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Monday, December  16, 2002

BREAKING NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Fingerprint ID Usage Slow to Take Off - EBN ONLINE - Dec. 10, 2002 ...yet, analysts expect more government, finance, and transportation users to adopt biometrics over the next few years as they seek to protect their facilities...

Prosecutors Find Evidence of 'CSI' Tampering - THE OREGONIAN - Dec. 10, 2002 ...attorneys increasingly worry that the show taints the jury pool with impossibly high expectations of how easily cases can be solved using forensic science...

Albuquerque Man Enters Plea In Murder Case - KOAT TV CHANNEL 7 - Dec. 12, 2002 ...suspect was arrested after an investigation turned up his fingerprints on a cookie tin and a lighter...

False Name Earns Man an Extra Year in Prison - THE NEWS JOURNAL - Dec. 13, 2002 ...investigators caught the mistake by checking fingerprints with the FBI, which keeps a national fingerprint registry...

Prints of Thieves - THE SCOTSMAN - Dec. 13, 2002 ...Christmas shoppers in Scotland are to be asked to give a thumbprint with each purchase in a bid to stamp out credit card fraud...

Wrong Man Case Concludes - NEW YORK NEWSDAY - Dec. 13, 2002 ...investigators testified about the fingerprint evidence that tied the suspect to the crime..

Good morning via the "Detail," a weekly e-mail newsletter that greets latent print examiners around the globe every Monday morning. The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.

There has been some interesting banter on the CLPEX.com message board.  If you haven't checked it out in a while, now would be as good a time as any to see what folks are talking about.  As always, if you have any fingerprint related questions or topics for discussion, it is available at http://www.clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2

This week I learned of the establishment of a society commemorating Dr. Henry Faulds in his birth town, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland.  Members of the newly formed Henry Faulds Commemorative Society are finalizing plans in an effort to determine the amount of funding necessary to complete the memorial.  Funding is anticipated to come from individuals, groups, and charities all over the world who appreciate the role of Faulds as a pioneer of fingerprinting.  I am in contact with the secretary of the new society, and I anticipate being able to pass on more information about the society, it's aim, and the opportunity to help with their financial needs in January.  In fact, I'm considering having a CLPEX fundraiser for this memorial and awarding a piece of Faulds memorabilia to the examiner who gives the most generous donation!  For more information before January, you may e-mail Donald L. Reid at donaldleesreid@hotmail.com.

Last week,
John Nielson provided a still-relevant article entitled "Rebutting the 'No Fingerprint' Defense."  This week, we take a look at the monthly IAI Update by Joe Polski.


IAI Training Seminars

IAI Training Seminar Coordinator Dwane Hilderbrand submitted his resignation effective February 1, 2003. Because we do not have a replacement for that position, all seminars after February 1, 2003 have been cancelled and the IAI’s training seminar program will be suspended. The IAI’s Board of Directors will consider the future of the Seminar Program during the 2003 Conference in Ottawa.

I would like to thank Dwane for his service to the IAI over the years. His commitment to training and education spoke strongly to the values of the association. We wish Dwane all the best in his future endeavors.

A notice to this effect will also be placed on the IAI’s website and in the next JFI.

Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO)

On Thursday and Friday, Dec. 12 and 13th respectively, several CFSO members will meet in Washington, DC to continue to build relationships with organizations headquartered there. Attending the meeting will be Barry Fisher representing the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), Roger Kahn representing the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), Dr. Jamie Downs representing the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) and myself on behalf of the IAI and also as Chair of the CFSO. We plan to meeting with the Executive Directory of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), the National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA), Terry Hess from the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) a forensic science research arm of the Defense Department, Sarah Hart, Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and Anne Marie Mazza from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). In addition we are going to have a CFSO business meeting on Friday morning, December 13th.

Given the change in congressional make-up due to the November elections, and the reputation the CFSO has achieved in Washington during the past several years, we are hopeful the CFSO can achieve policy and fiscal success in the next year.

The next official meeting of the CFSO will be during the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting in Chicago in February.


Just a note about IAI membership. As of today, we have processed 724 new applications for membership in the association during the year 2002. That is an all time high for new members, surpassing the 2001 figure of 700.

As we move into this holiday season and the end of 2002, I would like to thank each of you for your contributions to the association during the past year. As you see from the membership comment above, the number of new members reached a new high for 2002 - and the year is not yet over. Total membership has reached 5,408, also an all time high.

Many people contribute to making the IAI a success. Committee chairs, officers, board members, certification boards, divisions and IAI staff work behind the scenes day in and day out to enable the association to keep its enviable position as a premier forensic science and forensic identification organization. Visibility of the IAI has never been higher. The Consortium of Forensic Sciences has proved to be a great vehicle for fostering not only forensic science issues at the national level but the IAI’s visibility as well; today the IAI, along with the AAFS, ASCLD, ASCLD-LAB and NAME are major players in the forensic science field. The April Fingerprint Forum sponsored by the IAI and West Virginia University was another opportunity for the IAI to put its best foot forward and is reaping results in the form of research initiatives on several fronts. The JFI under Editor Alan McRoberts’ excellent leadership continues to be the glue that holds the association together worldwide. Certainly our Annual International Educational Conference is the association’s showcase for training and networking. Please accept a heartfelt thanks for the part each of you play in making the IAI successful as we look forward to even better things in 2003.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a wonderful, productive New Year.

Joe Polski


To discuss this week's Detail or other fingerprint-related topics, visit the informal CLPEX.com message board at
As usual, the onin.com forum (http://onin.com/fp/wwwbd/) is also available for more formal latent print-related discussions.

Unless there is any breaking fingerprint news to pass on, we will take next Monday off in celebration of the holiday season, and the following Monday off in celebration of the beginning of the new year.  Again, if any big fingerprint-related news occurs, you can count on the Detail to bring it, but most likely the Detail will greet your inbox with a simple holiday wish on the next two Mondays.  We will continue regularly-formatted content on Monday, January 6th.  As usual, if you have something to submit, I'm just an e-mail away at kaseywertheim@aol.com.


UPDATES on CLPEX.com this week...

Updated the training section of the site to include changes to the IAI Seminars courses and contact information.  It will be further updated as appropriate.  

Feel free to pass The Detail along to other examiners.  This is a free service FOR latent print examiners, BY latent print examiners. There are no copyrights on The Detail, and the website is open for all to visit.

If you have not yet signed up to receive the Weekly Detail in YOUR e-mail inbox, go ahead and join the list now so you don't miss out!  (To join this free e-mail newsletter, send a blank e-mail to: theweeklydetail-subscribe@topica.email-publisher.com )  Members may unsubscribe at any time.  If you have difficulties with the sign-up process or have been inadvertently removed from the list, e-mail me personally at kaseywertheim@aol.com and I will work things out.

Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.

Have a GREAT week!