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Police Identification/Records Officer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Collects evidence at crime scenes, classifies and identifies fingerprints, and photographs evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Law Enforcement Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Maintains records of evidence and writes and reviews reports.
  • Packages, stores and retrieves evidence.
  • Analyzes and processes evidence at crime scenes and in the laboratory, wearing protective equipment and using powders and chemicals.
  • Dusts selected areas of crime scene and lifts latent fingerprints, adhering to proper preservation procedures.
  • Submits evidence to supervisors, crime labs, or court officials for legal proceedings.
  • Photographs crime or accident scenes for evidence records.
  • Identifies, compares, classifies, and files fingerprints, using systems such as Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) or the Henry Classification System.
  • Looks for trace evidence, such as fingerprints, hairs, fibers, or shoe impressions, using alternative light sources when necessary.
  • Testifies in court and presents evidence.
  • Serves as technical advisor and coordinates with other law enforcement workers or legal personnel to exchange information on crime scene collection activities.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Crime Scene Investigator -- Processes crime scenes and gathers evidence during a criminal investigation.
  • Evidence Technician -- Responsible for collecting, receipting, storing, and control of physical evidence/property in the custody of a law enforcement agency.
  • Police Detective -- Conducts investigations to solve criminal cases and to prevent crimes from occurring.
  • Police Officer -- Patrols assigned beat on foot, on motorcycle, in patrol car, or on horseback to control traffic, prevent crime or disturbance of peace, and arrest violators.
  • Police Photographer -- Takes pictures of crime scenes or of victim injuries and objects in order to document the crime for future investigation and any future criminal trials.
  • Crime Scene Evidence Technician --