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, April 23, 2007

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 Expert Testifies  REDLANDS DAILY FACTS, CA - Apr 20, 2007 ...a fingerprint examiner testified in a case of murder, kidnapping, carjacking and home invasion robbery...

Fingerprints for Sodas  DAILY ATHENAEUM, WV - Apr 16, 2007 ...three university students have created a biometrics system that allows people to scan their fingertips on a vending machine...

Fingerprint Science Makes its Mark LAB NEWS ONLINE, UK- Apr 15, 2007 ...finding fingerprints at a crime scene has been a staple of forensic police work for decades...

Fingerprints Give a Hand to Security WALL STREET JOURNAL - Apr 12, 2007 ...fingerprints are increasingly becoming the preferred way to use biometrics
to verify an individual's identity...

Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
Last Week's Board topics containing new posts
Moderated by Steve Everist

Epic Struggle -- Science versus Dogma
Pat A. Wertheim 263 22 Apr 2007 12:56 pm

Statistics and Misidentifications - The weeks Detail
Michele Triplett 2304 22 Apr 2007 09:25 am

Mass Supreme Judicial Court on Amicus Briefs
L.J.Steele 56 20 Apr 2007 09:55 pm

Interesting Tidbit
Charles Parker 65 20 Apr 2007 08:12 pm

AFIS terminals
Stephany Louk-Denney 211 20 Apr 2007 07:50 pm

Thomas Taylor 2610 20 Apr 2007 10:29 am

Presentation to Juries
Dick Dastardly 167 18 Apr 2007 09:42 pm



No major updates on the website this week.


Last week

we looked at Judge Coffey's ruling on the Motion to Reconsider in the NH Langill case.

This week

Joe Polski brings us relevant portions of the April 2006 IAI Update.

Hello again from the IAI office.

2007 San Diego Conference

The program for the 2007 International Educational Conference in San Diego is now posted in the conference section of the IAI’s website,

Please note that it is now possible to register for the conference at this time. The program, subject to minor changes, is on the website so attendees can begin to plan for the workshops and lectures they may want to attend and also as information for attendees who may need to get approval from their agencies in
order to attend. The printed booklet will be mailed to all IAI members around April 20th.

I would like to congratulate the IAI’s Educational Program Planner Jim Gettemy on a most outstanding job of putting together this year’s program. It is absolutely phenomenal and attendees will find a broad range of excellent topics both in the workshops and the lecture sessions. Congratulations Jim!!

If you are planning to attend the San Diego Conference, it is not too early to make hotel reservations.  We’re told there are several other events happening in San Diego at the same time as the Conference so it would be wise to reserve a room early in order to take advantage of the IAI’s room block and conference

To reserve a room, please contact:

Town and Country Resort and Convention Center
500 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108
Room Rate: $129 Single/Double
Reservations: (800) 772-8527 (US Only) or (619) 291-7131

Several administrative events will take place during the conference. The IAI’s Board of Directors will
meet on July 20, 21 and 22nd. If anyone has items to be considered by the board, please send them to the
Board Chair, Joe Maberry at or to me at

ATTN: Divisions Please Note

If you would like a table or space to display your division merchandise during the San Diego Conference,
please contact the IAI’s Conference Planner, Candy Murray at or by phone at (407)

IAI Member Survey

All IAI members will receive a survey this spring from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research
(BBER) at West Virginia University. This survey, sponsored by a grant from the National Institute of
Justice, is the first comprehensive survey of forensic identification professionals and has been endorsed
by the IAI board and leadership. The survey results will provide meaningful information on current
practices as well as advancing the contribution of forensic services to the criminal justice system and
society. This research is part of a larger study by BBER of the forensic community and its economic
contributions and business practices.

Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with the publication titled Census of Publicly Funded Crime
Laboratories, 2002, a document that provides a great deal of information regarding crime laboratories,
workload, staffing, backlogs etc. While that information is very useful there is no similar data
regarding non-crime laboratory forensic service providers, including those who work in identification or
similar units in law enforcement agencies. This survey is the first effort to identify and quantify
information about those types of units.

