Forensic Chemist - Rapid City, SD

The Rapid City Police Department is searching for a Forensic Chemist to join its team in Rapid City, South Dakota. This is a great opportunity to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Rapid City, the "Gateway to the Black Hills", is a thriving community of 70,000+ with close proximity to world-class recreation and many lifestyles amenities.

The Forensic Chemist performs a variety of highly specialized and complex laboratory analyses of physical and biological evidence for the Evidence Lab. This role interprets test results, forms appropriate opinions and/or conclusions, prepares reports, and provides expert witness testimony.

Essential functions and responsibilities include:

  • Operates microscopes, infrared spectrometer and spectrometer microscope, gas chromatograph, gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer, or other analytical equipment and instruments using various technical procedures and scientific methods for examination and/or analysis of evidence.
  • Interprets test results, forms conclusions and prepares reports. Daily contact with law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and others to provide information or consultation about test results and other relative scientific topics. 
  • Testifies as an expert witness with respect to the qualitative and quantitative instrumental analysis of evidentiary samples including drug and/or blood alcohol samples and ethanol pharmacokinetics/extrapolations with respect to blood alcohol testing. 
  • Develops, implements and oversees laboratory quality control and quality assurance programs in forensic analyses to ensure accuracy of results.
  • Ability to direct or participate in the development of new laboratory methods; make changes which impact existing guidelines or laboratory policies, and may serve as a lead worker over the laboratory staff.
  • Responds to crimes scenes as needed, collects evidence, preserves and documents crime scene evidence.
  • Provides training in evidence procedures and laboratory analyses to other personnel.
  • Assists with evidence property related functions such as inventory or property disposal.
  • Assists with internal and external customers and responds to their needs. 
  • Speaks to public organizations on evidence or forensic related topics.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Master's degree in Chemistry, Forensic Science, or a closely related field and (4) four to (10) ten years directly related experience and/or training and/or a relevant combination of education and experience deemed acceptable by the hiring authority. Must have extensive knowledge of analytical chemistry.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in Headspace Gas Chromatography as well as an understanding of pharmacokinetics of ethanol as it relates to BAC extrapolations, experience as an expert witness with respect to blood alcohol analysis and ethanol extrapolations, or experience in use of analytical isntrumentation, including Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry, in the identification of unknown drug samples, and experience as an expert witness with respect to unknown drug analysis.

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Committed to Community, Service and Integrity, RCPD's internationally accredited agency offers a progressive law enforcement work environment , along with fantastic benefits; including employer-paid health insurance premiums and employer-matching retirement. To learn more, visit us at

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