Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

JULY 2023

Welcome to the July 2023 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

How Reliable Are
Latent Fingerprint Examiners?

National Institute of Justice

In this video, Brian Cerchiai discusses a NIJ-supported a study conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Department on the accuracy of fingerprint examiners. The study found that fingerprint examiners make extremely few errors. Even when examiners did not get an independent second opinion about their decisions, they were remarkably accurate. But when decisions were verified by an independent reviewers, examiners had a 0% false positive, or incorrect identification, rate and a 3% false negative, or missed identification, rate.

Transcript of the video:

Research Conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Department. Speaking in this video: Brian Cerchiai, CLPE, Latent Fingerprint Examiner, Miami-Dade Police Department.

The goal of the research was to determine if latent finger print examiners can make and be able to make identifications, exclude properly prints not visible to the naked eye. In this case, we had these 13 volunteers leave over 2000 prints on different objects that were round, flat, smooth and we developed them with black powder and tape lifts.

We did the ACE which is analyze compare evaluate. Where we gave latent examiners - 109 latent examiners - unknown finger prints or palm prints and latents to look at and compare to three known sources. So essentially, compare this latent to one of these 30 fingers or one of these six palms.

So as participants were looking at the latent list and comparing them to the subjects, we asked them if they could identify any of those three subjects as being the source of that latent print. In that case, they would call that an identification. If we asked them to exclude, we are basically asking them to tell us that none of those three standards made that latent or were not the source of that latent print.

That ACE verification (ACE-V) process works, secondly, the examiner looks at that comparison and does their own analysis comparison and gives their evaluation of that decision. When we found that under normal conditions where one examiners made an identification and the second examiner verified that no erroneous identification got passed that second latent examiner. So it had a false positive rate of zero.

So when we are looking at ACE comparisons where one latent examiner looked a print and one latent examiner analyzed compared and evaluate and came up with a decision. We came up- there was a false positive rate which basically an erroneous identification where they identified the wrong source.

< read the complete article and view the video >

Related Content

This Month's Featured Resource on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website

The idea of The Fingerprint Sourcebook originated during a meeting in April 2002. Individuals representing the fingerprint, academic, and scientific communities met in Chicago, Illinois, for a day and a half to discuss the state of fingerprint identification with a view toward the challenges raised by Daubert issues. The meeting was a joint project between the International Association for Identification and West Virginia University. One recommendation that came out of that meeting was a suggestion to create a sourcebook for friction ridge examiners, that is, a single source of researched information regarding the subject. This sourcebook would provide educational, training, and research information for the international scientific community.
<View the Publication>

Featured Video Presentation
On our Video Presentations page:

Developing Latent Fingerprints with Magnetic Powder

Watch this video to learn how to develop fingerprints using magnetic powder.

<Video Presentations>

New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 100 current listings!

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Crime Scene Technician
Dothan Police Department, Dothan, Alabama, USA

Final Filing Date: July 28, 2023
Processes crime scenes; documents crime scenes utilizing digital photography, video recording, sketches, measurements, and identifying and processing evidence. Processes and repackages fingerprint and DNA evidence in the forensics lab.
<View complete job listing>
Forensic Specialist
Glendale Police Department, Glendale, Arizona, USA

Final Filing Date: July 30, 2023
Identifies, collects, examines, interprets, classifies, and preserves evidence from major crime scene investigations and serious traffic accidents.
<View complete job listing>
Crime Scene Technician
Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Florence, Arizona, USA

Final Filing Date: July 31, 2023
Perform a variety of technical tasks in the documenting, collection, photographing, tracking, handling, safekeeping, and packaging of crime scene evidence for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) under basic supervision.
<View complete job listing>
Field Evidence Technician
Santa Rosa Police Department, Santa Rosa, California, USA

Final Filing Date: August 2, 2023
Process a wide variety of crime scenes such as homicides, suicides, officer involved shootings, domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse, and suspicious, natural and accidental death scenes.
<View complete job listing>

Property and Evidence Technician
Burbank Police Department, Burbank, California, USA

Final Filing Date: August 4, 2023
Under supervision, to carry out a variety of technical duties involved in maintaining custody and control of evidence, contraband, property safeguarded by the Police Department, and United States currency; and perform related work as required.
<View complete job listing>
Fingerprint Examiner I
San Bernardino County Sheriff/Coroner, San Bernardino, California, USA

Final Filing Date: July 28, 2023
This is a trainee classification. Retrieve, classify, and maintain fingerprint records and perform fingerprint analysis according to varied and complex fingerprint characteristics;
<View complete job listing>
Latent Print Examiner
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Final Filing Date: Open until filled
Professional work in the evaluation, analyzation, and development of friction ridge detail which includes comparison and identification of latent finger, palm, and footprints.
<View complete job listing>
El Paso Police Department, El Paso, Texas, USA

Final Filing Date: JAugust 1, 2023
Under direction, assist in the supervision and operation of the forensic breath alcohol laboratory and breath alcohol testing program; provide scientific support for law enforcement actions in the area of alcohol toxicology.
<View complete job listing>

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