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Monday, November 10, 2008

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...
by Kasey Wertheim
Put scientists, not cops, in crime labs
Detroit Free Press, United States - Nov 8, 2008
Their task will get even harder if the city finds the funds to complete the audit of the crime lab, including the units that deal with fingerprints, ...
Stroke of Luck Helps Police Nab Rape, Robbery Suspect, CA - Nov 7, 2008
But later that day his fingerprints that were now in the system hit on the prints found at the home invasion crime scenes. Thursday evening, police located ...
1908-2008 Fingerprint Bureau Centenary celebrations
Ceylon Daily News, Sri Lanka - Nov 7, 2008
Identifying people through the means of fingerprints is a definite method which can be used in respect of the entire world community. ...
Iraqi convicted for murder of three soldiers, VA - Nov 3, 2008
In the Oct. 28 trial, the fingerprints collected from the pickup truck, which was later found abandoned, became a point of contention. ...

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

Public CLPEX Message Board
Moderated by Steve Everist

AFIS Suitability
by Charles Parker on Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:46 am 0 Replies 4 Views Last post by Charles Parker
on Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:46 am

Certification question
by R.H. on Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:03 pm 2 Replies 46 Views Last post by Charles Parker
on Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:14 am

Big Wullie's Case
by Big Wullie on Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:19 pm 3 Replies 75 Views Last post by Big Wullie
on Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:55 am

Non Disclosure In Scotland (Discovery)
by Big Wullie on Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:41 pm 0 Replies 37 Views Last post by Big Wullie
on Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:41 pm

HDR Latent/Evidence Photography
by Boyd Baumgartner on Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:02 pm 2 Replies 263 Views Last post by bayareacriminalist
on Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:51 pm

by mary ellen holmberg on Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:36 am 3 Replies 180 Views Last post by Michele
on Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:58 am

"Forged" fingerprints
1 ... 5, 6, 7by Pat A. Wertheim on Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:21 pm 98 Replies 15397 Views Last post by Pat A. Wertheim
on Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:09 am

Someone wanna 'splain this to me
by Boyd Baumgartner on Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:21 pm 7 Replies 292 Views Last post by Gerald Clough
on Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:58 pm

Tribunal for McKie print expert
1, 2, 3by charlton97 on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:00 am 36 Replies 2430 Views Last post by printlady
on Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:29 pm

Porous item processing question
by Heather Baxter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:11 pm 2 Replies 95 Views Last post by mgirard
on Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:13 pm

Titanium Dioxide for dark non-porous surfaces?
by Amy Miller on Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:33 pm 1 Replies 106 Views Last post by Michele
on Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:33 pm

IAI Conference Topics -
Louisville, Kentucky 2008:
Moderator: Steve Everist

No new posts

Documentation issues as they apply to latent prints
Moderator: Charles Parker

No new posts

Historical topics related to latent print examination
Moderator: Charles Parker

No new posts



Updated the Fingerprint Interest Group (FIG) page with FIG #69; blood on wallboard; I. Farrell of Texas.  You can send your example of unique distortion to Charlie Parker:  For discussion, visit the forum FIG thread.

Updated the forum Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony (KEPT) thread with KEPT #43; Expert Status - What makes you an expert?; submitted by Michelle Triplett.  You can send your questions on courtroom topics to Michelle Triplett:

Updated the Detail Archives

Last week

we looked at the introduction of an excellent general psychology article on Confirmation Bias.

This week

we look at an article that projects multi-modal identification reducing the reliance on fingerprint AFIS systems, from:

Revolutionary Ideas

Advances in alternative biometric identification techniques are threatening US law enforcement agencies’ long-established reliance on automated fingerprint identification.

CMaxineMost explains

Automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) were originally
introduced to the US in the 1980s and became the gold standard of positive criminal identification in 1999 with the advent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems. While the technology has proven consistently reliable and become a foundational tool for the day-to-day business of global law enforcement, this profound reliance on fingerprints is about to change. AFIS is on a collision course with imminent technological advancement.

