Jennifer Castillo

Jennifer Castillo

Forensic Specialist

Pasadena Police Department

Pasadena, CA USA

Believe in yourself. You don’t have to immediately accomplish your goals, you can achieve them step by step just by motivating yourself.


My road in life took a while to figure out.
It took a lot longer than I thought it would to get my undergrad degree. I added a criminal justice minor which caused me to graduate after 7 years.
I still have not graduated from CSULB. I started working off campus and it took me away from my lab work.
I was disqualified from LA Sheriffs application process.
It’s really hard to find time to finish up my thesis and finally get my masters degree.
My personal life really affected my career. I had to let go of a person that I thought would be in my life forever. Since leaving him, my career has gotten better.


High School
Whittier Christian High School
California State University, Fullerton
Chemistry, General
California State University, Long Beach
Crime scene investigation
California State University, Long Beach


Forensic Specialist

Photograph and process crime scenes for evidence.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

I arrive and log on with dispatch. No two days are ever the same. I wait for an officer to call over the radio for forensics to either photograph or process a crime scene. Crime scenes are all different as well. Sometimes I only take photos of a victim or vandalism / graffiti. At burglaries, I take photos, dust for prints, collect prints if I find any, and also swab for DNA when available.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Find someone who has information about becoming a crime scene investigator. They can tell you what programs to join or what schools offer a forensic science program. They can also help you find a job in the field. It’s a small field so networking is a good idea. I kept in contact with the coordinator of my CSI certificate program and they helped me throughout my entire application process.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Crime scene investigation


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I won’t stand out in this competitive field. I was an average student and didn’t think about my future. I took to long to finally get a job in the career I always wanted."

Challenges I Overcame