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Monday, January 19, 2009

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
Week 1 Recap of the Raul Cortez capital murder trial
Star Community Newspapers, TX - Jan 18, 2009
Walter Henson, a forensic scientist with the latent print section of the DPS, said he found a fingerprint on a beer can found in the kitchen, ...
Redby man pleads guilty to kidnapping, assault
Bemidji Pioneer, MN - Jan 16, 2009
Officers processed the car and found a cigarette butt and a latent fingerprint on the overhead light bulb. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension identified ...
Americans sold toys that contained asbestos
Mesothelioma Web, TX - Jan 12, 2009
"And because the product is already in powder form-and intended to be blown or dusted away by children searching for fingerprints-any asbestos contaminant ...
Career burglar jailed
Northern News Services (subscription), Canada - Jan 16, 2009
No one was found inside but liquor bottles had been taken and fingerprints were found on a window believed to have been used to enter or exit the building. ...
Forensic evidence cleared Jones, May, Walker from murders
Star Community Newspapers, TX - Jan 15, 2009
First Assistant District Attorney Greg Davis interviewed Walter Henson and Gary Molina of the Texas Department of Public Safety on the fingerprints and DNA ...
Mistakes in fingerprint analysis trigger review of nearly 1000 LAPD cases...
Los Angeles Times, CA - Jan 15, 2009
The issues with the latent print section came to light in April 2006, when prosecutors informed the unit that a renowned fingerprint expert had testified that LAPD analysts had made a mistake on a case....
Mesa teen suspect in arson, burglary at Chandler churches
Arizona Republic, AZ - Jan 14, 2009
14, 2009 12:16 PM A fingerprint lifted from a stolen cymbal and matched to a police database helped Chandler officers nab a suspect, a Mesa teen, ...

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    Updated the Fingerprint Interest Group (FIG) page with FIG #78; small size matches, from Tenneyuque, TX.  You can send your example (anonymously if you desire) of unique distortion through Charlie Parker:  For discussion, visit the forum FIG thread.

    Updated the Detail Archives

    Last week

    We reviewed three recently posted SWGFAST updates from the website, (

    This week

    we look at relevant portions of Joe Polski's January IAI Update.

    IAI January Update

    • by Joe Polski

      National Institute of Standards (NIST) –

      Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis

      On December 15 and 16, 2008, NIST convened a working group to address the above topic, specifically dealing with error rates in latent fingerprint identification. The goal of the group is to define what is meant by error rate, seek to identify the underlying causes of error and work to create recommendations to minimize those errors.

      A complete overview [provided in the section below] of the working group can be found at the following web link:

      Expert Working Group on

      Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis

      Project Management

      Susan Ballou

      Program Manager

      Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES)

      National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)

      Melissa Taylor

      Project Manager, OLES/NIST

      Project Dates

      Start Date: December 2008

      Projected End Date: August 2010

      Project Description

      Human factors analysis can be used to advance our understanding of the true nature of errors in complex work settings. Research in this area has identified factors that contribute to inefficiencies and quantified the effects of human and organizational factors on performance of critical tasks The forensic science community can benefit from the application of the substantial body of human factors work to reduce the consequences and likelihood of human error in the scientific interpretation of evidence.

      To assist the forensic community in this effort, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Office of Law Enforcement Standards are sponsoring a series of expert panels to examine human factors in forensic analyses and develop practices to reduce the likelihood of error based on scientific research. The panels will also evaluate various approaches to numerically quantifying measurement uncertainty within forensic science analysis.

      Each discipline-specific working group will be comprised of experts from relevant forensic disciplines, statisticians, psychologists, researchers, and other scientific experts, in addition to representatives from the legal community, professional organizations and other identified stakeholder groups.

      The first working group in the series will focus on latent print analysis. The Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is charged with examining current policies, procedures, and practices within the field of friction ridge identification to examine human factors in forensic analyses. The panel will examine current scientific research and develop practices for latent print to reduce the likelihood of error. The group will evaluate various approaches to numerically quantifying measurement uncertainty within latent print analysis and will publish its findings and recommendations.

      The Latent Print Analysis working group will 1) review current research relevant to latent print examination; 2) examine current hiring and resource allocation practices, operational processes and procedures, systemic policies, and training curricula and modalities; 3) evaluate the applicability of practices and models used in other fields, including other forensic disciplines, to fingerprint analysis; 4) review the feasibility of implementing new and emerging techniques, methodologies, technologies, and standards within existing resources; 5) identify areas for further study; 6) publish findings and recommendations.

      Project Objectives

      Develop definitions for human factors terms as applied to fingerprint analysis.

      Review current practices, processes, and procedures to identify and document where uncertainty and/or variability could occur for the purpose of reducing, eliminating, and/or measuring uncertainty.

      • Review current training curricula and modalities.

      Evaluate new/emerging methodologies, technologies, and standards based on the ability to achieve expected outcomes; is it

      Realistic: Can it be followed or achieved with existing resources?

      Reliable: Does its implementation consistently yield the same result (all factors being equal)?

      Valid: Is it based on scientific procedures or methodologies?

      Clear: Is it understood in the same way by everyone concerned and not subject to distortion or misinterpretation?

      Measurable: Can performance be assessed and quantified?


      This work will identify potential sources of uncertainty within latent print analysis and will lead to the development of guidelines, improved scientifically sound practices, and/or standards aimed at eliminating or minimizing potential sources of uncertainty as well as identifying future research in the area of quantifying uncertainty within pattern recognition disciplines.

      Membership & Collaborating Organizations

      Nominees have been selected based on demonstrated and recognized expertise in the forensic sciences and/or a relevant field of work; ability to balance scientific rigor with practical and regulatory constraints; and ability to work as a member of a team. Nominees represent a range of perspectives and multiple scientific disciplines.

