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Monday, August 3, 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 Stephanie Potter

Fingerprints in car of slain teen Lily Burk match those of transient
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA 07-28-09
The alleged abduction and killing of a teenage girl, rare for its apparent randomness even in a metropolis like Los Angeles, jolted the city over the weekend...

On 4 Cold Case Murders, Cops Never Gave Up
New Haven Independent 07-31-09
The results proved fruitful: The suspect's fingerprints matched a fingerprint recovered at the scene of Tyler's death. With that match, cops had the basis ...

Arrest made in 1999 Podnuh's homicide
Shreveport Times 08-01-09
A crime scene investigator recently had entered latent fingerprints from the Podnuh's crime scene into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, ...and… credited recently improved fingerprint scanning equipment with why a match was located now and not before.

Police make arrest in Visalia rape case
Visalia Times-Delta 08-01-09
Artis Hooks, 19, was arrested after police determined fingerprints left at the crime scene matched Hooks', police reported. Hooks is suspected of invading a ...

State crime lab waiting to see effects of budget cuts
Salt Lake Tribune - United States 07-26-09
By Sheena Mcfarland Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune Trent Grandy, a forensic scientist, demonstrates how crime lab workers dust for fingerprints, ...

Douglas found guilty of murder
Jackson Sun - Jackson,TN,USA 07-24-09
Gilliam called several witnesses to the stand Thursday, including William Roane, a certified latent fingerprint examiner with the Jackson Police Department, ...

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

IAI Conference Topics -
Tampa Bay, Florida - 2009:
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

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Updated the Detail Archives

Last week

We looked at the recently approved SWGFAST Draft for Comment entitled Standard for the Documentation of ACE-V. It is now available as a .pdf on the SWGFAST website: (


This week

We look a the other approved Draft for Comment. It combines 2 previous SWGFAST recommendation documents, frames them as a standard, and applies to both the tenprint and the latent print disciplines.  Readers are encouraged to obtain the .pdf versions directly from the site instead of relying on representations in the Detail or e-mail forwards because of potential formatting differences. As with last week, the SWGFAST Chairperson requests that all feedback on this draft standard be provided to the Executive Secretary by September 4, 2009 at:




(To Replace:
Minimum Qualifications for Latent Print Examiner Trainees, ver. 2.1, Training to Competency for Latent Print Examiners, ver. 2.1, and Minimum Qualifications and Training to Competency Standards for Latent Print Examiners, ver. 1.0 Draft For Comment)



This outline provides the recommended training program to achieve competency as a friction ridge examiner. The student must demonstrate knowledge of required objectives by successfully completing written tests and practical exercises. The student must also communicate an understanding of the objectives and underlying principles. It is also strongly recommended that students demonstrate knowledge of the supplemental objectives listed in this document.


Prior to becoming a friction ridge examiner, candidates shall possess a bachelor’s degree with science related coursework.


In addition to the objectives listed below, the examiner must achieve competency in the objectives outlined in the following SWGFAST documents: Standards for Conclusions and Friction Ridge Examination Methodology for Latent Print Examiners.

Instructors and mentors must have demonstrated competency in the topic areas they provide instruct.


The training period for a new trainee in the field of friction ridge examination shall consist of thorough training, continued testing, and apprenticeship (supervised casework) for the following duration:


Latent Print

Minimum: One year of full-time latent print work with the majority of the time spent on the analysis, comparison, and evaluation of impressions.

Recommended: Two years of full-time latent print work with the majority of the time spent on the analysis, comparison, and evaluation of impressions.



Minimum: Six months of full-time tenprint work with the majority of the time spent on the analysis, comparison, and evaluation of impressions.

Recommended: One year of full-time tenprint work with the majority of the time spent on the analysis, comparison, and evaluation of impressions.


1 Required Objectives

1.1 Program Qualitative and Time Requirements

1.2 Principles and Foundations

1.2.1 Understand the basic foundations for friction ridge examination (persistence and uniqueness) as a means of identifying the source of an impression.

