Frequently Asked Questions

What are the qualifications for employment with the Crime Lab?

An individual seeking employment as a Forensic Scientist at the Crime Lab must meet several requirements. A bachelor's degree in a natural science or closely related field is required, and applicants are recommended to have at least 20 hours in college chemistry. Laboratory skills and experience are an essential requirement. Although the Forensic Scientists are not law enforcement officers, they must also meet the Sheriff's Office entry requirements which include a background check, polygraph and drug screen. Unpaid internships for Forensic Chemistry students are also available through Lamar University, and potential interns must meet the same requirements for potential employees of the Sheriff's Office.

Where can I get more information about a career in forensic science?

The Crime Lab receives numerous inquiries about the duties and responsibilities of forensic scientists. The links below will provide access to a wealth of material, including information on the various disciplines in forensic science, employment opportunities, and educational programs as well as links to other crime laboratories.

I’ve got an item that I would like to have analyzed. Will the Crime Lab test it for me?

Since the Crime Lab can only analyze items that are related to criminal offenses, only law enforcement agencies may submit evidence. Submissions from the general public cannot be accepted.

Will the Crime Lab provide a copy of the lab results relating to my case?

Unfortunately, due to confidentiality policies and accreditation criteria, lab results must be released through the law enforcement agency that submitted the evidence. Please contact the law enforcement agency for the results.

Does the Laboratory perform fingerprinting analysis or do they fingerprint individuals?

No, the Laboratory does not perform fingerprinting. All fingerprinting requests should be referred to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit.

Can I request that the Crime Lab come and process my vehicle/residence after a crime?

No, only law enforcement can request crime scene assistance. The Crime Lab is usually only dispatched for major crimes such as homicides.

Does the Crime Lab conduct tours?

No, the Crime Lab is unable to give tours to the general public.

Does the Crime Lab conduct training?

Yes, the Forensic Scientists in the Crime Lab provide training to local law enforcement as requested on various topics of forensic science. The Crime Lab may also arrange for specialized training from other experts in different aspects of testing or evidence collection for the benefit of law enforcement. In addition, the Drug Chemistry section provides training to law enforcement using the spot test chemicals utilized to test controlled substances in the field. This training is provided once a year, usually in January or February. To be added to the class list, please call the Crime Lab at 409-726-2577.

The Crime Lab receives many requests for speakers from local organizations and schools. Occasionally, at the discretion of the Forensic Scientists, some of these requests may be accepted. Due to the large number of requests and the demands on the time of the Scientists, most requests for speakers are declined.