Police Identification & Records Officers
Also called: Crime Scene Investigator, Crime Scene Technician, Criminalist, Forensic Specialist
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Whether on foot, wheels, or horseback, detectives and police officers are alert for any threat to public safety, ready to respond at a moment’s notice when a need occurs. Police and sheriff’s officers protect lives and property. They respond to emergency and patrol their assigned area for signs of criminal activity. They wear recognizable uniforms, and may conduct searches and arrest suspected criminals. Some officers specialize in one type of crime, such as narcotics. Detectives and criminal investigators, or agents, gather facts and evidence of possible crimes. They conduct interviews, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids and arrests. Detectives often wear plain clothes, and usually specialize in investigating one type of crime, such as homicide or fraud. Transit and railroad police patrol railroad yards and transit stations to prevent thefts and protect property. Police and detective work requires patience, and paperwork; officers document every incident in detail, and must be ready to testify in court. Most officers carry law enforcement tools, such as radios, handcuffs, and firearms. Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous; injuries are common. Despite working shifts around the clock and dealing with life-threatening situations, officers must stay calm, think clearly, and use good judgment at all times. Most positions require graduation from a law enforcement agency’s training academy and extensive on-the-job training. Police officers and detectives need a license to carry firearms and enforce the law. Typically, candidates must be U.S. citizens, at least 21 years old, and in excellent physical and mental health, with no felony convictions.
What they do:Collect evidence at crime scene, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
On the job, you would:
- Maintain records of evidence and write and review reports.
- Package, store and retrieve evidence.
- Submit evidence to supervisors, crime labs, or court officials for legal proceedings.
Safety and Government
- law and government
- public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- customer service
- administrative services
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- listen and understand what people say
- read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- order or arrange things
- see hidden patterns
- quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Stress Tolerance
You might use software like this on the job:
Graphics or photo imaging software
Data base user interface and query software
- DataWorks Plus Digital CrimeScene
- Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS