Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
Beauty of Fingerprints
INSIDE BAY AREA, CA
- APRIL 5, 2006
...you can see their design, lines and structure -- the
beauty of fingerprints...
Private Forensic Examinations Proposed
NEWSROOM, NEW ZEALAND
- April 5, 2006
...private investigators are proposing carrying out
forensic examinations at burglaries...
Fingerprint Device May Help Find Terrorists
IRISH EXAMINER, UK - April 5, 2006 ...developing technology
that recovers fingerprints from metal surfaces such as bomb fragments
and gun cartridges...
Fingerprints Sought For All Charged
HENDERSON GLEANER, KY - April 4, 2006 ...anyone booked for
a crime -- from low-level petty offenses to the more serious variety
-- would have their fingerprints copied...
Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
containing new posts
Moderated by Steve Everist
charlton97 70 Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:57 pm
66% of Scottish public support a public enquiry
Iain McKie 48 Sat Apr 08, 2006 11:11 am
Daubert v. Kelly
Charles Parker 266 Sat Apr 08, 2006 4:57 am
LPE Opening - Viva Las Vegas!
Alice Maceo 446 Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:00 pm
Titanium Dioxide for latent print processing
jonahbee 128 Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:36 pm
To fume or not to fume?
jonahbee 112 Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:45 pm
FBI Training - Latent Print Daubert Issues
Steve Everist 115 Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:57 pm
'Spinning out of control'
charlton97 932 Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:12 am
International experts to provide SCRO plan
clpexco 226 Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:23 pm
[ Poll ] "Point" Standard
ccpereira 937 Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:11 pm
Help w/ Master's Thesis
Rebecca W 590 Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:24 pm
UPDATES ON CLPEX.com
No major updates on the site this week.
Some time ago, [Keele University in the UK] discussed the intention to name
the new forensic science laboratories after Dr. Henry Faulds. I am pleased
to be able to tell you now that the university has approved this. It is our
intention to hold the formal (but quite modest) ceremony on or around June
the 1st 2006. We would be delighted if you, your colleagues from the Faulds
Foundation and Dr. Faulds relatives could come to Keele for this event. I
would much appreciate if could pass this information to everyone interested
and if you and others would be able to come to Keele. Please note, there is
no pressure time wise, as all the preparations are likely to take place in
May - the university life is rather slow at Easter time.
Best wishes for Easter holidays,
Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
phone: 44 (0)1782 584352
fax: 44 (0)1782 712378
A few announcements from Joe Polski, COO of the IAI:
2006 Boston Conference
Due to unprecedented pre-registration for the Boston Conference, hotel rooms
at the Marriott Copley Hotel, the conference headquarters are almost
completely sold out. The IAI has contracted with a Marriott Courtyard Hotel
as noted below as the overflow conference hotel. Be sure to tell them you
are attending the IAI conference in order to book at the conference rate.
We are investigating yet another over flow hotel if the Marriott Courtyard
fills up. The overflow hotel is:
Courtyard Boston Tremont Hotel
275 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
Room Rate: $179.00
Please call 1-800-321-2211 or 1-617-426-1400 to make reservations.
The Courtyard Boston
Tremont is 8 city blocks (less than 1 mile) from the host hotel and you can
walk out of the front door of the
Courtyard, go across the street to the Orange Line of the “T” (subway) then
travel one stop to the Back Bay. The Marriott is a 2 minute walk from
there. The cost for the subway is $1.25 one-way
Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO) Technology Fair
The Third Annual CFSO
Congressional Technology Fair was held on April 5th, 2006 in the
Senate Hart Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Approximately 15 vendors to the forensics community attended this event and
displayed products ranging from AFIS, image enhancement equipment,
sophisticated equipment to locate and identify body fluids, 3 dimensional
crime scene and accident investigation cameras and a hand held explosive
detection device. NIJ, the FRN and Carol Henderson’s forensic research
repository in Florida also exhibited.
The turnout of staff and Senators was slightly less then usual this year due
to the floor debate taking place on the 5th dealing with the very
controversial Immigration Bill. That caused a number of conflicting
priorities for senators and staffers.
Dr. Henry Lee attended and was his usual, gregarious self. Senator Richard
Shelby from Alabama was this year’s recipient of the CFSO Award for
exceptional support to forensic science. Dr. Lee was kind enough to present
the award to Senator Shelby who, as Chair of the Senate’s Commerce, Justice
and Science Appropriations Sub-Committee, is a strong advocate of preserving
the Coverdell funding and, in fact, caused that to remain in the
In the morning, several of us met with Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama, a
consistent, strong supporter of forensic science in the Senate and under
whose sponsorship, the Tech Fair was conducted. Without his strong and
continuing support, we would not have been able to hold such an event. We
had a “mobile meeting” (a new Washington term!!) with Senator Sessions as he
traveled on the secure, internal subway/rail system between his Senate
office and the Capitol. Quite the experience. Our thanks also to Beth
Lavach, the CFSO’s Washington, DC lobbyist who is our everyday presence in
Washington and really makes all this happen.
to the Tech Fair, Melissa Milburn, the CFSO’s publicist, sent a flock of
press releases to many media outlets. Quite surprisingly, the show Good
Morning America called and wanted to do a piece on the fair. Their crew
spent over two hours on site with us and produced a segment that aired on
Thursday, April 6th. That was quite an accomplishment and one
that gave a number of vendors huge media exposure. That is the first time
the Tech Fair event has received this sort of media coverage and, we hope,
not the last.
