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Career Opportunity

Criminalist I, Chemical Analysis - SFPD (8259)

Recruitment: RTF0146884-01114442

Published: June 06, 2024


Danny Wan -

Apply using SmartRecruiters, the City and County of San Francisco's application portal Learn More

Department: Police
Job class: 8259-Criminalist I
Salary range: $95,914.00 - $116,532.00
Role type: Permanent Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) was established in 1849 and continually strives to become a more effective inclusive and modern police department while earning the trust and pride of those we serve and those who serve. Our goal is to reflect on current SFPD initiatives, assess best practices across the country and evaluate the changing environment in policing and within the City to arrive at a strategy statement that the Department and our community can embody every day.

The San Francisco Police Department stands for Safety and Respect for All. We will engage in just, transparent, unbiased and responsive policing. We will do so in the spirit of dignity and in collaboration with the community. We will continuously maintain and build trust and respect as the guardians of Constitutional and human rights.

The San Francisco Police Department is committed to excellence in law enforcement and is dedicated to the people, traditions and diversity of our City. The department provides service with understanding, response with compassion, performance with integrity and law enforcement with vision. The department has grown into a nationally known police department providing law enforcement services to one of the most recognized cities in the United States.

Specific information regarding this recruitment process are listed below:

  • Application Opening: May 24, 2024
  • Application Deadline: Apply immediately, announcement may close anytime after 2 weeks from posting date.
  • Class & Compensation: $95,914 - $116,532
  • Recruitment ID: PEX-8259-146885
  • Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt - This position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer. The duration of the appointment shall not exceed 36 months.
  • Work Location: SFPD Criminalistics Laboratory, 1995 Evans Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124
  • Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, Full-time. Telecommuting work schedule available in line with CCSF policy. Some assignments may require working weekends and/or holidays. 

Role description

This is an entry-level classification in the San Francisco Police Department Criminalistics Laboratory. Incumbents will receive on-the-job training in the examination of evidence to perform basic analytical tests as it relates to controlled substances and forensic breath alcohol analysis. The 8259 Criminalist I will be initially training as a controlled substances analyst to include the aspects of instrumental analysis and maintenance, reagent and standard preparation and testing, and other related duties up to and including participation in casework. As training progresses the 8259 Criminalist I will be assigned routine laboratory duties and as they become fully trained will progress to increasingly complex assignments.

Essentials Duties & Responsibilities:

  1. Retrieves evidence from crime scenes, property control and/or medical examiner's office or from other custodians following established chain of custody procedures.
  2. Preserves evidence following established laboratory standards by inventorying, documenting, and safekeeping evidence.
  3. Complies with established quality control procedures to ensure proper functioning and maintenance of laboratory equipment and reagents, trains lab staff and officers in its use.
  4. Adheres to established safety standards in the preparation, storage and disposal of chemicals to ensure personal safety and validity of the scientific process.
  5. Documents case observations and interpretations through detailed notes, photographs, sketches, charts, etc.
  6. Prepares and participates in the review of technical reports on interpretation of case examinations.
  7. Uses and maintains highly technical laboratory instruments and equipment.
  8. Presents court testimony as an expert witness concerning conclusions drawn from laboratory examinations and analyses.
  9. Identifies controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, pharmaceuticals, and others.
  10. Assists in the breath alcohol analysis and instrumental support.
  11. Participates in proficiency testing to comply with national quality assurance standards.
  12. The Criminalist I also perform related duties as required.

How to qualify

To be considered, you must possess the following education and experience:

1. Education: Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in criminalistics, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a closely related physical science field.

  • Course work: Must include 8 semester units of chemistry with lab and 8 semester units of organic chemistry with lab. (Applicants must submit verification of coursework)


2. License: Possession of a valid driver’s license.

Verification of Education: Applicants are required to submit verification of qualifying education and coursework. Information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility or disqualification.

What else should I know?

Background Investigation: Prior to employment with the San Francisco Police Department, a thorough background investigation will be conducted to determine the candidate’s suitability for employment. The investigation may include, but not be limited to: criminal history records, driving records, drug/alcohol screening, and other related employment and personal history records. Reasons for rejection may include use of  controlled substances and alcohol, felony conviction, repeated or serious violations of the law, inability to work with co-workers, inability to accept supervision, inability to follow rules and regulations or other relevant factors. Candidates may be required to undergo  drug/alcohol screening, and must clear Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprinting. Criminal records will be carefully reviewed; candidates who do not report their complete criminal records on their applications will be disqualified. Applicants will be fingerprinted.

Recruiter Information: If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the Staff Services analyst, Danny Wan at

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco:

SFPD Recruitment:

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.