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  • Crime scene investigator requirements ?

    I have a quick question. Do you actually have to be a certified police officer to be a crime scene investigator ? My ultimate goal is becoming a csi and an currently doing the process of getting into the academy but people keep giving me different information on weather or not being a cop is required to become a csi. Reguardless of it I'm still going to go thur the academy but would like to know if it's actually a requirement or not. And what better place to get the answer then here. Thanks on advance for any info.

  • #2
    No you don't have to be a police officer to be a crime scene investigator. That is a civilian position. I was told this by 2 police officers during my ride along. If you pay close attention the csi's don't have a sworn badge just an embroided patch on their uniform.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DreamCop31 View Post
      No you don't have to be a police officer to be a crime scene investigator. That is a civilian position. I was told this by 2 police officers during my ride along. If you pay close attention the csi's don't have a sworn badge just an embroided patch on their uniform.
      Thanks by the way how did you get to go on a ride along I have been wanting to go on one but don't know how to go about it.

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      • #4
        Understand that being a CSI in real life has absolutely noting to do with what you see on TV. It is a civilian position. No guns, no driving Hummers, no kicking down doors, no making arrests or interrogating suspects. It is all evidence collection, analysis, report writing and testifying in court.

        I can't speak for Florida, but here are the minimum requirements for an entry level CSI where I am at (we call them Criminalists).

        Education: Equivalent to graduation from college with a major in one of the physical or biological sciences, including the equivalent of eight semester hours of general chemistry and three semester hours of quantitative analysis. Registration as a senior in a recognized institution will admit applicants to the examination but they must produce proof of graduation or its equivalent before they are eligible for appointment. Candidates who have graduated from college with a major in one of the physical or biological sciences, including the eight semester hours of general chemistry, but do not possess the three semester hours of quantitative analysis will be admitted to the examination, but they must produce proof of completion of the three semester hours of quantitative analysis before they are eligible for appointment.

        Notice there is absolutely no emphasis on knowing the law, having criminal justice experience, or a knowledge of police work. It is strictly a scientific/technical occupation.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
          Understand that being a CSI in real life has absolutely noting to do with what you see on TV. It is a civilian position. No guns, no driving Hummers, no kicking down doors, no making arrests or interrogating suspects. It is all evidence collection, analysis, report writing and testifying in court.

          I can't speak for Florida, but here are the minimum requirements for an entry level CSI where I am at (we call them Criminalists).

          Education: Equivalent to graduation from college with a major in one of the physical or biological sciences, including the equivalent of eight semester hours of general chemistry and three semester hours of quantitative analysis. Registration as a senior in a recognized institution will admit applicants to the examination but they must produce proof of graduation or its equivalent before they are eligible for appointment. Candidates who have graduated from college with a major in one of the physical or biological sciences, including the eight semester hours of general chemistry, but do not possess the three semester hours of quantitative analysis will be admitted to the examination, but they must produce proof of completion of the three semester hours of quantitative analysis before they are eligible for appointment.

          Notice there is absolutely no emphasis on knowing the law, having criminal justice experience, or a knowledge of police work. It is strictly a scientific/technical occupation.
          They have something in Florida called Crime Scene Technicians who are usually cops who move into the position after a few years, but the job is a bit less technical. You basically gather and collect evidence from the crime scene. Guess it just depends on exactly what you want to do, but I know with Crime Scene Technicians, you are actually a cop yourself, not just someone with a science degree.

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          • #6
            A lot of smaller departments whi cannot afford full time civilian staff will have officers who are coss trained as crime scene techs. It is a collatreral duty to uniform patrol.

            My whold point was to disabuse the OP of any notion that being a full time CSI was anything like what's seen on TV.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Originally posted by yessy92 View Post
              Thanks by the way how did you get to go on a ride along I have been wanting to go on one but don't know how to go about it.
              Go to your local police department and request to do a ride along.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DreamCop31 View Post
                No you don't have to be a police officer to be a crime scene investigator. That is a civilian position. I was told this by 2 police officers during my ride along. If you pay close attention the csi's don't have a sworn badge just an embroided patch on their uniform.
                This is exactly why non-LEOs don't need to answer questions they don't have firsthand knowledge of.

