Arkansas State Crime Lab
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Typically, turnover rates are low at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. When job openings are available, they are posted on www.arstatejobs.com.

 The following is a guide for the education requirements required by our different forensic disciplines, with a brief description of each section. For more detailed information, visit the Section Information tab.

Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)

This section processes all convicted offender samples and felony arrestee samples utilizing DNA technology to input into  the National DNA Index System (NDIS). Convicted offender samples as well as casework  samples are searched locally in the State DNA Index System (SDIS) and on the national level to  help solve criminal cases.

Educational Requirement: B.S. Biology. Must have courses in Molecular Biology (Cell Biology may be substituted based on course structure), Genetics, and Biochemistry. Statistics is also preferred.

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Digital Evidence

The Digital Evidence section is responsible for analyzing computers, digital storage devices,
 video and audio evidence, and questioned counterfeit documents for the criminal justice system.
 This may include systematic retrieval of digital data that may be of evidentiary value, video and
 audio tape recovery and enhancement as well as technical support to law enforcement agencies.
 This analysis is performed in a chain of custody environment using validated and appropriate
 procedures in order to ensure the most accurate and relevant analytical results.

Educational Requirement: Four-year degree in a natural science.

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Firearms/Toolmarks

This section performs examinations which include the identification of bullets, cartridge cases and shot shells with suspect weapons. They also perform examinations for the identification of tool marks with suspect tool; weapon function and mechanical condition testing; gunshot residue distance determination; restoration of obliterated serial numbers; image cartridge cases and bullets into the National Integrated Ballistics

Information Network (NIBIN).

Educational Requirement: Four-year degree in a natural science.

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Forensic Chemistry

This section utilizes various scientific methodologies and instrumentation to perform analyses to identify controlled substances. Included are drugs of abuse controlled under Act 590 of 1971 and addenda thereafter. 

Educational Requirement: B.S. Chemistry.

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Forensic DNA

This section analyzes biological evidence utilizing PCR technology in order to determine its source. This evidence is used to include or exclude individuals from having deposited the evidence in the commission of a criminal act.

Educational Requirement: B.S. Biology. Must have courses in Molecular Biology (Cell Biology may be substituted based on course structure), Genetics, and Biochemistry. Statistics is also preferred.

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Forensic Toxicology

This section analyzes samples from the State Medical Examiner, Law Enforcement Officers, and County Coroners. They utilize various scientific methodologies and instrumentation to perform analysis on biological specimens to determine the presence and levels of drugs and/or alcohol (blood drug identification, urine drug identifications, blood alcohol analysis and urine alcohol analysis).

Educational Requirement: B.S. Chemistry or Biology

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Latent Prints

This section develops latent fingerprints using a full range of physical, chemical and alternative light source methods and compare to prints of subjects in order to identify or eliminate. This section also compares footwear and tire impressions to suspect footwear and tires. The computer based Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is utilized for searching, matching and storing fingerprints and related data.

Educational Requirement: Four-year degree in a natural science.

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Physical Evidence-Serology

This section utilizes scientific methodologies and instrumentation to examine physical evidence for
 the presence of any biological fluids.

Educational Requirement: Four-year degree in a natural science.

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Physical Evidence-Trace

This section utilizes scientific methodologies and instrumentation to examine physical evidence for the
 presence of fibers, hairs, paint, glass, tape, fire debris, lamp filaments, primer gunshot residue
 from suspects and physical comparisons. This section also performs other miscellaneous analysis when
 appropriate. They compare questioned samples to known samples to determine if a common origin
 exists.

Educational Requirement: B.S. Chemistry

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Medical Examiners

The Medical Examiner performs post mortem examination and makes a determination of the cause and manner of deaths, which become subject to the jurisdiction of the State Medical Examiner as set out in Statute 12-12-315 and shall include the general application of the medical sciences to assist the criminal justice system in the State of Arkansas.

Qualifications: Shall be citizens of the US and physicians or surgeons with a doctor of medicine degree who have been licensed or who are eligible to be licensed to practice medicine in the State of Arkansas, who have a minimum of three (3) years postgraduate training in human pathology as recognized by the American Medical Association, and who have had at least one (1) year of experence in medical-legal practice. The Chief Medical Examiner shall also be board certified or eligible for board certification as recognized by the American Board of Pathology in Forensic Pathology.

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Morgue Technicians

Morgue technicians assist the Medical Examiners during autopsies. Some of the technicians are cross-trained to take autopsy photographs and/or process evidence.

Educational Requirements: High school graduate (or equivalent) (medical experience is preferred).

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Forensic Investigators

Forensic investigators are responsible for transporting bodies to the ASCL for examination. A good driving record is necessary; a candidate cannot be considered for this position if they have a prior DUI/DWI conviction or any moving traffic violations within three years. Candidates must pass a background check and be able to safely lift moderately heavy loads.

Educational Requirement: High school diploma or equivalent. They must have at least two years experience in law enforcement, two years experience in a medical related field, or formal education in an appropriate discipline, such as criminal justice. The forensic investigators are required to either hold basic certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators or achieve basic certification within two years of hire. After achieving basic certification, the forensic investigators will be required to obtain continuing education and maintain basic certification. Forensic investigators will be trained to properly obtain and preserve evidence, including biological fluid samples from cases of suspected sexual assault.

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Contact Information

Arkansas State Crime Laboratory
3 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 227-5747 | (501) 227-5936
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