22575  (Competitive)



            An employee in this class is responsible for oversight of the forensic investigation division and direct supervision of forensic investigation staff. The Chief Forensic Investigator works under the direct supervision of the Chief Medical Examiner.  Supervision is exercised over subordinate forensic investigation staff..  Does related work as required.


            Supervises, assigns, evaluates work and provides training where appropriate for forensic investigator and assistant forensic investigator staff.

            Develops, administers and evaluates the Forensic Death Investigation division.

            Gathers data from police, medical, family and other sources through field and office work pertinent to investigating the cause and manner of death.

            Prepares forms and documents and generates death investigation reports.

            Maintains electronic case information and routine case files.

            Conducts research for reports and other purposes.

            Responds to death scenes, examines decedents, takes photographs, collects evidence and personal effects and arranges for removal of the decedent to the Medical Examiner's Office.  This may involve potentially hazardous scene environments such as highways and various terrain.

            Coordinates and facilitates training activities for, and monitors the progress of, newly hired Forensic Investigators and Assistant Forensic Investigators.

            Trains and conducts quality assurance monitoring as needed in cooperation with Forensic Investigators and other forensic staff as applicable.

            Acts as the Medical Examiner's liaison with related agencies and organizations, participates in and conducts educational training sessions with partner agencies and educational institutions.

            Conducts investigations in, and assists in the development of, procedures for specialized areas such as NAMUS/unidentified remains, mass fatality response, tissue recovery and cold cases.

            May prioritize office activities based on workload and directs subordinate staff in accomplishment of tasks.

            Is responsible for on-call availability for the forensic investigation division over the midnight hours and other shifts for high-profile cases/scene response and off-hours issues or complaints from law enforcement agencies.

            Assists in referrals for tissue donation following discussion with families.

            Conducts bereavement counseling and refers to appropriate community support agencies as required.

            Participates in American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) membership and continuing education required to maintain ABMDI certification.

            Conducts decedent processing (intake and release) as needed.


            Comprehensive knowledge of modern forensic pathological laboratory principles and practices.

            Comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practices of investigation in order to assist in the determination of cause of death.

            Thorough knowledge of medical nomenclature.

            Thorough knowledge of interviewing techniques.

            Working knowledge of the principles and techniques of supervision.

            Ability to plan, organize and supervise the work of forensic investigation staff.

            Ability to train less experienced and/or newly hired employees.

            Ability to oversee and direct subordinate employees.

            Ability to compile and organize clear, concise and accurate written and oral reports.

            Ability to gather data through verbal interviews.

            Ability to interpret and prepare written material.

            Ability and physical strength to lift and move heavy bodies under difficult circumstances.

            Ability to take photographs and x-rays.

            Ability to meet and talk with relatives and friends of deceased persons under trying circumstances.

            Ability to interact with diverse cultural and ethnic groups and express sensitivity to their cultural needs.

            Ability to communicate effectively with professional and public agencies and individuals.

            Ability to learn laboratory procedures.

            Ability to utilize computer hardware and software.





Five (5) years of permanent, competitive-class status in the title of Forensic Investigator II and Board certification (advanced) with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.



Current Board certification (advanced) with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators and ten (10) years of full-time paid, or its part-time equivalent, work experience as a medicolegal death investigator*.

*NOTE:  Investigation experience must have involved field work to gather information (photos, measurements, data, evidence and interviews).  Conducting structured interviews, telephone checks, collection work or simple on-site observations will not be considered as investigation experience.

SPECIAL NECESSARY REQUIREMENT:  When required to operate motor vehicles, employees must possess a valid non-CDL or CDL with appropriate endorsements as required by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for the class of vehicle(s) being operated.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION:  Applicants will be required to undergo a State and national criminal history background investigation, which will include a fingerprint check to determine suitability for employment.  Failure to meet the standards for the background investigation may result in disqualification.  

01/2022 Date of Original Composition