                I've been a CSI with 2 LE agencies in 2 different states, and the correct answer is it varies from state to state, and even agency to agency. In some agencies CSI's (which may have the title Evidence Technician, Crime Scene Technician, Crime Scene Investigator, etc) may be sworn LEOs or they may be non-sworn "civilian" support personnel. If it's a sworn LEO position within a local PD/SO, you'll have to start out first in patrol like everyone else before becoming a CSI. In other agencies (like VA Beach PD), it is a support position and you can be hired directly into a CSI position.

                The FBI has a combination of both within their Evidence Response Team (ERT), consisting of both Special Agent and support staff working as crime scene techs.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kimble View Post
                  This is exactly why non-LEOs don't need to answer questions they don't have firsthand knowledge of.

                  I've been a CSI with 2 LE agencies in 2 different states, and the correct answer is it varies from state to state, and even agency to agency. In some agencies CSI's (which may have the title Evidence Technician, Crime Scene Technician, Crime Scene Investigator, etc) may be sworn LEOs or they may be non-sworn "civilian" support personnel. If it's a sworn LEO position within a local PD/SO, you'll have to start out first in patrol like everyone else before becoming a CSI. In other agencies (like VA Beach PD), it is a support position and you can be hired directly into a CSI position.

                  The FBI has a combination of both within their Evidence Response Team (ERT), consisting of both Special Agent and support staff working as crime scene techs.
                  Thank you for clarifying. Hope you have a great day! Lol

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kimble View Post
                    This is exactly why non-LEOs don't need to answer questions they don't have firsthand knowledge of.

                    I've been a CSI with 2 LE agencies in 2 different states, and the correct answer is it varies from state to state, and even agency to agency. In some agencies CSI's (which may have the title Evidence Technician, Crime Scene Technician, Crime Scene Investigator, etc) may be sworn LEOs or they may be non-sworn "civilian" support personnel. If it's a sworn LEO position within a local PD/SO, you'll have to start out first in patrol like everyone else before becoming a CSI. In other agencies (like VA Beach PD), it is a support position and you can be hired directly into a CSI position.

                    The FBI has a combination of both within their Evidence Response Team (ERT), consisting of both Special Agent and support staff working as crime scene techs.
                    Thanks a lot for clearing that up for me. I appreciate it.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you to everyone who answered =)

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                      • #12
                        No problem

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by yessy92 View Post
                          Reguardless of it I'm still going to go thur the academy but would like to know if it's actually a requirement or not.
                          If your desire is to become a crime scene technician then you are simply wasting time and money if you go through the police academy and you're being hired for an unsworn civilian position. At my agency we employ only civilian CSTs, and we couldn't care less if the applicant has been through the police academy. What IS required is that the applicant be a graduate of a crime scene technician program at a community college. An AS or BS degree in a scientific field is also preferred, and at least a four year degree is a requirement if you want to go to work for FDLE.

                          If you go through the police academy, you will spend thousands of dollars for training that you will never use, and since you won't actually be a LEO you will never be able to get certified. The only reason that you should go through the academy is if you have the desire to be a sworn officer first and work your way up from patrol to a crime scene position at one of the few agencies that actually has sworn officers do the work.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Delta_V View Post
                            If your desire is to become a crime scene technician then you are simply wasting time and money if you go through the police academy and you're being hired for an unsworn civilian position. At my agency we employ only civilian CSTs, and we couldn't care less if the applicant has been through the police academy. What IS required is that the applicant be a graduate of a crime scene technician program at a community college. An AS or BS degree in a scientific field is also preferred, and at least a four year degree is a requirement if you want to go to work for FDLE.

                            If you go through the police academy, you will spend thousands of dollars for training that you will never use, and since you won't actually be a LEO you will never be able to get certified. The only reason that you should go through the academy is if you have the desire to be a sworn officer first and work your way up from patrol to a crime scene position at one of the few agencies that actually has sworn officers do the work.
                            Ditto. My agency has civilian CST's that start somewhere around 13 dollars an hour and just collect evidence and process it.

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