The competition Institutional confidence in the use of fingerprints and the subsequent reliance on AFIS as the best available and most effective biometric (measurement of a physical or behavioral characteristic) means of identifying individuals, has been bolstered by an established infrastructure dedicated to providing specialised technology and services.

There are now, however, a range of emerging biometric technologies that have achieved the level of stability and reliability required to expand law enforcement’s options for unique positive identification.

In addition, a fundamental shift from proprietary technology to standards-based biometric capture and matching, along with the development of standards-based platforms that enable integration of a broad range of human identification options, have the potential to advance criminal identification to a whole new level.

The three pillars of this law enforcement identification ‘revolution’ are: development of advanced practical biometric capabilities development of standards-based multiple identification technology platforms integration of sophisticated methodologies and algorithms into systems that unite conventional and emerging identification capabilities.

Advanced practical biometrics Automated fingerprint identification systems have enjoyed the status of an effective, established biometric technology that offers demonstrable benefits in the critical task of identifying and prosecuting criminals.

Biometrics in general, however, have a less favorable reputation of over-promising and under-performing. This dynamic is poised for change. Two key factors are driving this – genuine technology capability and performance improvements and, perhaps more importantly, a developing understanding of how biometrics can be most effectively deployed to solve specific law enforcement problems.

This is particularly true of both face and iris recognition. These technologies have not only had vital image capture and processing issues resolved, but also have extended their capabilities with the advent of very high resolution, distance-based, high-quality image capture. These developments – combined with the ability to extract reasonable face or iris images from relatively standardised digital image capture devices – have begun to position face and iris recognition as potential forensic biometrics challenging AFIS’s unique position as the only biometric with forensic capabilities.

Today, high-end face and iris capabilities are being primarily developed in co-operation with the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies. However, this technology will begin to ‘trickle down’ to more mainstream law enforcement applications in the next three to five years.

Other factors contributing to the emergence of advanced practical biometrics include overall performance gains in capture and matching accuracy, lower hardware and device costs, more experience in software and solution development and integration, and the introduction of smaller form factors. This has also led to an increase of mobile multibiometric devices that enable various levels of local and centralised field-based identification applications.

The bottom line is that a range of reliable identification options are now widely available, reasonably priced and proven to be effective law enforcement tools. Standards-based platforms AFIS systems have become increasingly more sophisticated in terms of automated pre-processing of images, information sharing across large multi-jurisdictional systems and the speed and accuracy of matching. Yet, AFIS implementations remain essentially closed systems of biometric identification.

There has been some progress in augmenting AFIS with other types of identification – primarily palm prints and mugshots (the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system is one example of this type of progress). Nevertheless, these are not fully integrated
multi-biometric platforms.

Standards-based identification platforms that allow for the integration of a range of biometrics offer a powerful alternative to the existing law enforcement identification infrastructure.

Rather than looking at the evolution of law enforcement identification as AFIS plus other biometrics (palm prints, mugshots, iris), a shift will occur towards building a complete multibiometric profile.

Platforms will no longer be AFIS-centric – finely tuned and exclusively focused on AFIS performance – but rather designed to be more biometric neutral – relying on whatever biometric information is available.

Along with biometric neutrality, truly interoperable standards-based biometric solutions will become commonplace. Enrollment and matching will be performed on any system regardless of the initial capture device, biometric template generation software, or matching algorithm used. These standard platforms will not only improve law enforcement identification capabilities, but will accelerate the on-going development of technology solutions on offer as the market responds to an open, more flexible IT identification environment that does not lock customers into a single vendor solution.

In this way standards-based platforms will encourage competition beyond today’s ‘big four’ AFIS vendors – Sagem, Motorola, Cogent and NEC.

This type of platformwill also drive the next generation of biometric-based identification solutions. The performance of any particular technology will no longer be the driving force of solution development. The performance of a range of technologies that together provide comprehensive identity information, will be the key to success.

These standards-based platforms will not only include the ability to easily integrate multiple biometrics from multiple sources within a single environment, but also ‘true interoperability’ that allows for updating and identification independent of the hardware or software used for either process.