The survey results are very much dependent on the responses by the IAI members. The IAI leadership
encourages members to take part in this first large-scale fundamental research of their field by
completing and returning the survey as soon as possible. To encourage return of the surveys, BBER will
conduct a random drawing from respondents for one of two iPod nano players. If there are questions about
the survey, please contact Dr. Kanybek Nur-tegin at 304.293.5837 or
Please also feel free to contact me at the IAI office if you have questions.

It is hoped that enough data will be collected to present at least preliminary survey results at this
summer’s conference in San Diego, CA.

Divisions Please Note - Certification Testing

An issue has arisen that requires clarification with respect to certification testing. The issue is:
“Who can proctor certification examinations”?

Longstanding IAI policies require that in all instances where practicable, a test proctor be certified in
the discipline for which the test is being administered. There is no requirement that a test proctor be
a member of the division certification committee. It is not required and would not be practical. Take a
large state such as California or Texas or Florida and it is readily apparent that it is not possible for
three people to cover the state.

The process works like this. The division committee chair, to whom the letter of approval is typically
addressed, responds back to the certification board and identifies a proctor for the test. It may be a
committee member, it may not. Most often it is not. There is nothing that prohibits non-committee
members from proctoring a test and was that not the practice, the process would grind to a halt. Keep in
mind that only a handful of divisions have committees for some of the smaller programs such as Tenprint
or Forensic Photography. Through an agreement with other certification boards, someone certified in the
crime scene or latent print discipline often proctors those tests. The only requirement is that the
person proctoring the test must be certified. Someone who is not certified cannot proctor the test with
one exception. Occasionally a certification board finds itself in a situation where there is no
certified person to proctor the test within, lets say, 100 miles
of the applicant. In that case a college testing center may be used or, on occasion, a training officer
in a law enforcement agency has been used as a proctor.

Divisions Please Note: Requirements for Recertification

Another problem that occasionally arises – and has again recently – is the matter of continuing
employment or activity in the certified discipline. This most often arises when a certified individual
has retired and wishes to keep their certification. Please note the following paragraph from the
Certification Board Policy Manual:


A. General Qualifications
An applicant for certification must be employed in the discipline in which they are applying for
certification, must be of good moral character, high integrity, good repute, and must possess a high
ethical and professional standing (See Sections IV & V). All applicants for certification will be
required to meet all currently published standards for their individual discipline(s). A complete list
of standards, requirements and study materials is available from the certification board secretary or
from the IAI web site.

Applicants for certification or recertification shall require documentation of continued relevant
forensic science work experience, the requirements for which shall be defined by the certification body.

It is a non-negotiable requirement that anyone applying for recertification must be actively involved in
the discipline for which they are being recertified. This happens occasionally in the crime scene
discipline and perhaps others. It is highly unlikely that a retired individual is actively doing crime
scene investigation work. There are a few exceptions such as teaching or working for an insurance
company – doing arson investigation for example – but those are quite few and far between.

In order to keep intact the integrity of IAI certification programs, all who wish to recertify must meet
the above requirements.

Forensic Science/Identification Management Training

Are you a manager of a crime laboratory or other forensic science unit or division? If so, you might
want to consider the training outlined below being offered by West Virginia University (WVU). I received
this from Maria Yester at WVU. She is on the faculty of WVU and has extensive experience in management
training both in the public and private sectors. Her experience, coupled with the forensic resources at
WVU, makes this an exciting opportunity for both new and experienced managers of forensic services. Best
of all, this training is entirely free of charge – and that includes transportation and lodging - to you
and your agency. Offered in conjunction with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), this training is
designed to address the oft-cited need for training of forensic managers. Often the best practitioners
are promoted into management positions but the skills required as managers are quite different from those
required as an analyst. Here is an opportunity
to round out those

WVU Announces the
Forensic Management Academy™

(Cost of Development, Tuition, Travel, & Lodging Funded by the NIJ)

The WVU College of Business and Economics Center for Executive Education, in collaboration with the
National Institute of Justice, announces the first of two offerings of the Forensic Management Academy ™
(FMA). This unique program is specifically designed for current and aspiring forensic laboratory
managers, law enforcement professionals and other forensic service providers interested in how
contemporary business practices can improve the field of forensics.

