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OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER : Forensic Investigations

Forensic Investigator Positions at OCME Maryland

Forensic Investigators are medical death investigators acting on behalf of the Chief Medical Examiner. Forensic Investigators respond to the scene to be the eyes and ears of the medical examiner. Forensic Investigators’ duties include but are not limited to; making observations and taking photographs of the scene, conducting a physical exam of the body, and interviewing family and witnesses in order to produce a comprehensive written report. Investigators are differentiated by employment status described below.

Baltimore City –

Forensic Investigators in Baltimore City are State employees receiving benefits. Applications for this position are accepted only during active recruitment. To check for availability, please visit the following websites:

State of Maryland - http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/jobseekers/Pages/JobSearch.aspx
ABMDI - http://medschool.slu.edu/abmdi/index.php?page=employment-opportunities

Maryland Counties –

Medical examiner cases occurring in the counties are handled by on-call county Forensic Investigators. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner accepts applications for on-call County Forensic Investigators appointments on an open and continuous basis.

A Forensic Investigator is a qualified applicant who is appointed by the Chief Medical Examiner to represent the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner during a death investigation. Investigators are on-call on a regular basis and generally respond from home. They conduct scene investigations, write reports, take photographs and arrange transport for decedents to OCME if necessary. They respond day and night to a variety of locations and conditions.

Minimum criteria for consideration are any one of the following:

Criteria for appointment:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • 2 years of death investigation experience or 5 years trauma care experience (pre-hospital, hospital or military) – this is non-negotiable
  • Other experience including nursing, medical field, investigative law enforcement, EMS/fire department accepted
  • ABMDI certification or registry preferred
  • Ability to be on-call on a regular basis

    Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Respond to the scene of death within one hour of notification
  • Coordinate and cooperate with other agencies
  • Obtain photographs and send electronically
  • Conduct physical examination of decedents
  • Write a detailed death investigation report
  • Properly preserve evidence on the body
  • Obtain post-mortem blood sample
  • Conduct interviews including but not limited to family, police and EMS

A Forensic Investigator is expected to work under hazardous conditions that may result in injury. Potential exposures include but are not limited to: blood and body fluids, needles and sharps, broken glass, vehicle wreckage, electrical sources, unsafe structures, crowded areas, active roadways, waterways and all extremes of weather conditions. 

County Forensic Investigators are required to attend 2 days of orientation as well as on-scene training. Once the training process is complete the investigator is expected to function autonomously and have the ability to recognize and utilize available resources when support is required. 

County Investigators are considered to be a self-employed vendor with appointed privileges to represent the OCME at the death scene. Each investigator is entitled to a fee that is pre-designated in COMAR.  There is no compensation for being on-call. Investigators are paid on a fee for service basis; not by the hour. This fee is not taxed at the time payment is issued. The investigator will receive a Form 1099 and is expected to pay the appropriate amount of taxes at the end of the year or in quarterly estimated tax payments.  

To apply for a county forensic investigator position, download the application for appointment. This application is in Microsoft Word format. Once downloaded, complete the application in Microsoft Word and save the completed application to your computer. Submit the application to oncallfi@ocmemd.org as an email attachment. Applicants may be screened on qualifications, geographic location as well as availability.  

Downloadable Word Document:

Click Here for Employment Application