This requires the creation of a secure methodology for acquiring, storing, and matching biometrics and more complex identification profiles that are vendor independent. Though the leading AFIS vendors may fight the inevitable, the rapidly-approaching future is one that focuses on the integration of standardised technology, not the dominance and limitations of proprietary solutions. And, one in which AFIS will no longer be the singular focus, but rather one biometric element in a complex approach to criminal identification.

Integrated advanced ID

Truly advanced identification platforms are not just about biometrics matching, but more complex profile-matching that integrates and fuses various identification technologies and methodologies in multi-jurisdictional environments.

This evolution of a more sophisticated multiple identification technology platform is poised to radically transform the business of law enforcement. The combination of conventional identification methods – such as biographic information and body marks – with this advanced technology will foster complex, multilayered, multi-dimensional profiles that can be searched and matched on any single identifier or any combination of identifiers. This requires the creation of complex databases that enable advanced searching capabilities. Data sourced from across the law enforcement community will be searched and matched to continually enhance criminal profiles.

The future

This type of complex and multi-dimensional fusion is in many ways the ‘Holy Grail’ of identification. Law enforcement agencies will have the tools to quickly identify and distinguish threats from non-threats, focusing resources on high-risk individuals.

This scenario is not a far-flung futuristic vision, but rather the inevitable outcome of identification, database, platform, and searching and matching algorithm capabilities that exist today. Most of the pieces are in place. The challenge and the opportunity is to bring them together in a way that provides a practical, high performance alternative to today’s automated fingerprint identification systems.

While this is not a trivial undertaking, it is also not an insurmountable one. In the end, the systems used today will morph and evolve over time. First, into Automated Multiple Biometric Information Systems that rely on the creation of more complete biometric profiles. And ultimately, into Automated Multi-Modal Identification Systems where complex multi-mode identification profiles give law enforcement officials highly-sophisticated tools that save time, money, and lives.

CMaxine Most is the principal and founder of emerging technology strategy and research consultancy, Acuity Market Intelligence, a CJIS Group partner.

October/November 2008
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KEPT - Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony - #43
by Michele Triplett, King County Sheriff's Office


Disclaimer:  The intent of this is to provide thought provoking discussion.  No claims of accuracy exist. 


Question – Expert Status:

What makes you an expert?


Possible Answers:

a)      I know more than the general public.

b)      My training and experience.  My initial training was for 2 years and each year I take continuing education classes.  In addition, I’ve worked in the fingerprint field for 8 years.

c)      I’ve qualified as an expert in several state and federal court cases.

d)     I have a list of judges who have accepted my qualifications as an expert.

e)      The 2 year on the job training program I completed helped me acquire the education, knowledge, skills, and experience needed to qualify as an expert.  The International Association of Identification certification test and my yearly proficiency tests ensure that I continue to have the knowledge and ability to qualify as an expert.



Generally speaking, most experts should try to meet the federal requirements of an expert.  Even if you don’t work for a federal agency it’s possible for a case to have a change of venue and turn into a federal case.

Answer a:  Some old training programs have very low requirements for what qualifies someone as an expert.  Knowing more than the general public could be a very basic definition but it doesn’t meet the ‘Federal Rules of Evidence’ requirement of an expert.

Answer b:  This is an abbreviated answer and may not sufficiently qualify someone as an expert.  There are federal criteria that an expert should meet and just because previous cases didn’t confirm your qualifications doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the future.

Answers c and d:  These answers are very similar.  Just because you’ve testified before doesn’t mean that the courts have checked that you met the criteria under Federal Rules of Evidences, rule 702.  Even thought the Federal Rules of Evidence are specifically for federal cases, many states have similar criteria.

Answer e:  The Federal Rules of Evidence (Rule 702) requires that an expert have skill, knowledge, education, experience, and training.  Jeff Barnes from the FBI teaches the acronym SKEET to easily remember this criteria.  SKEET stands for skills, knowledge, education, experience, and training.



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Have a GREAT week!