Wanted: Men and women with strong photography skills and cast-iron stomachs. The squeamish need not apply.
Tucson's Police Department is looking for a handful of people to join the Crime Scene Unit. Recent retirements and promotions have left the unit open to hiring five civilian technicians, said John Neeley, identification superintendent for the Tucson Police Department.
An information meeting for prospective employees will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the main police station downtown, 270 S. Stone Ave.
Previous forensic experience is not necessary, but skills with a camera are important, said Neeley, a former news photographer.
"The folks we're looking for must have a background in photography," he said. "That gets you in the door.
"You can have a criminal justice degree, but if you don't have photography experience, you won't make it."
Other desirable characteristics for CSUs, said Neeley, include the ability to work fast and think on one's feet, and work effectively as an individual and as part of a team.
"A lot of people think we go to a crime scene, gather all the evidence, talk to the bad guys," then go back to the lab and process everything, Neeley said. "Unlike TV, we don't wear low-cut blouses. We don't wear leather pants. We don't drive Hummers to crime scenes. We don't run around in high heels. We basically do all the dirty work."
During a typical shift, Neeley said, "you could be photographing a promotion in the morning, then go to a traffic fatal and collect evidence, then spend three or four hours at the morgue," he said. "If you don't have a strong stomach, you won't make it here."
On StarNet: Find out the latest happenings in crime around Tucson at azstarnet.com/ policebeat
Contact reporter Kimberly Mates at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 573-4191.