The Detail Archives    Discuss This Issue    Subscribe to The Detail

Fingerprint News Archive       Search Past Details

G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, September 13, 2004

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.

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

Fingerprint Reader Does Away With Passwords   LOS ANGELES, CA  - Sept. 9, 2004 ...Microsoft Corp.'s new fingerprint-recognition technology for personal computers... promises to relieve the drudgery of keeping track of passwords...

Fingerprints on Bottle a Miracle: Papo Murder Accused   SOUTH AFRICA - Sept. 9, 2004 ...One of the men accused of murdering Professor William Papo and his two house guests said the fact that his fingerprints were found on a soft drink bottle inside the murder house was a miracle...

Man Wanted in 1974 Baltimore Homicide Caught in Boston SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Sept. 9, 2004 ...A man wanted for the killing of a civilian police employee in a dispute over a stolen can of Spam has been arrested, nearly 30 years after the shooting...

Schools Ponder Print Checks SACRAMENTO, CA  - Sept 7, 2004 ...Two of Sacramento's largest school districts are grappling with how to handle the background checks of parent volunteers in an era of tight budgets....

IAI Update, by Joe Polski
004 St. Louis Conference

The 89th Annual International Educational Conference of the Association is now history.  Recently concluded in St. Louis, the conference provided an exceptional educational experience for attendees coupled with informative and entertaining exhibits on the history of fingerprint identification in the United States.  As you know, the conference theme was the 100th Anniversary of the use of fingerprints in criminal identification, a method first introduced during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.  It was fitting for the association to return to St. Louis, and in fact, to the very same park where the 1904 World’s Fair was held.  The Wednesday evening event, the IAI’s Whorl’s Fair was a fabulous event even though Mother Nature chose to dampen the event with a substantial downpour.  More about the conference in the next JFI.

New Officers and Board Members

Several changes to the Board of Directors occurred during the conference.  We say goodbye to Board Members Dave Ruffino, Herb Pendleton, Ron Da Silva and Larry Peters and thank them for their tireless work on behalf of the association.  We welcome new Board Members Ken Smith, Richard ‘Kevin’ Lawson, Vici Inlow and Mike Gaynor as well as John Lazzaretto who was appointed to complete the term of Bob Garrett.  Bob was elected to the position of Fourth Vice-President.  We thank the outgoing board members and officers and wish them well in their future endeavors and welcome the new members. 

ATTN:  Division Latent Print Certification Committees

Division Editors and Secretaries, please pass this information on to the Latent Print Certification Committee – if you have one - in your Division. 

As you know, the newest IAI certification program is the Ten Print Certification Program.  Aimed at those individuals who work in the ten print area such as AFIS, searching and verifying arrest fingerprints against known ten print information etc., this program aims to credential and increase the quality of ten print fingerprint work.

The process for approving applicants for that program is similar to the Latent Print Certification process.  As the program gets off the ground however, there will be applicants whose credentials need to be verified and tests that will need to be administered.  In order to meet this need with minimal additional work on the part of the divisions, the IAI’s Latent Print Certification Board gave approval to use, on a temporary basis, the Latent Print Certification Committees in the Divisions to approve or deny Ten Print Certification applicants and also to administer tests as needed.  In discussion with several division Latent Print Committees it was felt this was a reasonable way to proceed.  In the future, if there are a great number of applicants for Ten Print Certification, it may be necessary to ask the divisions to create a Ten Print Certification Committee but, for now, this seemed like a reasonable way to handle the situation.  Of course the division will be compensated with 1/3 the fees, the same percentage received by the divisions for both the Crime Scene and Latent Print Programs.

If your division has any difficulty with this plan, please let me know as soon as possible.  This idea was mentioned during the annual Division Secretaries Breakfast in St. Louis and no one voiced any opposition at that time.  Absent any discussion to the contrary, we will proceed to handle Ten Print applicants in the above manner.

