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 our field.
I received an e-mail from Perry Sims who is doing a research project for his
museum involving Gilbert Thompson, the first American to use fingerprints for
personal identification. Perry is looking for a photograph of Gilbert
Thompson. I have looked through some of my books, to no avail. He
hears there may have been a photograph in a 1938 boy scout handbook on
fingerprinting, but these are collectors items and he has not been able to
locate one. He is asking the Detail readers if anyone knows where a copy
of this handbook or another photograph of Gilbert Thompson can be obtained;
please e-mail him at:
firstname.lastname@example.org with "Gilbert Thompson" in the subject line.
(also post to our CLPEX.com chat board for our own interest...)
Last week, Craig
Coppock passed on his thoughts on digital imaging in the latent print field.
This week, Paul Brannon brings us instructions on building a CA fuming chamber
on a budget.
There are a number of Latent Fingerprint Examiners and
Crime Scene Technicians in today’s criminal justice environment that work for
departments with budget dilemmas. These technicians and examiners have the same
desire to perform at their best as the departments without such budget
hardships. With this in mind, this week’s Detail is dedicated to the
professionals with economic challenges!
Cyanoacrylate Ester Fuming Chamber on a budget
You can shop all you want and find a way to spend thousands and thousands of
dollars on portable or fixed fuming chambers. Here is an effective way to
produce results without the big-ticket costs of many of today’s larger fuming
Find a used side by side, over-under, upright or chest freezer or refrigerator.
Frost-free models are the best. The magnetic seals/strips on the door must be in
Remove the refrigeration system coils, compressor, etc. I had a friend in the
refrigeration business help me perform this due to environmental issues dealing
with Freon. It is not recommended that this be performed without the advice
or assistance of a trained professional in this area.
The addition of electrical wires for hot plates and the tracing of wires for the
lights and the internal fan are essential. If you are not familiar with
electrical work, again it is recommended that the advice or assistance of a
trained professional be utilized. The internal circulation fan that is
on all frost-free models is beneficial to air circulation inside the chambers.
You will want the lights to come on when you open the doors, and the internal
circulation fan should stay running at all times. Remember the motor will be
within the fuming chamber.
Add one electrical outlet within each chamber. These outlets should be on a
switch outside the chamber. Get a bathroom fan for an air evacuator, and seal
the case of the fan with silicone. Cut a hole in the top of one of the chambers
and seal the fan system to that hole. This fan should have its own switch.
I used an RV sewer gate for the vent-gate on the opposing chamber. This allows
complete hazardous cyanoacrylate contaminated air to be completely purged from
the chamber without opening the doors.
You must vent the fan outdoors, preferably 2 feet above the highest point of the
Before you use the chamber, wash the interior with warm water and bleach, air
dry, and then apply a layer or two of Rain-X to prevent the build up of
Cyanoacrylate residue on the interior chamber and metal racks/shelves.
My cost (less sweat equity) was just under $100.00.
1. turn on hot plates (Illistration.1)
2. set in the hot water
3. Place the items in the chamber, on racks or hanging from racks
4. apply clear packing tape to inside vent of vent-gate, put a control
fingerprint on the inside of the tape and close the vent-gate (Illistration.3)
5. put 10 to 20 drops of superglue in each dish
6. close the chamber doors and document the start time
7. monitor the progress of the processing through the vent-gate
8. turn off the hot plates, turn on the air evacuator, open the vent-gate and
punch in the tape
9. wait 10 minutes open the chamber and recover your items
So far I have processed marijuana wraps, baggies, shotguns, rifles, small
appliances, bottles and paraphernalia. When I process with both chambers I have
had good results within 30 minutes.
If you want better close up photos of this project, please contact me and I can
e-mail them to you.
To discuss this Weekly Detail, log on to the CLPEX.com
More formal latent print discussions are available at
FUNNY FINGERPRINT FIND
"At this time it is appropriate that the reader take a look at his/her
own fingers. It is the patterns that appear on the first flange that we are
interested in. They will be composed of one of three basic types of pattern
known as either Arch, Loop or Whorl"
Question of Fingerprints" at
King County Sheriff's Office
"Do you sabotage your success?"
You have worked hard and paid your dues, but your career just isn't taking off
the way you believe it should. Could you be subtly sabotaging your own
efforts? Here are three of the most common reasons people fail as
1) They avoid conflict. Do you think that conflict is somehow "bad"
for you and your organization? It's not. Managing conflict is the
very foundation of leadership. People don't grow without challenges, and
challenges don't exist without conflict. A good manager must confront his
employees on their negative behaviors and attitudes. If a manager tells
people only what they want to hear, they lose credibility.
2) They refuse to get involved in their employees' personal lives.
Consider that all business is personal. In our connected culture, it is
difficult to separate personal and professional life. As a manager, you
probably already take work home, and chances are so do many of your employees.
So why is it so difficult to accept the fact that employees' personal lives come
to work with them? The reality is that personal issues affect employees'
work - and so it's appropriate for managers to address these issues.
3) They intervene too early. One of the worst things you can do in
business is to jump in and save the day. If you're constantly rescuing
employees, they'll never tap their inner resources. If you take over, they
will know what works for you, but not necessarily what works for them.
Fifth Wave Leadership: The Internal Frontier,
Morrie Shechtman, Facts on Demand Press,
via Communication Briefings, September 2003, 800.722.9221, briefings.com.