4 answers

Do you have to be a police officer to be a Crime Scene Investigator and what is the job description?

Asked Beaumont, Texas

I am really considering to be a crime scene investigator, but I really would not like to be a police officer. I've research many descriptions of the job, but none have given me a straight forward answer. Can someone please help me understand? #criminal-justice #law-enforcement #forensic #police-officer #crime-scene-investigator

4 answers

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas


See San Antonio PD Crime Scene Investigator, at the above link.

Thank you for this information. This really answered my questions!!

Douglas’s Answer

Updated Algonquin, Illinois

Hello Sarah,

The position you are seeking goes by many names so you'll need to be double check the duties of the job for which you apply. In my department the job you are referring to is that of a "Crime Scene Technician" or an "Evidence Technician". We utilize non-sworn personnel to fill this role although all detectives are cross-trained to be able to perform the duties if needed. We also utilize our CST's/ET's as evidence custodians working in the vault within the police department. The pay is pretty good and the benefits are excellent but there is the downside of having to be available "on call" 24/7 (including weekends and holidays). Although we prefer personnel with prior experience, we will gladly train and educate the right person. I should point out that this particular field of work demands tremendous attention to detail and scientific procedures. It will also require you to work in situations involving people (adults and children) who have been the victims of violent crimes and/or the deceased. If you are squeamish about blood or seeing the direct results of violent crime you may want to consider another field of work. On the other hand, an Evidence Tech who is skilled in their work, is often the person who solves the mystery of "who done it?" and identifies the bad guy. This is an area of work in which you can go to bed each night knowing that you made a positive difference in someone's life and I hope you'll be joining us in the near future.

Best wishes to you now and for the future.

James’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas

You do not have to be a police officer to work crime scenes. Every agency dose things differently. Generally, Police Officers who work crime scenes are called Crime Scene Investigators. Civilians, or non police officers, who work crime scenes are called crime scene technicians. The trend now is to have more civilians. When I was a CSI we were all police officers, but now days I see a lot more non police at crime scenes. Working crime scenes is very demanding, but very rewarding. It was the best job I ever had. Stick with it. Good luck.

Brad’s Answer

Updated Grapevine, Texas

Different cities have different requirements for their crime scene investigators. The Fort Worth Police Department has police officers for their crime scene investigators. Some cities have civilian CSSU. These officers apply for the position of CSI, we call them CSSU (Crime Scene Search Units). CSSU officers are trained through the work with other CSSU officers. In major cases our detectives will make the scene and may point out some areas that they would like special attention made.

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