ATTN:  Certification Board Chairs and Secretaries

You may know that the generic certification policies and procedures manual was approved by the IAI’s Board of Directors in St. Louis.  The policies in that manual are now in effect and need to be followed.  There will undoubtedly be a period of time during this transition when you will need to use common sense regarding how to manage your boards.  Over a period of several months however, any required changes to bring your boards into compliance with the new manual will need to be implemented. 

As soon as I get a copy of the final manual from Herb Pendleton, I will forward it to all of you.  There were a few minor ‘housekeeping’ changes to be made before distribution. 

The next step will be to begin using the generic application and recertification application as approved in St. Louis.  Continue to use your current forms while the new form is readied for applicant use.  When that is complete, it will be put on the IAI’s website and copies will be made in printed form as well. 

Be sure to keep a written note of anything in the new manual that is incompatable with how your board does business.  Each board had the opportunity to thoroughly review the new manual but I’m sure some things have slipped through the cracks and now the document will need to be ‘test driven’ and the bugs worked out.  The Board of Directors is going to have a mid-year meeting, likely sometime in January, 2005 and will consider any changes to the manual at that time.  A list of suggested changes will be put together for the Board before that mid-year meeting.

Last week

Jennifer Hannaford shared an example of a friction ridge recording with Livescan that turned a few heads.  Jennifer reports excellent feedback and is collecting samples of strange ridge formations on prints captured by livescan devices.

This week

we look at a recent NIJ solicitation for a new device that can quickly capture 10 rolled fingerprints and/or palm prints.  The full text and dates are available at:
Fast Capture Fingerprint/Palm Print Technology

I. Introduction

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. NIJ provides objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to enhance the administration of justice and public safety. The Institute solicits proposals to inform its search for the knowledge and tools to guide policy and practice. With this solicitation, NIJ, on behalf of itself; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State; and other Department of Justice agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Justice Management Division, is seeking proposals to improve and advance the current state of technology for the capturing of 10 rolled-equivalent fingerprints and/or palm prints. In the past, Congress has authorized and required various types of background screenings using Federal databases in a wide variety of contexts in an attempt to prevent terrorism and crime. For example, background screening is performed on persons who seek employment in positions of trust in government or the private sector, persons who seek or have access to dangerous materials or instrumentalities, and aliens seeking entry into the country. In certain checked databases, records are supported by fingerprints in order to positively identify the person to whom the records pertain. Thus, in screening persons to determine whether they have a record in these databases, the fingerprints of the person screened must be captured in order to match the screened person to a record. Such fingerprints may also yield matches to latent fingerprint impressions collected for criminal justice or national security purposes.

As crime prevention and national security remain a top priority, requirements for the use of friction ridge detail information for the identification of latent impressions and for background checks have increased and can be expected to continue to increase in the future. Yet, both the existing use and the potential for expanded use of these types of background checks and identifications are limited by available technology and infrastructure designed to capture the fingerprint friction ridge detail that enables searches of the databases. New technology with much greater convenience, speed, reliability, affordability, and accuracy must quickly be developed to improve our Nation’s ability to meet these screening requirements.

II. Proposal Topics

Fingerprints and palm prints are now and, for the foreseeable future, will be the most relied-upon biometric technology for verifying a person’s identity and positively linking persons to criminal history and other background check records. Criminal justice agencies rely on fingerprints and palm prints for positive identification to latent impressions collected as evidence at crime scenes and in processing persons through the criminal justice system. In addition, the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact of 1998 established a general requirement for fingerprints in support of non-criminal justice checks of the criminal history records in the FBI-maintained

Interstate Identification Index System.

Existing technology provides the ability to collect and transmit fingerprint and palm print images from persons electronically. Electronic fingerprint and palm print images allow for the rapid search of prints against extremely large databases of existing fingerprint- and palm print-based records and latent impressions recovered from crime scenes. However, current technologies can be difficult to use and too often produce fingerprints and palm prints of poor quality. Among the limitations of current technologies are the following:

• The need to have a trained technician grasp and manipulate a person’s finger or hand (frequently with multiple attempts) to successfully capture the print.

