More women becoming crime scene investigators

Growing sisterhood in law enforcement brotherhood

TREASURE COAST, Fla. - At a report of a home invasion in Fort Pierce, Crime Scene Investigator Amanda Enos is documenting the scene in photographs.
 
"So where if you were there, you'd be able to see exactly what I saw when I was there," said Enos.
 
Enos and her partner Erin Greiner make up the CSI team for the Fort Pierce police department.
It's their job to collect the evidence.
 
"It can put a bad guy in jail or keep an innocent person from going to jail," said Greiner.
 
A scene can take hours, or days to clear.
 
"You have to find the DNA before you move on to the next step which could be fingerprinting," said Jeanine Hickox, a CSI with Port St. Lucie police.
 
In our area, women make up the majority of CSI's.
13 of 15 in the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, and the majority of CSI's from Okeechobee County to Port St. Lucie, are women.
 
"Before the TV shows, I don't think a majority of women knew this was available to them," said veteran CSI Lisa Falk with Port St. Lucie police.
 
There's no question this job isn't for the faint of heart.
 
"Sometimes the smell is a little more than you really want to tolerate but you do," added Falk.

After all of the evidence is collected at the scene, it's time to take things to the lab.
That's where we find Donna Carmichael with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
 
"It's kind of like a puzzle and we've got to figure out what did occur," says Carmichael as she uses an ultraviolet light to look for clues on a piece of clothing.
 
Carmichael thinks the challenges of the job are what makes it attractive to women.

"I think it's because a lot of women are more detail oriented than a lot of men," she says.
 
Carmichael recently earned a designation as a "Certified Latent Print Examiner", one of fewer than a thousand in the country.
 
 "It assists when I testify in court to let the attorneys and courts know that I have received my education," said Carmichael.

And job satisfaction is not gender specific.
 
Lisa Falk says, "Finding that DNA that puts that criminal behind bars," is what keeps her going.

The average starting salary for a CSI is in the low to mid-30's.  Two years of law enforcement experience is usually required.

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