Lebanon, Ind - The Lebanon Police department is looking to hire the first full-time Crime Scene Investigator in the department’s history.
Lebanon Police Chief Tyson Warmoth says the move was made possible after Boone County recently passed a half-percent increase in local income taxes, earmarked for public safety funding.
“The need’s been there for a long time, we just didn’t have the financial means to fill it,” Warmoth said.
The new CSI will be a civilian without police arresting powers, but will work alongside the departments investigations division to solve crimes.
“They’ll be the ones responsible for lifting fingerprints,” Warmoth said. “They’ll be the ones responsible for photographing the scene, no matter how horrific.”
Warmoth says he’s looking for someone with a methodical, meticulous approach to documenting crime scenes and handling evidence. The CSI will have to strictly follow laws regarding handling of evidence and the chain of custody while overseeing the department’s property room.
The person should also have a strong stomach.
“When there is an autopsy for a suspicious death, the person will work alongside the pathologist collecting the evidence from that scene as well,” Warmoth said. “You’re going to have to have thick skin and broad shoulders to do this job. Unfortunately, you’re going to see the worst of humanity.”
Not all of the evidence collecting will be gruesome, Warmoth said. The new CSI will also be in charge of locating, downloading and handling video evidence from officers’ in-car cameras.
“If the prosecutors office needs a video from one of the officers in-car cameras for an incident, it will be there responsibility to download this data and get it to the prosecutors office,” Warmoth said.
Once the new CSI is up and running, Warmoth expects to see his department operating in a more streamlined fashion. The Crime Scene Investigator will allow detectives and patrol officers to spend more time on their primary duties.
“The community benefits overall,” Warmoth said. “I have more officers on the street, safer community.”
The streamlining will also help to return stolen items to theft and burglary victims more quickly, he said.
The civilian CSI will be issued a department handgun. The person will not have to carry the weapon at all times, but they will be required to carry it to crime scenes as a matter of self defense. The civilian position will pay an annual salary of $41,000 and will include full city employee benefits.
Warmoth says a high school diploma will be required, but he would prefer a college degree like Criminal Justice. Experience in the field of crime scene investigation would also be helpful. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, must be a U.S. citizen with no prior arrests.
Anyone interested in the job can pick up an application at the Lebanon Police Department Headquarters, located at 201 E Main St. in downtown Lebanon. The application form can also be downloaded from the department’s website.