ILLINOIS STATE POLICE
Division of Forensic Services
Forensic Sciences Command

 
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The Forensic Sciences Command is a part of the Division of Forensic Services, and administers the forensic laboratory system in Illinois. There are seven operational laboratories located throughout the state, each responsible for the analysis and evaluation of evidence. The Forensic Sciences Command considers applicants for the positions of Forensic Scientist Trainee and State Police Evidence Technician (SPET).

Forensic Scientist Trainee

General Information

  • Requires an undergraduate degree in forensic science or one of the natural sciences. Commonly recognized natural sciences include college/university majors in disciplines such as agricultural science, animal science, biochemistry, biology, botany, chemistry, geology, medical technology, physics, preliminary medicine, and zoology. This is not a list of all natural sciences.
  • Trainees are paid while learning their new profession. Monthly salaries of Trainees click here. The correct salary plan ends in the letter 'B.'
  • You will be trained in one of the following specialties:

    Forensic Biology/DNA
    Drug Chemistry
    Latent Prints
    Firearms/Toolmarks
    Microscopy
    Questioned Documents
    Forensic Toxicology
    Trace Evidence

The Training Program

  • Forensic scientist trainees receive comprehensive instruction in the use of the most advanced science, technology, and procedures for analyzing evidence. The length of training programs vary with the forensic disciplines. The length of a person's training will depend on their ability to progress through the program; however, average training times tend to be:

    Forensic Biology* - 18 months (Stain Identification - 5 months, DNA - 13 months)
    Documents - 36 months
    Drug Chemistry - 12 months
    Firearms/Toolmarks - 24 months
    Latent Prints - 24 months
    Microscopy - 18 months
    Toxicology - 18 months
    Trace Chemistry - 23 months (Instruments & Arson - 14 months, Glass - 4 months, Explosives - 4 months, Paints & Polymers - 1 month)

    *Individuals hired for forensic biology will be trained in stain identification. These individuals may also receive training in DNA based on operational needs.

  • Under normal procedures if there are no major quality issues, the trainee will be promoted to a Forensic Scientist I after the successful completion of their training program.

  • As a trainee, you will:
    • receive work assignments designed to develop knowledge, understanding, and technical skills related to one of the specialty areas
    • receive instruction and demonstrate proficiency in the various examinations, techniques, and instrumentation used in the assigned specialty area
    • receive instruction in courtroom procedures and courtroom demeanor, and participate in mock trials

Becoming a Trainee

  • Illinois residents have preference for this position.
    This means applicant ties on total qualification considerations are broken in favor of Illinois residents.
  • You must be willing to travel and/or relocate to the assigned training laboratory and/or operational laboratory upon completion of training.

Steps Involved From Application to Employment:

  • You can mail your forensic scientist trainee application to the State of Illinois, Department of Central Management Services (CMS). Thereafter, CMS reviews your forms to verify your eligibility. Approximately 10 days later, you receive a letter from CMS telling you if you are eligible to take the test. You contact a CMS test site and make arrangements to take the examination that will qualify you to be invited for an interview. You may also submit your application in person and take the examination that day to qualify you to be invited for an interview.
  • After you take the examination, CMS test staff will check your test and assign a grade of "A", "B", "C", or "Not Qualified". The ISP normally only interviews applicants who receive an "A" grade.
  • Prior to conducting interviews, the department will ask CMS for a list of those eligible to be interviewed for available forensic scientist trainee positions. CMS will send the list of "A" grade applicants to the ISP.
  • The ISP may mail you an invitation to interview. If you are one of the top candidates after the interview, the ISP will ask you to take a polygraph examination, and follows up a clear polygraph with a background investigation.
  • Contingent upon a clear background report, the ISP may offer you a job as a forensic scientist trainee to begin about 30 days after the job offer. Often, there are far more qualified candidates than available positions.

For questions related to the application process...

  • Write to:
    Illinois State Police
    Statewide Training Program
    2060 Hill Meadows Drive
    Springfield, IL 62702-4670
  • Or telephone:
    FSC Training - 217-557-2399 extension 4
  • Or via Internet:
    http://www.isp.state.il.us
    Click on Employment and look under Forensic Science.
  • Obtain and complete a form CMS 100.
  • To be sure the Department of Central Management Services will grade your application properly, the ISP recommends you fill in specific answers as follows:
Position Title: Forensic Scientist Trainee
County Choice: (leave blank)*
Cook/Zone: (leave blank)
Availability: A
Work History Complete from age 18 (if you were in high school at age 18, please note name of high school
Education Report: Complete in full











*Under county choice, leave the box empty. After you print out the application, write in "Statewide" as the primary choice, with no secondary choice.

