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FORENSIC INVESTIGATOR I
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. Investigation techniques, interviewing skills and application of basic medical knowledge are necessary to execute this function. This work is done in the field and in office environments. The investigation of the cause and manner of death is the distinguishing feature of this class. 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 Morgue Attendants and Forensic 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.
Acts as Medical Examiner's liaison with related agencies and organizations.
Responds to death scenes, examines decedents, collects evidence and personal effects and arranges for removal of the decedent to the Medical Examinerís 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.
Assists in referrals for tissue donation following discussion with families.
Conducts bereavement counseling and refers to appropriate community support agencies as required.
Takes x-rays of bodies and draws blood.
Testifies at court proceedings as needed.
May prioritize office activities based on workload, and directs subordinate staff members in accomplishment of tasks.
Participates in public health preparedness activities as trained and assigned.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Working knowledge of principles and practices of investigation to assist in the determination of the cause of death.
Working knowledge of medical nomenclature.
Working knowledge of interviewing techniques.
Working knowledge of modern forensic pathological laboratory principles and practices.
Ability to compile and organize clear, concise and accurate written and oral reports.
Ability to interview and gather data verbally.
Ability to understand and prepare written material.
Ability and physical strength to lift and move heavy bodies under difficult circumstances.
Ability to take photographs and x-rays.
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.
A. Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a Bachelorís degree related to a science (biological or physical science or anthropology) or a health-related curriculum (such as nursing) or criminal justice and successful completion of an internship with a minimum of 150 hours in a Medical Examinerís office; or
B. Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with an Associateís degree related to a science (biological or physical science or anthropology) or a health-related curriculum (such as nursing) or criminal justice and two (2) years of work experience as a medicolegal death investigator*; or
C. American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators board certification.
*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 license 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.