T H E
D E T A I L
Monday, July 14, 2003
BREAKING NEWz you can
compiled by Jon Stimac
Fingerprint Systems Integration Lagging -
- July 11, 2003
integration of fingerprint databases has fallen behind schedule, creating
continued risks to national security, according to a Justice Department report...
Fingerprint Phone Goes on Sale-
- July 9, 2003
...handset features a fingerprint sensor that
Fingerprints Handier Than Tickets -
THE MODESTO BEE, CA - July 8, 2003
will be fingerprinted beginning this fall to identify them in school lunch lines...
Jobs For The Boys In Blue - THE
GLASGOW SUNDAY MAIL, UK - July 5, 2003
retirement and reappointment of the SCRO's Superintendent has some saying this
is typical of SCRO's "culture of cover up"...
Good morning via the "Detail," a weekly e-mail newsletter that greets
latent print examiners around the globe every Monday morning. 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
Last week, we looked very briefly at a correspondence regarding a couple of
issues: personal storage containers and in-house chain of custody documentation.
This week, I wanted to quickly review the main fingerprint lectures throughout
the week, but as I got to remembering the lectures and workshops and looking
through the program, I realized there are simply too many to cover. We
will address and discuss some of the hot issues over the next few weeks.
If you attended and would like to write about a topic, please forward something
my way some time this week. Expect a coordinated effort by Alan McRoberts
to publish in the JFI some of these topics. For now, we will consider
something that each IAI conference seems to drive home: how technology and
forensic science together are evolving and making possible comparisons never
Going into the conference, I knew technological changes were making possible
things we had never seen before. Who would have thought 10 years ago that
we would see AFIS system designers considering and talking about 3rd level
detail. Some are resisting, but live-scan vendors are beginning to capture
the detail necessary to take us there. Everyone is talking about 1000 ppi
capture, and I made the comment after the presentation of one of the live scan
vendors that this is the least we need for most 3rd level detail
comparison. One study done recently suggests 1200 ppi as a minimum for
reproduction of third level detail. I made the comment after the lecture
that I wouldn't mind seeing 2400 ppi. If we are going to set a standard,
let's go all out knowing that on a larger scale, technology is about to surpass
our needs anyway. Although some would balk (mostly the vendors), processor
speed and storage space are both plummeting at the same time that worldwide
recognition of the importance of latent print clarity is increasing. As we
move toward a paperless society, we may only have one chance to capture
biometric data of one particular offender. We have known for years that
new processing techniques are providing higher levels of clarity than ever
before. Two presenters emphasized that point with TiO2 this week.
(see The Detail # 38 for details; and Josh Bergeron was working independently
applying this technique to blood prints on dark surfaces) On the whole,
technology companies seem to be acknowledging the need for resolution and bit
depth, and are continuing to work toward systems that allow examiners to capture
and utilize all the information possible.
Speaking of the future of comparisons, the most cutting edge combination for the
next generation of computer application to latent prints would be a partnership
between two companies that were working hard behind the scenes this year, and
were not able to attend the conference. This combination of products seems
to offer something amazing in our field... something that to my knowledge has
never been accomplished before. That something is dynamic, high-resolution
3-dimensional accurate source representation of living friction ridge
detail. Yes, I know what I said and yes, I know the implications are
astounding. I am hoping to team up these technologies and possibly work
with them on validation issues over the course of the next year. When you
see this topic presented next year at the IAI conference in St. Louis, your
reaction will be one of complete amazement. How appropriate to have the
technology of a new century available at the centennial conference celebrating
100 years of fingerprinting in America! And for those of you who won't be
able to make it, perhaps the IAI will support online broadcasting of a portion
of the lectures next year. I know I would volunteer to have my lecture
available to everyone.
As Chairperson of the newly re-named "Latent Print Subcommittee" (from
"Fingerprint Subcommittee") of the IAI, I will be putting together the latent
print program for the IAI conference in St. Louis. The committee was
re-named because of a resolution this year which created a new and separate
"10-print Fingerprint Subcommittee" and corresponding certification board.
That is right... the IAI has recognized the need, and has responded accordingly.
Look for more training and certification standards for 10-print fingerprint
examiners in the near future. Who knows... perhaps over the next year
someone will even develop C10PEX.com! :)
If you would like to be a latent print presenter next year, please contact me as
soon as possible. I want the program to be top-notch for what will likely
be the largest IAI conference ever! I would like to run a separate program
for history items, so if you have a particular interest in any historical aspect
of our science, please let me know. I already have presenters for the St.
Louis Fair in 1904, Gilbert Thompson, Sgt. Farrier, and Possibly Mary Holland)
I need someone from the New York area who is interested in the first Civil
Service application of fingerprinting in the United States to research this
subject and present. Anyone else wishing to present on American history
please get in touch with me by e-mail soon.
I will keep this week short and sweet. As I mentioned, we will discuss
particular aspects of the conference over the next few weeks. Be prepared
for some interesting discussions!
For informal discussion of latent print related matters, log on to the CLPEX.com
board : (http://www.clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2)
And as usual, the onin.com forum
(http://onin.com/fp/wwwbd/) is also available for more formal latent
For discussions with an international flair, check out Dave Charlton's forum at:
"Fingerprints were first used as evidence to
solve a murder by Henry Faulds."
Submitted by Michele Triplett
That sentence could be read one of several ways, all of which are wrong!
Actually, that makes it three times as funny. I would run it three weeks
in a row (since our FFF folder is now empty again) but I know you guys and gals
will come through for next week. As you are surfing the net this week,
copy and paste your funny fingerprint finds into an e-mail to
Feel free to pass The Detail along to other examiners. This is a free
newsletter FOR latent print examiners, BY latent print examiners. There are no
copyrights on The Detail, and the website is open for all to visit.
If you have not yet signed up to receive the Weekly Detail in YOUR e-mail inbox,
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!