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SENIOR FORENSIC INVESTIGATOR
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for data gathering and analysis that assists Medical Examiners in investigating and determining the cause and manner of death, as well as overseeing the day-to-day activities of Forensic Investigators. Investigation techniques, interviewing skills, application of basic medical knowledge and excellent organizational and time-management skills are necessary to execute this function. The work is done in the field and in office environments. An employee in this class is also responsible for performing, at the direction of the Medical Examiner and where necessary, some of the activities of other technical staff, including Forensic Autopsy Technicians, Forensic Attendants and Morgue Attendants. An employee in this class works under the general supervision of Pathologists and/or the Director of Operations, and under the direct supervision of the Medical Examiner. An employee in this class may exercise supervision over Forensic Attendants and Morgue Attendants. Certain assignments made to employees in this class will require reasonable access to transportation to meet field work requirements made in the ordinary course of business in a timely and efficient manner. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Gathers data from police, medical, family and other sources through field and office work pertinent to investigating the cause and manner of death.
Prepares forms and documents and generates death investigation reports; maintains electronic case information and routine case files; conducts research for reports and other purposes; completes mandated reporting.
Responds to death scenes, examines decedents, collects evidence and personal effects and arranges for removal of the decedent to the Medical Examiner’s office. This may involve potentially hazardous scene environments, such as highways and various terrains.
Takes photographs of bodies, scenes of death and items pertinent to the Medical Examiner's investigations and downloads them to the photo database.
Conducts investigations in, and assists in the development of, procedures for specialized areas such as NAMUS/unidentified remains, mass fatality response, tissue recovery and cold cases.
Oversees, coordinates with and contributes to, performance evaluations of Forensic Investigators and other forensic staff as applicable, and provides training where appropriate.
Coordinates and facilitates training activities for, and monitors the progress of, newly hired Forensic Investigators and other forensic staff as applicable.
Trains and conducts quality assurance monitoring as needed in cooperation with Forensic Investigators and other forensic staff as applicable.
May prioritize office activities based on workload, and directs subordinate staff in accomplishment of tasks.
Conducts bereavement counseling and refers family members to appropriate community support agencies as needed.
Participates in educational training sessions with partner agencies and educational institutions.
Assists in referrals for tissue donation following discussion with families.
Participates in American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) membership and continuing education required to maintain ABMDI certification.
Acts as Medical Examiner's liaison with related agencies and organizations.
Testifies at court proceedings as needed.
Participates in public health preparedness activities as trained and assigned.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Comprehensive knowledge of modern forensic pathological laboratory principles and practices.
Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of investigation in order to assist in the determination of cause of death.
Thorough knowledge of medical nomenclature.
Thorough knowledge of interviewing techniques.
Ability to train less experienced and/or newly hired employees.
Ability to oversee and direct subordinate forensic staff.
Ability to compile and organize clear, concise and accurate written and oral reports.
Ability to gather data through verbal interviews.
Ability to interpret and prepare written material.
Ability and physical strength to lift and move heavy bodies under difficult circumstances.
Ability to take photographs and x-rays, and develop same.
Ability to meet and talk with relatives and friends of deceased persons under trying circumstances.
Ability to interact with diverse cultural and ethnic groups and express sensitivity to their cultural needs.
Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
Ability to learn laboratory procedures.
Ability to utilize computer hardware and software.
Five (5) years of permanent, competitive class status in the title of Forensic Investigator II.
Current American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigator board certification and ten (10) years of paid full-time, or its part-time equivalent, work experience as a medicolegal death investigator*.
*NOTE: Investigation experience must have involved field work to gather information (photos, measurements, data, evidence and interviews). Conducting structured interviews, telephone checks, collection work or simple on-site observations will not be considered as investigation experience.
SPECIAL NECESSARY REQUIREMENT:
When required to operate motor vehicles, employees must possess a valid Non-CDL or CDL with appropriate endorsements as required by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for the class of vehicle(s) being operated.
Applicants will be required to undergo a State and national criminal history background investigation, which will include a fingerprint check to determine suitability for appointment. Failure to meet the standards for the background investigation may result in disqualification.