      The NIJ and NIST Directors shall review the list of candidates, provided by the NIST/OLES project manager, against the requirements listed above and make final membership appointments.


      Many IAI members as well as individuals from academia have been chosen to serve on this working group. There are also members from the private sector who are well known for their work in risk assessment, error detection and prevention and root cause analysis.

      The questions being asked and discussed by this working group have the potential to greatly affect the latent fingerprint community.

      The next meeting is set for February or March 2009. As part of the root cause analysis planned for the next meeting, actual and theoretical cases where less than desirable outcomes occurred will be discussed.

      Please see the February/March 2009 issue of Identification News for more complete information on this very important initiative.

      AFIS Interoperability Working Group

      As you know, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is partnering with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) to support the NIST/NIJ AFIS Interoperability Working Group. The third working group meeting has been scheduled for January 27-28, 2009 in San Diego, CA.

      The first day will be dedicated to interacting with AFIS vendors. Using a panel format, each vendor representative will be given time to present on how their current technology supports interoperability as well as outline how R&D efforts will improve interoperability. On the second day the group will hear presentations on:

      • Overview of Information Sharing Mandates (i.e., relevant statutes, executive orders and Presidential guidance) that provide and facilitate the means for sharing information among all appropriate Federal, State, local, tribal, private sector, and foreign partners.


      • The Information Sharing Environment ( mandated by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Section 1016 of the law required the President to designate a Program Manager for the ISE and establish an Information Sharing Council to advise the President and the Program Manager. This presentation will provide the working group with an update of current activities of this body.


      • The draft Model Procurement Specifications created by several Working Group members will be reviewed and discussed with the goal of reaching consensus on the content for a sample RFP. Once finalized, this will serve as the initial document in the "Interoperability Toolkit" that will be provided to state and local agencies.

      A number of IAI members serve on this Working Group. As I have noted in the past, this is the first time concrete action is being taken to address the longstanding problem of lack of interoperability of AFIS systems. We thank NIST and NIJ for creating and funding this group and also Melissa Taylor from NIST for her outstanding job in leading and coordinating the Working Group’s activities.

      FBI CJIS Advisory Policy Board (APB) – Peter Komarinski

      Peter Komarinski, Chair of the IAI’s AFIS Committee and representative to the Identification Services Sub-Committee (ISS) of the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board (APB) submitted the following information regarding the recent meeting of the APB.

      The CJIS Advisory Policy Board (APB) held its winter meeting on Dec 3-4 2008. In addition to the members of the APB, the meeting was well attended by a variety of state, local and federal criminal justice agency representatives as well other interest groups.

      As has been a long-standing custom, the IAI is invited to attend the meeting and speak to the APB on current IAI initiatives and respond to questions. Peter Komarinski, Chair of the AFIS Committee, represents the IAI. Peter also represents the IAI on the Identification Services Subcommittee of the APB.

      The IAI’s report to the APB on recent activities included:

      - An overview of the 2008 Educational Conference

      - The anticipated report from the National Academies on Forensics Sciences

      - NIST - AFIS Interoperability Working Group

      - NIST - Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis

      - Standardization II Committee

      - NIST Mobile ID

      - Inform IAI membership of developments of CJIS Biometric Center of Excellence and FBI BioSpecs website at 

      For those with LEO access, the APB Action and Information Only items for the meeting can be found by going to



      CJIS Advisory Process Information

      Look for more information on the APB and the Center of Excellence in an upcoming issue of Identification News.

      AFIS News

      The below information was supplied by Peter Komarinski and Peter Higgins. For more information on each item, please visit the website shown below.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification (EBTS) Version 8.1 is now available for public dissemination via the website.

      Due to the recent implementation of certain technical capabilities designed to augment the IAFIS, the FBI’s EBTS has been updated to reflect such ancillary information. Below is a list of the most notable areas of revisions within EBTS v 8.1:

      • Significant efforts have been made to note those EBTS specifications which do not clearly delineate between the functionality within the IAFIS that is currently available to the CJIS user community and what is anticipated to be developed in the future.


      • Seven new Type-2 Record Field Tags have been created and will be used in design to facilitate the NGI acceptance of DNA, Rap Back, and III participant sealing.


      • A special Departmental Orders Channeling Electronic (DOCE) Type of Transaction (TOT) has been created specifically for the electronic submission (through designated Channeling Agencies only) of noncriminal justice applicant fingerprint transactions with the corresponding receipt of an electronic response.


      • As a "Future Capability", the citizenship field will be updated to allow up to 10 entries.


      • EBTS section 3.1.2 regarding Special Population Cognizant (SPC) files will be removed since SPC functionality is not supported by the IAFIS and will not be supported by the future Next Generation Identification (NGI).


      • EBTS Rap Back section 3.16 has been updated with the results from previously approved APB Action Items and some definitions have been modified.


      • Various tables/data within the Appendices section have been updated (e.g., inaccuracies corrected, placed in numerical or alphabetical order, deleted due to material duplication/summarization, etc.).


      • According to ANSI/NIST standards, the IAFIS will receive and store as part of a Tenprint Fingerprint Identification Search: 1,000 pixels per inch (ppi) images, Iris, Palmprint, Photo, Supplemental Fingerprint and Palmprint data, and Type-99 Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF) biometric data record.


      • To clarify requirements, a new section (i.e., 5.0 Mobile ID) has been added to Appendix F IAFIS Image Quality Specifications for certification of Mobile ID fingerprint capture systems.

      The SABER Report prepared by MITRE for the CJIS Division is now also available. The report is being distributed by CJIS on a disc. The report and updates are also available at 


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

    Have a GREAT week!