FIREARMS/TOOLMARK EXAMINER TRAINEE
Virgin Islands Police Department
FIREARMS/TOOLMARK EXAMINER TRAINEE
FIREARMS/TOOLMARK EXAMINER TRAINEE examines and identifies firearms, weapons, cartridges, bullets, and similar evidence in criminal investigations; collects physical evidence at crime scenes; testifies in court concerning the results of examinations; provides expert testimony on general firearms capability and examination methodology; and does related work. This position requires a confidential relationship to a policy maker. The incumbent must successfully complete the Firearms Identification Training program over a two-year period before becoming certified.
Examines and tests firearms, spent bullets, and related evidence in criminal cases to develop facts useful in apprehension prosecution of suspects.
Examines bullets, bullet fragments, cartridge clips, firearms and related evidence found at scene of crime or in possession of suspect to identify make caliber of weapon.
Test-fires weapons allegedly used to facilitate microscopic comparison of bullets from test weapon with those discovered at scene of crime.
Determines, from knowledge of ballistics theory and standard test procedures, probable angle distance from which crime weapon was fired, revealing origin of shot.
Prepares reports of findings testifies at inquests, trials, and other hearings to facilitate prosecution or exoneration of suspects on basis of determinations.
May perform standardized tests on other articles of evidence, using chemical agents, physical-testing equipment, measuring instruments, and prescribed procedure, to define relationship of evidence to suspect to crime.
Takes photographs of ammunition employing photomicrographic techniques;
Prepares reports on all examinations of evidence which includes description of weapon and/or ammunition, and results of test firing and/or comparisons;
Accesses databases to search for and retrieve information.
Identifies any unique markings present on these such as striations, scratches, breech marks, firing pin impressions, extractor marks, and ejector marks.
Identifies the caliber and manufacturer of ammunition and components.
Uses a comparison microscope to compare standards with evidentiary materials.
Determines if the standards and evidentiary materials came from the same firearm.
Examines firearms, identifying and documenting their condition, defects, and characteristics.
Utilizes a national database (NIBIN) to associate firearms and/or fired cartridge case evidence to other criminal incidents by conducting digital microscopic comparison examinations.
Conducts scientific tests and calculations for interior, exterior, terminal and forensic ballistics studies;
Advises police officers and investigators in the collection and handling of ballistics and firearms at crime scenes;
Testifies in court as to the findings of tests performed in the laboratory and concerning general
FACTOR 1- KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY THE POSITION:
Knowledge of the makes, models, and characteristics of domestic and foreign firearms and ammunition;
Knowledge of equipment used to test and identify firearms and ammunition;
Knowledge of principles and practices of tool mark identification;
Knowledge of principles and practices of firearm and ammunition identification and comparison;
Knowledge of operations and handling of firearms and ammunition;
Knowledge of general principles of external and terminal ballistics;
Knowledge of laboratory techniques used in the performance of microscopic examinations as they pertain to firearms and ammunition;
Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws governing firearms;
Knowledge of rules of evidence and court room procedures;
Knowledge of procedures pertaining to chemical restoration;
Knowledge of principles, practices, and procedures of general laboratory safety.
The ability to use laboratory equipment, especially microscopes, scales, and other firearm testing devices;
The ability to make precise and accurate microscopic examinations and comparisons;
The ability to communicate effectively for the purpose of conducting training classes and explaining technical aspects of ballistics and firearms examination to non-technical people;
The ability to Testify effectively in court regarding the findings of tests performed and concerning general firearms examination science;
The ability to deal tactfully and effectively with coworkers, including sworn law enforcement personnel, public officials, and the public;
The ability to maintain records, prepare documentation on the results of the collection and analysis of evidence, and prepare reports on analyzed evidence which may be used in court.
FACTOR 2- SUPERVISION CONTROLS:
Work is performed under the supervision of a supervisor of the firearms forensic unit.
FACTOR 3- GUIDELINES:
Guidelines are set by national standard of the Firearms Examiner and laws, rules and regulations set by Judicial System, the Police Department, and Federal and Local Standards as they relate to the work being performed.
FACTOR 4- COMPLEXITY:
The employee in this position performs highly technical work which involves procedures used in the examination, test firing, and comparison of a variety of firearms, weapons, cartridges, bullets and similar evidence in order to classify, match, and identify them.
FACTOR 5- SCOPE AND EFFECT:
This is a position in which the employee conducts forensic analysis on firearms and ballistics.
FACTOR 6- PERSONAL CONTACTS:
Contacts are made with prosecutors, attorney, court personnel, inter-departmental personnel and other personnel throughout the forensic community.
FACTOR 7- PURPOSE OF CONTACTS:
Contacts are made to gather evidence and provide report in criminal cases.
FACTOR 8- PHYSICAL DEMAND:
Work is performed indoors and outdoors, depending on where the criminal activity takes place; walking to a crime scene which may require bending, stooping and lifting of objects to gather evidence.
FACTOR 9- WORK ENVIRONMENT:
Work is performed in a laboratory setting with occasional requirements for field duty. Work may be performed with biological fluids or stains and solvents, requiring the application of universal safety precautions.
Graduation from a recognized four-year college or university in the fields of forensic, criminal justice or biology.
NECESSARY SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS:
Must pass a comprehensive background check conducted by the Internal Affairs and
Applicant Screening Bureau of the Virgin Islands Police Department. Applicants are subject to all selection and entry standards of the Virgin Islands Police Department, including, but not limited to:
Must successfully complete the Firearms Identification Training program over a two-year period before becoming certified.