Through customized case studies, interactive classroom projects, and lecture, forensic service providers
will explore contemporary business topics as they relate specifically to working in a forensic laboratory
or agency. Particular emphasis will be placed on managing in an environment where many functions and
processes are legislatively mandated (salaries, budgets, discipline, etc.). These topics will be explored
in an application based learning environment where the learning is designed for immediate application
back at your agency or laboratory. This unique one-week program will examine business and leadership
topics including leadership development and succession planning, business skills and their application,
conflict resolution, budget and finance, motivation, strategy, as well as performance and project

Those interested in improving their individual and organizational knowledge of contemporary business
practice as it applies to forensics should visit this website for more specific information about
application and program details. Application deadline is April 20, 2007. With supervisory approval,
twenty (20) forensic professionals representing a cross section based on laboratory/agency size, scope,
and services will be selected to participate in this training, courtesy of The National Institute of

Training will occur September 9th to 14th, 2007, near the West Virginia University Campus in Morgantown,
WV. Individual laboratories may be responsible for incidental costs. Details regarding the second
offering in the spring of 2008 on the West Coast will be confirmed and posted on the website by November
1, 2007.

For more information or to apply to the program, visit

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee

The second meeting of the Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Sciences Community will be
held on April 23-24, 2007 in the Lecture Room of the National Academy of Sciences, 2100 C Street, NW.
The meeting is free and open to the public, however seating is limited. To view the agenda and register,
please go to

The IAI was invited to suggest names of folks who could inform the committee about the current status as
well as research needs in the areas of fingerprint identification and firearm/toolmark identification.
Ed German will speak to the Committee regarding fingerprints and Pete Striupaitis, Chair of the IAI’s
Firearm/Toolmark sub-committee will speak about that subject.

Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO)

The CFSO will hold the fourth annual Congressional Technology Fair in Washington, DC on May 22, 2007. A
number of vendors have been invited to participate in this event that showcases to congressional members
and staff various aspects of forensic technology and the forensics community. The event will be held in
Room G50 of the Senate Dirkson Office Building.

August Vollmer IACP Award

In last month's Monthly Update, I mentioned the August Vollmer Award created by the International
Association of Chief's of Police (IACP) to honor outstanding contributions to the field of forensic
science. That information is reprinted below. Please consider making a nomination of a deserving
individual or agency for that award. We all know of someone who has made a significant contribution to
the field and deserves such an honor.

To recap, a while ago, the IACP formed a Forensic Committee to raise the visibility of forensics within
the IACP community and represent that sector to the IACP membership. The committee has held several
meetings the most recent of which was during last fall’s IACP Annual Conference in Boston, MA. Board
member Mike Campbell and I are honored to be members of this committee. During that meeting, the
Co-Chairs of the Committee, Ann Talbot, the Laboratory Director for the State of New Mexico and Bill
Berger, Chief of Police of the City of Palm Bay, Florida announced the finalization of the August Vollmer
Award for Excellence in Forensic Science. The particulars of the award can be found by clicking on the
link shown below. Please take a minute to review the information regarding this award and consider
nominating someone who has made a significant contribution to the field of forensic science. As you will
note, some of the awards are for individuals and some for agencies.

At the Boston Meeting, the award was first shown, a very, heavy and elegant medallion that is also
pictured on the above link.

Again, please take time to visit this link and give some thought to nominating a deserving person for
this award.

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, enter your name and e-mail address on the following page:  You will be sent a Confirmation e-mail... just click on the link in that e-mail, or paste it into an Internet Explorer address bar, and you are signed up!)  If you have problems receiving the Detail from a work e-mail address, there have been past issues with department e-mail filters considering the Detail as potential unsolicited e-mail.  Try subscribing from a home e-mail address or contact your IT department to allow e-mails from Topica.  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!