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


    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

    AlphaT
    AlphaT posted in Style:
    Wear bigger clothes. Heck, I wear a 2-3 X
    reply about 1 hour
    DisneyanimeLover
    "ThunderSpirit" wrote:Wow. We have more in common than I thought.I had the same problem [except she was a little less mean] and this is the advice I was given. Don't exactly go up to her and say, "I don't wanna be friends," because although she is mean, she still might be hurt. Just don't really make it official, but slowly drift apart from her. Try to meet new people, maybe there's someone great you just haven't met yet. And maybe she's having problems of her own, not like that's an excuse. But in the end, if she does apologize to you, she might be a friend worth keeping, but those insults were pretty serious, not something best friends would do, and you probably wouldn't forgive her. I get that. Thanks for the good advice! I don`t see her often so drifting away is the smartest idea. Although I see her at family parties and stuff cause she is a family friend. I`ll try and drift away from her. If she gets better at being kind I`ll be her friend again most likely. Thanks! 
    reply about 4 hours
    ThunderSpirit
    ThunderSpirit posted in Friends:
    Wow. We have more in common than I thought. I had the same problem [except she was a little less mean] and this is the advice I was given. Don't exactly go up to her and say, "I don't wanna be friends," because although she is mean, she still might be hurt. Just don't really make it official, but slowly drift apart from her. Try to meet new people, maybe there's someone great you just haven't met yet. And maybe she's having problems of her own, not like that's an excuse. But in the end, if she does apologize to you, she might be a friend worth keeping, but those insults were pretty serious, not something best friends would do, and you probably wouldn't forgive her. I get that.
    reply about 4 hours
    DisneyanimeLover
    I have this friend who has been my friend for 6 years. And she is so RUDE. She says mean things about me and MY MOTHER. Seriously she says really awful things about my mom like this: "Her IQ is high? Oh she must have took the IDIOT test." And tells me "Eww you wear Disney Princess shirts? Eww you are so messed up!" She always acts better than me whether we are alone or with people. She tries to make people hate me and she tries to act mature and she alway tells me "You should respect your mom and do what she tells you" She is awful. I wanna tell her she is mean and I dont wanna be friends. But I can`t! Its hard to do that when you know someone for 7 years. HELP!
    reply about 4 hours
    Kirsteeeeen
    Kirsteeeeen posted in Style:
    As the previous person said, look online. There are very cute clothes available in bigger sizes! Also when you go shopping take a look in popular stores as well as less popular that might look as if they're for older people. Often they follow very similar trends but have bigger sizes!
    reply about 8 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...