MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 3512
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 18
PHOTOGRAPHIC / DIGITAL IMAGING TECHNICIAN
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
The work of this single position class involves responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the Photographic Laboratory, which supports the Department of Police. The employee takes, processes, and prints traditional and digital photographic images; archives and maintains photographic evidence records, and maintains the photographic evidence chain of custody; ensures that Department's photographic and printing equipment is inventoried and maintained in operational condition; conducts classroom training in the use and care of traditional and digital photographic equipment, digital imaging, and evidence procedures; and provides guidance to the Department regarding digital imaging, photographic and forensic imaging equipment purchases, digital image archiving, and maintenance of a secure digital image evidentiary system. Contacts regularly include providing classroom instruction to Police Officers in photographing evidence, the utilization and care of photographic equipment, and photographic evidence procedures; providing guidance to and answer questions from Police Officers and civilian staff in photo evidence collection and camera operation, to discuss their requests and instructions regarding photographic enlargements, reductions, special mounting requirements, etc.; Department managers and supervisors to recommend purchases of new photographic and forensic imaging equipment; Department information technology staff to discuss maintenance of the Digital Image Management System; State's Attorneys, to discuss photographic work and special requests; and photographic equipment technical representatives and photo supply vendors, to resolve equipment malfunctions, receive technical advice regarding use of equipment, and obtain supplies and price information. This occupational class requires limited direct service or assistance to the public.
The employee in this class is responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the Police Department's Photographic Laboratory, for supporting Department staff in the collection of photographic evidence, and for providing training in the utilization and care of camera equipment utilized for this purpose. The employee works largely without technical supervision, independently arranging the sequence of work, obtaining needed materials or supplies, selecting appropriate methods and procedures, and varying these as necessary in response to different situations. For situations where there are no clear policies or precedents, the employee will seek guidance from the Police Sergeant responsible for the Forensic Services Section; and may consult with equipment manufacturers or vendors on highly technical matters. Guidelines include applicable County, State and Federal regulations and procedures as they pertain to photographic evidence and evidence practices, and technical manuals for cameras, traditional photograph development systems, the Digital Image Management System (DIMS), and various software employed in performance of the work. These guidelines must be followed very closely so that photographic evidence will be admissible in Court. The employee develops training materials for uniform and civilian Department staff, and develops and recommends changes in policies and procedures involving the taking of photographs for evidence and digital image evidence repository matters. Completed work is subject to internal and external checks in terms of accuracy and acceptability. The methods used in arriving at the end results are not usually reviewed in detail. The impact of this class of work is realized not only through the instruction and guidance provided in methods of photographing evidence, and utilization and care of photographic equipment; but also ensuring the proper operation of the Photographic Laboratory and evidence repository for traditional photographs and digital images. Complexity of the work derives from the many processes, procedures, and methods for taking photographs for forensic evidence purposes; the need to determine the most appropriate approach; responsibility for management and maintenance of the Department's DIMS photographic evidence system, and the provision of technical support and guidance to a large number of uniformed and civilian staff who utilize photographic equipment in the collection of evidence. Performance of work involves occasional exposure to the unpleasant odors of various chemicals utilized in the development of traditional photographic images. Hazards encountered in the work derive from this same exposure to chemicals such as acetic acid, sulfuric acid, boric acid, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide, which can cause severe burning of eyes and skin upon contact, thus requiring the employee to wear a mask, lab coat, and protective gloves. Performance of this work involves occasional long periods of standing, and occasional bending and lifting boxes of paper, chemicals, film, and cameras and photographic equipment weighing up to fifty pounds.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Archives, maintains, and manages the digital image evidence repository,
maintains security of the system, and manages user access.
Takes, processes and prints traditional and digital color and black and white photographic images of crime scenes, crime scene evidence, and for other Departmental functions; and analyzes negatives and photographs produced for composition, quality, and clarity.
Operates and maintains quality control of photographic developing, enlarging, and printing equipment; monitors operation of equipment, makes necessary calibrations, evaluates data from test runs as well as visual inspections of photographs (e.g., for density, color balance, chemical oxidations, composition, etc.), and determines corrective measures to assure a quality finished photograph.
Troubleshoots Digital Imaging Management System (DIMS) and assists Department personnel with photographic and digital imaging questions and requests.
Develops and prepares training curriculum for, and conducts classroom training for uniformed and civilian staff in the use of traditional and digital cameras, digital imaging, and digital image evidence procedures.
Manages and maintains 35mm evidence repository and digital camera inventory database.
Takes portrait and other photographs for use in Department and County publications and media distribution.
Mixes and maintains proper concentration of chemicals for developing film and processing prints.
Contacts vendors to obtain and compare prices, initiates orders for supplies and equipment, and maintains records and product technical information.
Maintains inventory of all photographic equipment and supplies, records of supplies used, incoming photographic requests, and completed work.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Two (2) years of experience taking, processing, and printing
traditional black and white and color photographs and digital images,
and working with a digital image archiving system.
Education: Associate's degree in Photography, Graphic Design, Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, or a related field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Considerable knowledge of traditional photography and digital image evidence capture, digital image evidence migration, remote image capture, archival scanning and media migration.
Considerable knowledge of traditional and digital cameras and photographic equipment, and their proper use and care.
Considerable knowledge of the operation of, quality control measures for, and maintenance of a variety of traditional photographic development, enlargement, and printing equipment.
Considerable knowledge of such digital imaging procedures, concepts and parameters as resolution, ppi vs. dpi, compression, image size color profiles, bit depth, metadata, file formats, lossless and lossy imaging, histograms, digital image artifacts, RAW files, and digital image manipulation and enhancement.
Considerable knowledge of and skill in the mixing of chemicals for developing traditional color photographs, and in analyzing color film and photographs for correct color balance and composition.
Considerable knowledge of and skill in the processes, techniques and equipment used in developing traditional color and black and white negatives; making and enlarging black and white and color prints; and enlarging, reducing, and copying photos, charts and other material through the use of photographic reproduction processes.
Considerable knowledge of such computer software applications as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects; Avid, Quicktime, Kodak DCS Photo Desk, Lexar Image Rescue, More Hits, XP Professional, MS Server, XP Office, and Microsoft Office Applications.
Knowledge of archiving systems on a server-based system.
Knowledge of DVD and CD burning, DVD authoring, and DVD and CD publishing.
Knowledge of, or the ability to rapidly acquire knowledge of and the ability to apply rules governing evidence collection, chain of custody, and storage.
Knowledge of SQL, Access, and other database management systems.
Ability to develop and provide training involving the utilization and care of traditional and digital camera equipment to capture photographic evidence.
Ability to independently plan and prioritize work assignments in a work environment where requests for service and assistance come from many persons.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships, and deal tactfully and effectively with Departmental staff and representatives of other law enforcement or criminal justice agencies.
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.
Ability to order and maintain accurate and adequate inventories of photographic equipment and supplies.
Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.
Ability to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core II Exam and Drug/Alcohol Screen
Class Established: February 2007(M)
Formerly Titled: Photographic Laboratory Technician