Kw-logo-smaller

Forensic Identification Specialist

Constable Brisson dusts a firearm for fingerprints with the help of forensic science.
Courtesy of RCMP - GRC.
Analyzing forensic evidence.
CMP - GRC.
Bad boys, bad boys what'cha gonna do? What'cha gonna do when forensic science puts the stop on you?
CMP - GRC.
Forensic Identification Specialist - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

Do you pay attention to details and dig TV shows like CSI and The X-Files? Perhaps then a job in forensics might be the perfect career for you! Get the scoop from a cop who works in the field of forensic science!

Do you love watching TV shows like CSI and The X-Files? Are you a detail-oriented person? If you are, then a job in forensics might be the perfect career for you. It's not exactly what you see on TV but there are true crime shows on A&E that paint the real picture. In the meantime here's the scoop from a real-life pro on working in the field of forensic science!

Constable Paul Brisson is a Forensic Identification Specialist (apprentice) for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Kamloops, Canada. Cst. Brisson has 16 years of police service under his belt including nine years as a Collision Analyst and two years in the Forensic Identification section.

In a days work, Cst. Brisson attends crime scenes and/or examines evidence collected from a crime scene by an investigator. At the scene of a crime he'll take photographs, jot down his findings, collect and record forensic evidence such as fingerprints, DNA (hair, skin, blood samples, etc.) and footwear imprints. After preparing a report for the investigator, he submits the fingerprints to the police computer's British Columbia Automated Fingerprint Information System (BCAFIS) to see if there is a match on the fingerprints and to record the info. Then the evidence goes to court.

The Good Stuff

In order to find evidence, Cst. Brisson says, "you have to put yourself in the suspect's shoes." (Hmmm... if I were a bad guy I would have done this first... then gone here, perhaps.) The best part of the job, Paul says, "Is being expected, required and paid to be thorough and be given the time required to complete an investigation."

The Bad Stuff

The worst part of being a forensic specialist is preparing for court. There's a ton of paperwork, yuck!

The $$$

The starting salary for a police Constable is $58,000 CDN a year and after three years you're promoted to a Corporal at $64,000 CDN a year. You can continue to advance up the ranks in forensics. In the US, a forensics specialist can make between $29,300 and $50,000 US a year (salary may very state to state.)

Most Exciting Investigation

The most exciting event for Cst. Brisson was solving a murder case by identifying a wood fragment recovered from the suspect's home. The wood fragment was from a larger piece of wood which had been used as a weapon. Footwear impression evidence was also used to crack the case.

Training

You can't become a forensics specialist overnight. First you have to become a police officer, which is a long and difficult process. Before jumping into forensics you need to have three years of general duty policing (with the RCMP in this case) and you need to have a recommendation as a potential candidate for the field.

Then you have to take a Scenes of Crime Officer Course as well as a Forensic Identification Course at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa, Canada. A forensic specialist is also required to complete a four-year Forensic Identification Apprentice Training Program.

Early Career Prep

Cst. Brisson knew he wanted to be a police officer when he was eight years old and later developed an interest in forensics. "I enjoy looking for answers and finding evidence that speaks for itself," says Cst. Brisson. "I enjoy this type of work so much I can hardly believe I get paid to do it!"

For young people thinking about a career in forensics Cst. Brisson suggests working hard - studying subjects like chemistry, physics, math, computers and even drafting. He also recommends staying out of trouble!

1Did you know that there is a 0% error rate in forensics? If you goof up the evidence, you'll be fired.

1Forensics specialists use 35mm, digital video/image cameras, computers, scanners, fingerprint dusting powders & sprays, UV & laser lights and digital measuring devices.

For more on the RCMP and what's involved in forensics, click here.

Related Stories:

  • Cruelty Investigator
  • Snow Safety Patroller
  • Protecting Our Forests From Flames
  • >
    >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    mokeydokey

    mokeydokey wrote:

    Woohoo! Awesome
    commented: Fri Jun 07, 2013

    Prophey

    Prophey wrote:

    im currently in a forensic science class for a full credit
    commented: Mon Jan 14, 2013

    JustinBieberfan99
    cool!! this has been what i want to do for a year now!!
    commented: Mon May 31, 2010

    there are 3 more comments

    Please login or register to add comments

    share with your friends


    Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like!

    latest videos

    F1011990583968

    Forensics - What's The Neatest Part?

    • Finding a fingerprint or hair sample.
    • Putting a bad guy behind bars.
    • Cracking a very old case.
    • Making a mold of a footprint.

    related stories

    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    GaaraOfTheSand
    GaaraOfTheSand posted in Style:
    I honestly don't know..... I have always been a geeky tomboy
    reply about 2 hours
    LittleLowe
    LittleLowe posted in Style:
    I know how to change. I've seen people do this before. Here are some tips. #1: Start to wear dresses more often #2: Try  different types of hair styles ( or make up you're own) #3: Wear pink lipstick (if allowed by school rules) #4: Wear Pink clothes or  accessories ( like a bow or a skirt) #5: Smile more #6: Talk to boys or make more friends( be more social to others even if it's a boy) These are some tips I can give. Hope you enjoyed trying or reading this!!       Guess what, I am a tomboy!! Crazy right!  :o)
    reply about 3 hours
    AlphaT
    AlphaT posted in Style:
    First off, I fail to see how makeup is girly. But, I mean, little things...what you wear, how you wear it, a purse, lip stuff and eye stuff maybe?
    reply about 3 hours
    GaaraOfTheSand
    GaaraOfTheSand posted in Style:
    The ones #######? Cause that's an Anime
    reply about 3 hours
    123eyesonmebapisrigh
    the  girl  and the  guy ... is that a movie?
    reply about 4 hours

    play online games

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

    Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

    157262_(2)

    When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

    100x100_ra_logo_girl

    Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

    _thumb_100x100

    Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...