• Rolled fingerprints and palm prints can only be captured one at a time.

• Small amounts of contamination or excessively dry or moist skin can hamper or even preclude the capture of an acceptable image.

• Fingerprints and palm prints of some persons with fine or worn friction ridges cannot be captured.

• Relative slowness, with impressions taking anywhere from 5-10 minutes or more to capture.

• High acquisition and maintenance costs that significantly limit the widespread deployment of these technologies.

The goal of this solicitation is to fund the development and demonstration of technology that will quickly capture 10 rolled-equivalent fingerprints and/or palm prints; significantly improve the finger and palm print image quality over current technologies; reduce the failure-to-enroll rate over current technologies; and be affordable, rugged, portable, relatively unobtrusive in size, and deployable in the near future. Successful applicants must be able to produce a working device meeting the requirements of

this solicitation and suitable for independent testing.

Successful applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the problem and its importance.

Applicants must propose to develop a working device that will record 10 rolled-equivalent fingerprints or that will record 10 rolled-equivalent fingerprints and both palm prints. Successful applicants will be required to make the device they propose to develop available for independent testing at the end of the award period. The device to be developed must have the following capabilities:

1. Capture and record the true and accurate friction ridge skin detail of a person on whom the device is used.

2. Speed of capture: For devices designed to record 10 rolled-equivalent fingerprints: 15 seconds or less for all 10 fingers. For devices designed to also fully record palm prints (i.e., the entire palmar friction ridge skin area, including the extreme sides of the palms and the extreme tips, sides, and lower joints of the fingers): 1 minute or less for both palms.

3. For devices designed to record 10 rolled-equivalent fingerprints: Meet or exceed the image specification of the FBI and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (see FBI CJIS Appendix F, EFTS Version 7 and NIST M1 Standard, respectively), but in no instances less than 500 pixels per inch (ppi). Note: If the applicant’s proposed technology cannot meet the requirements stated in Appendix F and M1 because the type of technology proposed is different than that described in the standards, then the applicant should describe in detail the reasons and how the proposed technology will capture and produce true and accurate image quality of

the three levels of friction ridge detail.

4. For devices designed to fully record palm prints: Meet or exceed 1000 ppi as well as other information noted in the FBI and NIST image specification (FBI CJIS Appendix F, EFTS Version 7 and NIST M1 Standard, respectively). Note: If the applicant’s proposed technology cannot meet the requirements stated in Appendix F and M1 because of the type of technology being proposed, then the applicant needs to describe in detail the reasons and how the proposed technology will capture and produce true and accurate image quality of the three levels of friction ridge detail.

FBI CJIS Appendix F can be found at

NIST M1 Standard can be found at

5. Be designed so as to eliminate sequencing errors.

6. Provide for the ability to identify specific finger position and a mechanism to handle nonrecordable information (e.g., bandages, worn surfaces, amputations).

7. Possess maintenance and calibration requirements that have minimal operational impact.8. Output information formatted to meet the ANSI/NIST ITL 1-2000 standard.

ANSI/NIST ITL 1-2000 Standard can be found at

Special consideration will be given for devices that can demonstrate one or more of the following:

Subsequent recordings within 5 seconds for devices designed to record ten rolled-equivalent fingerprints.

Subsequent recordings within 20 seconds for devices designed to fully record palm prints.

Ability to capture images without operator manipulation of the hands of the person whose fingerprints or palm prints is to be captured.

Ease of operation (reducing training complexity and costs).

Immediate feedback to the operator as to the quality of the captured fingerprints or palm prints (whether a “Go/No-Go” or qualitative assessment).

Ability to withstand outdoor use.

Ability to be used for access control purposes (e.g., unattended operation, liveness testing).


To discuss this Detail, the message board is always open: (

More formal latent print discussions are available at (



Updated the SmileyFiles with 2 new smileys.

Updated the Detail Archives


Feel free to pass The Detail along to other examiners.  This is a free newsletter 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:  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 and I will try to work things out.

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

Have a GREAT week!