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  • Sworn Biologists?

    Hey guys, I've been reading the forum for a while (it took a while to get validated), and I'm excited to become part of this community.

    My question regards sworn Biologists. I am expected to finish my MS in molecular biology this December and I'm interested in becoming a biologist for a Law Enforcement Agency. I think that I will gain more satisfaction from this type of work then if I were to go to work in pharmaceuticals or education.

    Anyway, are you guys aware of many local / state / federal departments that hire biologists as sworn LEO's? I know that the NC SBI has in the past but no longer does so (however I believe their chemists are still sworn?).

    I believe that perhaps the FBI also has sworn Biologists? What about other federal agencies are they hiring biologists in any capacity?

    I'm under the assumption that there are few "local" agencies that hire biologists and I should concentrate on the state and federal level, is that the case? Perhaps large municipalities do have a need for Biologists (ie New York, Chicago)?

    I appreciate all of your help, and again great community, thanks.

  • #2
    Sworn Biologists

    Originally posted by surfnc View Post
    Hey guys, I've been reading the forum for a while (it took a while to get validated), and I'm excited to become part of this community.

    My question regards sworn Biologists. I am expected to finish my MS in molecular biology this December and I'm interested in becoming a biologist for a Law Enforcement Agency. I think that I will gain more satisfaction from this type of work then if I were to go to work in pharmaceuticals or education.

    Anyway, are you guys aware of many local / state / federal departments that hire biologists as sworn LEO's? I know that the NC SBI has in the past but no longer does so (however I believe their chemists are still sworn?).

    I believe that perhaps the FBI also has sworn Biologists? What about other federal agencies are they hiring biologists in any capacity?

    I'm under the assumption that there are few "local" agencies that hire biologists and I should concentrate on the state and federal level, is that the case? Perhaps large municipalities do have a need for Biologists (ie New York, Chicago)?

    I appreciate all of your help, and again great community, thanks.
    I don't know of any agencies that employ Biologists as sworn officers. That doesn't mean they're aren't any. I would suggest you do a Google, or similiar search to find out. Another alternative you might explore,is that of a Reserve or Auxiliary Officer.

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    • #3
      Yeah the whole CSI phenomenon is quite unrealistic. I've never heard of lab techs that also go into the field to gather evidence and are also sworn officers that carry guns, badges, etc... Not to say that there are NO agencies that do it.

      Most agencies that I have delt with have these jobs compartmentalized. Detectives that investigate and are sworn officers and sometimes do their own evidence collection. We have officers that just do crime scene stuff and work hand in hand withthe investigating detective.

      All evidence that requires lab analysis goes to our lab (or sometimes the state lab) for processing. This is done by civilians with high-falutin' degrees like your molecular biology degree. They have no law enforcement authority.

      I think that there are several reasons for the seperation of lab personnel and law enforcement officers. Checks and balances/avoidance of a conflict of interest would be one. An independent analysis of the evidence is harder to chalange in court as opposed to the officer that actually collected the evidence and maybe has something invested in the case doing it himself.

      Also, it seems that lab work can be pretty hectic and to try to split time between being a sworn LE agent and a lab techie would be too difficult. Besides, as a super-smart lab guru they would be paying you way too much to have you out in the street trying to put the habeus grabbus on bad guys.

      If your looking to do both then maybe try what someone else has suggested. Get a good forensic lab job and then look into volunteer/reserve policing.
      Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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      • #4
        Sworn lab

        Up until last year, the NC SBI crime lab swore in their lab agents. They had to go through the 6-month BLET/academy before starting their lab quals. The thinking was that lab agents may have to come to the field and process crime scenes. The NC legislature put a stop to that and now all new lab personnel are hired as examiners and not agents, except for chemists who may have to go into meth labs. All existing lab agents are grandfathered till the end of their career.
        Politically Correct? No.

        Truthful? Yes!

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        • #5
          You might look into a state with a significant Department of Natural Resources, like Wisconsin.

          YMMV,

          EDJ
          "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."

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          • #6
            Thanks officers, I appreciate all of your help and valuable insight! I will look at volunteer/reserve policing opportunities.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ElDiabloJoe View Post
              You might look into a state with a significant Department of Natural Resources, like Wisconsin.

              YMMV,

              EDJ
              A biology degree won't get you the position you're looking for here. It'll HELP you get a job as a Conservation Warden, but they don't do any processing, let alone run into scenes that require processing (few and far between I'm sure). If you were hired by the DNR here, it wouldn't be in law enforcement (unless you applied and passed as a warden). The DNR deals with... well... natural resources. A fisheries biologist or soil scientist would be more closely related to your degree.
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