Representatives from the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab Headquarters in Austin recently shipped 10,000 CODIS (Combined DNA Index Session) kits to law enforcement agencies throughout Texas. This lab is spearheading the effort to collect DNA samples from convicted offenders on probation, registered sex offenders, and others who have been arrested an meet certain criteria. Under a new Texas law, these individuals must provide DNA samples to the CODIS database. Forensic laboratory scientists and crime scene investigators in Austin are vital to this important and massive effort that will eventually be part of a nationwide computerized DNA database.
Forensic Science Degree Options in Austin
There are a variety of crime scene investigation and forensic laboratory science colleges and training school programs throughout the Austin area for students who are interested in this fascinating field.
The degrees they offer include:
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Security and Forensics
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
- Master of Science in Forensic Science
Austin area CSI and forensic scientist jobs include:
- Forensic Toxicologist
- Toxicology Lab Technician
- Forensic Autopsy Technician
- Forensic Medical Examiner Investigator
- Cyber Security Specialist
Getting a Job in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigations in Austin
Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory Service – The primary State Police crime laboratory for the state is headquartered in Austin. This headquarters performs the following services:
- Photographic analysis
- Digital/multimedia evidence analysis
- Questioned document analysis
- Latent fingerprint analysis
- Toxicology analysis
- Firearms/toolmarks analysis
- Blood alcohol analysis
- Drug analysis
- Biological evidence/DNA analysis
- Trace evidence analysis
Texas State Fire Marshal Forensic Arson Laboratory – Located in Austin, this lab processes forensic arson evidence for law enforcement and fire service professionals in Texas free of charge. Analyzing capabilities include analysis of arson debris for ignitable liquids used for fire acceleration.
Travis County Medical Examiners Forensic Laboratory – Based in Austin, the medical examiner’s forensic laboratory provides histological and toxicological services, including analysis of poisons and drugs, interpreting toxicological findings, and testifying in courtrooms.
Austin Police Department Crime Laboratory – The main crime laboratory for the Austin Police Department handles crime scene evidence from crimes occurring throughout the city of Austin.
In addition to the law enforcement related agency jobs in forensic science and crime scene investigation listed above, other types of jobs in Austin within this discipline exist. These primarily involve the clean – up of crime scenes. Many private companies can be found throughout the Austin area that specialize in crime scene clean up, after investigators and forensic scientists are finished performing their duties at the scene.
Some of these companies prefer to hire individuals who are trained in evidence collection as they perform biohazard clean up duties .It is also the responsibility of these professionals to keep media away from crime scenes as they are cleaning up the evidence left behind. While these types of forensic jobs may not be ideal, they can be a way to break into the crime scene investigation and forensic science fields and gain needed experience.