Any IAI members who have not paid
their 2006 dues are now dropped from membership although we will continue to
process dues payments and reinstate those who pay. If you have not yet paid
dues, please do so as soon as possible and encourage any co-workers to do
that same. Thanks for your help!!
Please note that applications are now being accepted by NIJ for the
Coverdell Grant Program. Applications must be received by May 16, 2006.
Please see the following website for complete information including
instructions on how to apply. Coverdell Grant funding can be used for any
purpose and is the program that is likely the most useful to IAI members and
An important objective of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services
(CJIS) Division is to keep our strategic law enforcement partners informed
of the current status of our initiatives and programs. In an effort to
achieve that objective, CJIS hosted CJIS Overview Training Sessions in 2004
and 2005 at our facility in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Due to the positive
feedback received, another CJIS Overview Training Session is scheduled at
the CJIS Division for August 8-10, 2006.
Discussion will include, but is not limited to, an overview of the following
CJIS systems and programs and will include an optional tour of the CJIS
- Crime Statistics
- Law Enforcement National Data Exchange
- Identification and Investigative Services
- National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
- National Instant Criminal Background Check
- CJIS Audit Unit (CAU)
- CJIS Legal Programs
- Information Security Officer (ISO) Program
- Law Enforcement Online (LEO)
- Integrated Automated Fingerprint
Identification System (IAFIS)
- Programs Development Section (PDS)
- The Advisory Process
- Law Enforcement Officers Killed and
In addition, time will be allocated for
attendees to meet individually with subject matter experts on topics of
There is no cost associated with the CJIS
Overview Training Sessions. However, all travel and lodging costs incurred
will be at your agency's expense. Attendance is limited to the first 90
registrations and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Individuals with LEO access can learn more about the event at the following
Steve Scarborough brought us a look at how to incorporate ACE into latent
print examiner testimony summation.
we hear about last week's NIST Latent
2006 NIST Latent Testing Workshop
by Kasey Wertheim
Last week, April 5-6, 2006, NIST held a Latent Testing Workshop at their
campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Approximately 50 attendees were present
for 2 full days consisting mostly of a series of 20-minute lectures on
various aspects of latent prints. The goal of the workshop was to bring
together practitioners and academics so NIST could map a pathway toward
creating latent sample sets sufficient for automated latent testing. The end
goal is a “Latent Grand Challenge” where NIST can process standardized test
sets through various combinations of latent print extraction and search
algorithms provided by vendors.
The workshop presentations began with briefs by Steve Meagher (FBI/Lab),
Kasey Wertheim (DoD) and Danny Greathouse (DHS) on federal/military aspects
of latent print needs. This was complimented by the next hour, which
included presentations from Thomas Smith (LAPD), Frank Sinese (Illinois)
with perspectives on live-scan. Scott Swann (FBI/CJIS) defined NGI
initiatives and specifically discussed the development of a National
Marketing Plan for latent prints along with increases in latent print search
reliability as a part of algorithm improvements.
Debbie Leben (USSS) spoke on needed improvements for the Universal Latent
*Maintain feature sets during cropping, image reversal, and changes in
*Add filters for use in combination, not just individually: Unsharp mask,
pattern removal, fade filter
*Ridge counting, including additional clarification on what to count
*More efficient comparison capabilities, including auto-sizing the latent
*Ability to view features on the latent and the tenprint that produced the
*Ability to know the image being viewed was the image that produced the
*Case archive/saving option
*Reporting and statistics, which will involve recording hit/no-hit decisions
and user profiles
*Queued submission and timed release capability
*Latent sizing ability for non 1:1 latent prints
*Ability to format and submit multi-finger latents, or simultaneous pattern
*Lights-out auto-search by clusters
*Ability to encode and search Complete Friction Ridge Exemplars
*Ability to search by group (crime type) or region (geographical search)
*Refined ULM receipt process: Single candidates instead of multiple
candidates per submission, and real-time ULM reporting (as opposed to batch
processing in IAFIS)
Gordon Lowe (CalDOJ),
Wade Petroka and Jeri Eaton (King County Washington) spoke on local
AFIS issues and needs.
