Forensic Services Unit

​The Forensic Services Unit is under the command of the Administrative Division and is comprised of the crime scene investigation section and the fingerprint section.

 Crime Scene Section

Crime Scene Logo.pngThe crime scene investigation section is staffed 24/7 by 10 crime scene
This section’s primary function is to provide investigative information through the application of various scientific techniques in the recognition, documentation, collection, and analysis of physical evidence recovered during criminal investigations.

In addition to responding to crime scenes, this unit has multiple specialties to include:

- Bloodstain analysis
The examination of the bloodstains left at a crime scene can give information on what events took place to create the patterns observed. A bloodstain pattern analyst uses training and experience to interpret the patterns and helps shed light into the investigation.


- Video/Audio analysis video audio analysis.png
Video and audio analysis involves extracting video and audio from electronic devices, converting files to useable formats, and basic processing techniques in order to clarify an image or sound.


- Shooting incident reconstruction shotting incident.png
Shooting reconstruction involves documentation and calculation of trajectories based on careful examination of evidence at the scene including projectiles and their impacts to provide a clearer understanding of what happened during the incident. 



- Serial number restoration serial number restoration.png
A serial number is a unique or non-repeating number applied by manufacturers to identify an item or object. Altering or obliterating a serial number on an item attempts to conceal ownership and possession of the item. Serial number restoration is the application of physical and chemical scientific techniques for the retrieval or recovery of the manufacturer’s applied number that has been obliterated. 


- Buried evidence/remains recovery team buried evidence.png
The Buried Evidence Response Team is available to work any scattered remains and buried evidence cases that occur. Specialists document and collect evidence on the surface and carefully excavate any buried remains that might exist.

- Entomology
Specialists note all types of insects found at death investigations, the surrounding environment, and various temperatures. They collect live and preserved insect samples, which can be an important part of the criminal investigation to establish postmortem interval.

 Fingerprint Section

fingerprint section.pngThe fingerprint section is staffed with one ten print examiner and three latent fingerprint examiners. This section is primarily responsible for conducting examinations on the latent prints recovered from crime scenes and comparing them to recorded elimination fingerprints from victims and/or fingerprint cards of involved subject(s). Each latent examiner performs the scientific methodology of analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification (ACE-V) on latent fingerprints submitted to them. If the latent prints were not identified to the known prints after the ACE-V process is completed, the fingerprints are entered into automated search database(s) to conduct electronic comparison to millions of fingerprint cards in State (AFIS) and Federal (IAFIS/NGI) databases.

Ten print and latent print examiners are also responsible for identifying deceased individuals using fingerprints and assisting with record challenges, expungement and various other request from VBPD personnel, VA Courts and other law enforcement agencies.

 Interning with the Forensic Unit

As a public service in support of colleges and universities the Virginia Beach Police Department Forensic Services Unit provides unpaid internship opportunities to college students pursuing forensic science related courses.

Interning - Plastic.pngInterns are individuals whose primary task will be to complete a scientific research project while also observing the various roles and responsibilities of the Forensic Services Unit. This project will be considered beneficial to the crime scene investigation field. The internship program is constructed in such a way that the individual gets practical experience at crime scenes along with independent time to produce an output product from their research experience.

An internship with the Forensic Services Unit is offered every summer. Applications will be accepted year-round and will be reviewed in January prior to the internship. Typically, an interview will be set up for qualified candidates. Notification of selection status will be made to all applicants by the end of January.

Interning-Conclusion.pngOnce an intern is accepted by FSU, they will be asked to pick a research project from a list of projects developed by members of the unit. Time not spent researching the project will be spent completing ride-alongs with members of the unit, based on availability. The intern is expected to work a 24-36 hour work week for a two month period, consisting of approximately 200-300 hours. Exceptions can be made if the university requires a longer internship, but this will be considered only on a case-by-case basis. 75% of this time is designated as research time and the remaining 25% will be considered ride-along/practical experience time.

The following criteria must be met to be considered for an internship with FSU:

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years of age
  • Applicant must be enrolled in a degree-granting institution of higher education in forensic science, science, criminal justice, or closely related coursework
    (preference will be given to applicants in which an internship is a component of their degree requirements. Additional preference will be given to applicants requiring a thesis or similar project for their studies)
  • Applicant must be a junior or senior at the institution (or any level of post-graduate education)
  • Applicant must be willing to work any shift (Including days, evenings, nights, and weekends)

In addition to standard application documents please provide the following items:

  • A cover letter
  • A resume/curriculum vitae
  • One letter of recommendation
  • An attachment with answers to the following questions: (500 word max for each question)
    -Why are you interested in an internship in crime scene investigation?
    -How is crime scene investigation (or latent fingerprint examination) different than other fields of forensic science?
    -What projects would you like to complete while interning?
  • Any additional information about your internship requirements for your degree

Internship applications, which are the same form for volunteer applications, are accepted through the Volunteer Resource Manager whose information can be found on the departments volunteer information page.

 Volunteering with FSU

​​Volunteers are individuals who will help serve the unit as a whole. Volunteers report to various individuals throughout their time with the unit as they perform a variety of tasks that aid in the upkeep and filing of documentation. This is an unpaid position. Individuals interested in volunteering with FSU or with the Police Department as a whole, should visit the department’s volunteer information page :

Volunteers are accepted year-round, as openings allow.

 Frequently Asked Questions

question mark.pngQ: What type of education is required when seeking a career in forensic science?

A: For a position with VBPD's Forensic Services Unit a 4-year degree is preferred. A strong knowledge in science, specifically forensic science, ensures that our employees are aware of the scientific and legal processes that are the foundation of our field.

Q: What is your advice for someone looking to pursue a career in forensic science?

A: Due to the competitive hiring process in this career field it is recommended to pursue at least a Bachelor of Science in forensic science degree and to complete an internship while p
ursuing this degree.

Q: Where can I go to look for job openings in the forensic field?

Visit for jobs with the City of Virginia Beach, or for jobs throughout the United States and occasionally abroad. The various professional organizations within the forensic science field also maintain job posting boards. Check out vacancies at,,, and others.

 Tours and Open Houses

Unfortunately, FSU is unable to provide public tours of our facility.

We attempt to hold open houses twice a year as our schedule and workload permits. Information for the next open house will be advertised when available.
Contact Information