1.2.2 Understand the biology and physiology of friction ridge skin.

1.2.3 Knowledge of the history of fingerprints.

1.2.4 Understand the use of fingerprints, palmprints, and footprints in criminal and civil applications.

1.3 Friction Ridge Pattern Recognition and Interpretation

1.3.1 Understand common terminology (e.g., arch, loop, and whorl) and definitions associated with friction ridge pattern recognition.

1.3.2 Understand pattern recognition and interpretation associated with operational needs of the individual agency.

1.3.3 Understand friction ridge formations as they relate to recognition, interpretation, and individualization.

1.3.4 Knowledge of the Henry Classification System.

1.3.5 Awareness of other classification systems (e.g., American, Vucetich, NCIC, and so forth).

1.4 Friction Ridge Examination (Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, and Verification)

1.4.1 Understand the individual friction ridge structure (i.e., continuity, texture, pore, and edge definition) for determining the existence of individualizing details.

1.4.2 Ability to analyze friction ridge details to determine the value for comparison.

1.4.3 Ability to recognize and utilize friction ridge flow, scars, creases, and other friction ridge details for supporting the examination.

1.4.4 Ability to recognize and properly determine, when possible, the area from which the friction ridges originated.

1.4.5 Knowledge to properly analyze friction ridge impressions and understand effects such as processing technique, color reversal, pressure distortion, slippage, and overlays.

1.4.6 Ability to properly conduct a comparison.

1.4.7 Ability to render a proper and accurate conclusion.

1.4.8 Understand the necessity for verification by another competent friction ridge examiner.

1.4.9 Understand the role of quality assurance measures in friction ridge examination.

1.4.10 Knowledge of various methods used to record known friction ridge impressions and the ability to properly evaluate ridge structure based on each method.

1.4.11 Knowledge of alteration and mutilation of friction ridge skin.

1.4.12 Knowledge of the benefits associated with obtaining elimination prints and complete friction ridge exemplars.

1.4.13 Ability to recognize simultaneous or adjacent friction ridge impressions and their value for examination.

1.4.14 Awareness that different policies and standards exist in the United States and other countries regarding friction ridge identification (individualization).

1.4.15 Awareness of the impact(s) resulting from an erroneous conclusion.

1.5 Friction Ridge Detection and Preservation (This applies specifically to latent print examiners)

1.5.1 Knowledge of the generally accepted techniques for the detection and visualization of friction ridge impressions.

1.5.2 Ability to assess the effectiveness and results of applied processing techniques.

1.5.3 Understand of generally accepted preservation methods for friction ridge impressions.

1.6 Documentation of Examination

Understand the level of documentation required based on the operational needs of the individual agency for the following:

1.6.1 Case records

1.6.2 Chain of custody of the evidence

1.6.3 Latent print processing

1.6.4 The examination process

1.6.5 Evidence marking

1.6.6 Report writing

1.7 Communication

Ability to accurately explain friction ridge examinations and conclusions in written and oral form.

1.8 Legal Issues

1.8.1 Understand the role of expert witness testimony.

1.8.2 Knowledge of factors regarding the admissibility of evidence.

1.8.3 Knowledge of relevant court cases and case histories.

1.8.4 Understand the rules of discovery and evidence.

1.8.5 Knowledge of applicable legal challenges to admissibility.

1.8.6 Understand critical challenges to the discipline.

1.9 Demonstration of Competency

Ability to demonstrate all phases of training through practical exercises.

1.10 Professional Development

1.10.1 Participate in continuing education.

1.10.2 Awareness of relevant professional organizations and publications.

1.10.3 Adherence to a code(s) of professional conduct.

2 Supplemental Objectives

2.1 Principles and Foundations

2.1.1 Understand early methods of personal identification (e.g., scars, marks, tattoos, and the Bertillon system).

2.1.2 Awareness of personal identification methods other than friction ridge skin (e.g., iris scan, face identification, and flexion creases).

2.1.3 Understand the applications of friction ridge impressions for manual or automated repositories for “single print” and “unidentified friction ridge impressions”.

2.2 Professional Development

2.2.1 Participate in educational opportunities (e.g., seminars, conferences, schools, and lectures).

2.2.2 Membership in relevant professional organizations.

2.2.3 Achieve International Association for Identification (IAI) or equivalent professional certification in tenprint or latent print examination, as applicable.


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

Have a GREAT week!

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