You must submit a separate application for each option.

Be sure to sign each application in the appropriate space in the Signatures Section at the bottom of page 1. All applications, both originals and photocopies, must be signed in original ink, i.e. you must not photocopy your signature. Only high quality photocopies will be accepted. Remember to keep a copy for your own records.

Send the completed application to:

Central Management Services
Examining and Counseling
Room 500
Stratton Office Building
401 South Spring Street
Springfield, IL 62706

Once your application has been reviewed to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for this position, you will be notified of your eligibility to take the written test.

Forensic Scientist Trainee Options

  • Option A:
    • Firearms/Toolmarks, Latent Prints, and Questioned Documents Laboratory Disciplines
      • Minimum training and experience: Requires a Bachelor's degree in natural science or forensic science.
  • Option B:
    • Trace Chemistry / Microscopy, Drug Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory Disciplines
      • Minimum training and experience: Requires a Bachelor's degree in natural science or forensic science including a minimum of 20 semester hours of coursework in chemistry, with a total of 60 semester hours of coursework in natural science.
  • Option C:
    • Biology and DNA Laboratory Disciplines
      • Minimum training and experience: Requires a Bachelor's degree in natural science or forensic science including a total of 9 semester hours in the three DNA class requirements of genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology and a total of 60 semester hours of coursework in natural science.

      1. In order to satisfy the course requirement, the subject (genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry) must be the primary component (greater than half of the lectures must be on the specific subject) of the class being considered. Additionally, any given class can only count for one of the three required courses. Listed below are the topics that must be included in each class in order for it to count as the required course.

        GENETICS
        Chromosome Structure
        DNA
        Mendelian genetics - (Punnett squares, Laws of probability, Reading pedigrees, Phenotype vs. genotype)
        Inheritance
        Law of Independent Assortment
        Mitosis
        Meiosis
        Linkage

        MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
        Central Dogma of DNA - (Replication, Transcription, Translation)
        Structure of DNA
        Structure of Chromosomes
        Nucleic acid structure
        Bonding of DNA
        Types of DNA (S and Z structures)
        Repair of DNA
        Gene regulation
        DNA synthesis
        RNA synthesis
        Technologies such as electrophoresis of DNA, cloning, PCR, etc.

        BIOCHEMISTRY
        Electron transport chain
        Amino acids
        Proteins/Enzyme function
        Metabolic and energy transport cycles
        Lipids, Fatty acids, Carbohydrates

State Police Evidence Technician (SPET)

Requires knowledge, skill, and mental development equivalent to the completion of two years of college, preferably in one of the natural/biological sciences and/or law enforcement.

Commonly recognized natural sciences include college/university majors in disciplines like agricultural science, animal science, biochemistry, biology, botany, chemistry, entomology, geology, medical technology, physics, preliminary medicine, and zoology. This is not a list of all natural sciences.

  • As an SPET, you will need to:
    • gain and maintain satisfactory working relationships with coworkers, various law enforcement personnel, and legal system personnel
    • communicate ideas effectively in oral and written form
    • analyze and correlate data contained in reports of crime
    • testify effectively in court
    • use computer software programs and hardware
    • construct court exhibits and demonstration charts
  • Click here for a listing of salaries. The correct salary plan ends in the letter 'B.'

Becoming a State Police Evidence Technician (SPET)

Application Process...

  • Obtain and complete a form CMS 100 (please note that this form will take a few moments to download)
  • A separate application must be submitted for each title
  • To be sure the Department of Central Management Services will grade your application properly, the ISP recommends you fill in specific answers as follows:
Position Title: State Police Evidence Technician I or II
County Choice: (see map of laboratory locations)
Cook/Zone: For Cook County Only, select one of options listed
Availability: A
Work History: Complete from age 18 (if you were in high school at age 18, please note name of high school
Education Report: Complete in full

Be sure to sign each application in the appropriate space in the Signatures Section at the bottom of page 1. All applications, both originals and photocopies, must be signed in original ink, i.e. you must not photocopy your signature. Only high quality photocopies will be accepted. Remember to keep a copy for your own records.

Send the completed application to:

Central Management Services
Examining and Counseling
Room 500
Stratton Office Building
401 South Spring Street
Springfield, IL 62706

 

Jill R. Rizzs
Colonel

Kevin P. Poehls
Lt. Colonel

Arlene K. Hall
Commander

Timothy A. Tripp
Bureau Chief

Jan L. Johnson
Acting Bureau Chief

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