laboratory located in Providence

These forensic labs not only process evidence obtained from Providence County, but also other locations including Warwick and Kent County.

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Becoming Qualified for Forensic Science Jobs in Providence County

Learning about how to become a crime scene investigator and forensic scientist in Providence County means researching the education requirements for positions in this field. These differ depending on the specialization:

  • Laboratory Technician – these positions require that candidates possess a combination of education and experience that is equivalent to the following:

    • Graduation from a laboratory technician higher education program
    • Working with biological and criminal evidence, plus employment having to do with technical laboratory procedures

  • Forensic Scientist –  these positions require that candidates possess a combination of education and experience that is equivalent to the following:

    • Bachelor degree in:
      • Chemistry
      • Any biological science

    • Technical experience gained through working in a laboratory that handles the fields of:
      • Serology
      • Toxicology
      • Chemical analysis

  • Police Department CSI Investigator – these positions require proven commitment and skill as a police officer. Candidates for these CSI can improve their credentials with certification in such areas as:

    • Crime Scene Reconstruction
    • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
    • Footwear and Latent Print
    • Tenprint Fingerprint

  • Evidence Technician – these non-sworn incumbents assist law enforcement in processing a crime scene and cataloging evidence. Useful certifications include:

    • Forensic Photography
    • Forensic Videography

Education and Future Employment Prospects

Rhode Island has one of the highest concentrations of universities in the nation. In Providence alone there are at least six colleges offering relevant forensic science degrees, in addition to the opportunities that exist through online schools and area universities.

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As Providence County’s population continues to increase, the crime rate and demand for forensic science professionals will also continue to rise. Just recently the Department of Health’s Forensic Sciences Laboratory received a $200,000 grant to expand its capacity, process more evidence, and reduce its backlog of cases.

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