Ambika Suman spoke on the PITO latent test design for the Ident1 benchmark
in the UK.
Mark Branchflower discussed the role of latent prints at Interpol as
increasing, and that two positions would soon be approved for full-time
latent print examiners.
Several AFIS vendors (Sagem Morpho, Cogent, NEC, Motorola) spoke on new and
improved functions and capabilities leading to better performance of latent
Philip Wasserman from NIST presented "Level 3 Fingerprint Feature
Recognition Using Support Vector Machines" In cases where level 1 and
2 detail (patterns and minutia) are not sufficient to permit identification,
trained human examiners rely on level 3 features such as the position and
size of sweat pores, incipient ridges, edge formations and other fine
detail. Achieving this level of AFIS processing requires machine
intelligence that performs on par with the accuracy of the Latent Print
Examiner. Sample collection involved an experienced examiner “marking”
(selecting) an example of a level 3 feature by clicking on its location in a
computerized image. A set of features was extracted from the region around
the selected point and the set was used to train an SVM. The trained machine
was used to classify samples not included in its training set. Vapnik (1995)
provides a highly effective means for pattern classification and regression.
SVM provides a more global solution in contrast to a neural network where
many non-optimal solutions result. The preliminary results, while
encouraging, are not conclusive. Additional examples must be collected to
produce statistically significant accuracy estimates.
(co-researcher, Anil Jain, Michigan State University) presented "
and Ridges: High Resolution Fingerprint Matching Using Level 3 Features"
Although experienced latent print examiners often rely on level 3 detail to
assist in identification, AFIS mostly rely on Level 1 and Level 2 features.
With advances in sensing technology, many sensors are now equipped with
1000ppi scanning capability and systematic studies of performance gain need
to be conducted in this area. Level 3 features can be automatically
extracted by combining images subsequent to wavelet transform and Gabor
filtering. Their experiments show that level 3 features carry significant
discriminatory information and can be locally matched using “the ICP
algorithm”. They showed a relative reduction of 20% in the equal error rate
of the matching system when level 3 features are employed in combination
with levels 1 and 2, across a variety of fingerprint image quality. Images
were shown of extracted images displaying pore location and ridge edge
Nigel Allinson from the University of Sheffield presented work that has been
done in England to support the Lincolnshire Police. They have equipped
their crime scene officers with laptops and scanners capable of scanning
1000ppi images. Nigel and his team wrote software that allows them to
save JPEG 2000 (JP2) images at 16:1 compression, and securely transmit them
with PGP Private/Public key incription back to the AFIS section where they
can immediately been encoded and searched in AFIS. On average, they
have taken backlog times from 14 days to 1 day, and in their fastest
response time provided police a lead less than 3 hours after they had
arrived on scene. When they arrived at the suspect's home, he was
found asleep and all the stolen goods were still in his custody.
Tom Hopper spoke on ULW, Elham Tabassi spoke on the NIST Quality Workshop,
and George Kiebuzinski spoke on lessons learned during IAFIS source
Kasey Wertheim spoke on 7 Latent Print Quality Measures:
Quantity: square area
Clarity: quality, focus, resolution, crispness
Contrast: ridge to furrow difference in grayscale intensity
Pressure: ridge to furrow difference in width/thickness
Slippage: measure of lateral pressure, smearing (difficult to quantify)
Background: interference of the background – texture/pattern prominence
Focal Points: present/absence of delta, core, scars, creases, or other major
Some of these “human” measures of quality (or latent print “difficulty” to
compare) may be applied locally in an automated way to boost or reduce
scoring (as appropriate) during the matching process to increase reliability
Patrick Grother of NIST spoke on offline biometric testing and Stephen Wood
discussed latent test sets (including the NIST Special Database (SD) 27 and
a Secret Service (non-public) database of 1000 latent prints).
There is a need for additional databases containing a statistically
significant number of cases representative of all latent prints, not just
AFIS suitable or AFIS matchable latents. Vladmir Dvornychencko proposed
outreach to smaller agencies for 50 samples each. Mike Garris closed
out the conference with a proposal for a latent testing methodology.
In general, it was proposed that an upcoming test evaluate latent
fingerprint algorithms from multiple vendors using the following factors:
LFIS versus LFFS
Human versus Machine Encoding
Latent against Tenprint versus Tenprint against Latent
SDK testing model using Subroutine and API for 1) Encoder 2) Matcher 3)
Back End score-based metrics (ROC, DET, Imposter/Genuine disbributions per
1-1 match scores proposed, but arguments ensued for 1:N
“open” forum prior to a “Latent Search Grand Challenge”
The workshop closed with a discussion of Extended Feature Sets to include
potentially major improvements for latent print standards.
Feel free to pass The Detail along to other
examiners. This is a free newsletter FOR latent print examiners, BY latent
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!