John Sanchez was born in Wheaton, Illinois, and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Elmhurst College and a master’s degree in Molecular Biology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Sanchez says he was drawn to a career in police work by a desire to serve the public and a strong interest in the application of science to law enforcement techniques. He joined the SFPD in 2003, after working as a forensic firearms and tool mark examiner with the Illinois State Police--Forensic Sciences Command in Chicago. He also worked as a multidiscipline criminalist with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory.
Sanchez is a Certified Firearm Examiner, as well as a past president of the California Association of Crime Laboratory Directors, and an ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB)- certified Technical Assessor in Firearm and Tool mark, serial number restoration, controlled substances and crime scene processing.
As director of the Forensic Services Division, Sanchez oversees the documenting, collecting, analyzing and preserving of evidence from crime scenes.