Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
Fingerprinting Technology for Law Enforcement –
- Feb 25, 2005 ...high-tech
tool to find criminals is now literally at the fingertips of some
local law enforcement agencies...
Fugitive For 17-Years Identified After Death –
KWQC-TV, IA - Feb 25, 2005
...a man who died in a New Hampshire hospital has
been identified as a wanted fugitive...
Driver's License Fingerprints Debated –
WXIA-TV, GA - Feb 23, 2005
...bipartisan group of state lawmakers say the fingerprint
requirement should be removed...
Police Sift Through Prints In Search Of Robber –
NBC17.com - FEB 21, 2005
...tedious process of lifting and identifying fingerprints became
the focal point in the search for ATM robber...
Last week, we looked at a recent ASCLD/LAB concept of latent print Examination
Documentation. Further clarification is anticipated, and as soon as it is
available it will be distributed via the Detail.
This week, latent print examiners submitting latent searches to the FBI's IAFIS
system can expect to see a temporary increase in Unsolved Latent Match (ULM)
responses back to their agencies. The FBI's Unsolved Latent File (ULF) is
intended to consist of latent prints which have been searched through IAFIS with
no identification effected. However, many of those impressions have not
been deleted as they should be when they are identified. Therefore, it is
unknown how many of the 50,000 registered latent prints actually represent
"unsolved" cases. Nonetheless, every time the fingerprints of a new
criminal are added or updated to the Criminal Master File of IAFIS, those known
prints are searched against the entire ULF to determine if they can be
associated with prior criminal activity.
Recently, some results from IAFIS testing seemed to reveal an issue with IAFIS
algorithms leading up to ULM generation. Through the development and
examination of a thorough test set, the issue was confirmed to exist and the
IAFIS software engineers implemented an enhancement to the algorithm processes.
A recent letter was sent from Deputy Director Jerome Pender of the FBI CJIS
Division to all agencies submitting latent prints to IAFIS:
January 14, 2005
To: All Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) Remote
IAFIS remote latent users are provided with the option of entering unsolved
latent fingerprint submissions into the Unsolved Latent File (ULF) for automatic
searches of newly-added or updated fingerprint images within the IAFIS criminal
master file. Unsolved Latent Match (ULM) responses are forwarded to
contributing agencies if viable candidates are located through this process.
Recently, FBI CJIS Division technical staff identified a concern regarding the
IAFIS ULF search process. The FBI CJIS Division determined that a software
enhancement was needed to improve the ULF filtering and candidate selectivity in
order to enhance IAFIS latent operations.
The FBI's CJIS Division will begin resubmitting all previously-entered ULF
records for advanced searches of the IAFIS criminal master file on January 24,
2005. Remote latent users that have provided past IAFIS ULF entries should
expect possible increases in ULM responses as a result of this effort.
Agencies are requested to contact their Criminal Information and Transition Unit
(CITU) Regional Representative to provide feedback on identifications resulting
from the ULF search process. Remote latent users are reminded to continue
forwarding IAFIS Unsolved Latent Delete Requests upon the identification of ULF
entries in order to ensure their timely removal from this file.
Please contact your CITU Regional Representative, listed below, if you require
further assistance regarding this matter.
Federal: Nicky J. Megna, 304-625-2767,
Northeast: Allen Wayne Nash, 304-625-2738,
Western: Dean R. Manson, 304-625-2756,
Southern: Cynthia Johnston, 304-625-3061,
North Central: Michelle Vecchio, 304-625-2614,
Acting Assistant Director
(CJIS Division FBI)
The result of this enhancement will be that "cascaded" or "reverse" searches of
new criminal submissions against the ULF will be more accurate. However,
the enhancement is day-one forward, meaning that it doesn't address those
criminal submissions that have already entered IAFIS and been searched against
the ULF. To insure that the most effective and comprehensive results were
achieved with this enhancement, CJIS Division of the FBI took the bold and
necessary step of re-searching each and every ULF transaction against the entire
CMF. This resource-intensive project has naturally taken weeks of computer
processing resources and has resulted in thousands of ULM responses being
generated. These responses will be returned to agencies beginning today,
February 28. A recent sample of these transactions indicate that
approximately 500 new, previously undiscovered criminal identifications will
occur from this re-run of the Unsolved Latent File, which mostly consists of
latent prints developed from evidence in crimes against persons.
Naturally, the benefits of this massive project will not be realized if the
ULM's are not routed to the correct place, or if they are not taken seriously by
agencies or examiners who receive them. In the past, relatively few ULM's
may have been generated, so agencies or examiners may not be used to completing
these examinations on a regular basis. In addition, many agencies or
examiners may find that all matching ULM's they receive from this re-run are
from cases they have already solved, or on impressions that have already been
identified. If this is the case, it is emphasized that these latent
impressions need to be deleted from the IAFIS ULF. In addition, examiners
who receive a large number of previously identified ULM responses should not
disregard remaining ULM's as unimportant, but should instead treat every one as
if it could solve a major cold case. The improvements made to the IAFIS
algorithms are real and they work, and new identifications will definitely be
effected as a result of this project.
Your Regional Representatives have expressed interest in knowing about
previously undiscovered identifications. I personally would also be very
interested in knowing about some of the cases solved as a result of this
project, and I'm sure other CLPEX members would also enjoy hearing about them.
So if you have a case story to share I am always available at
or you can share the story publicly on the CLPEX.com message board.
If you know of other latent print examiners who regularly submit and register
latent prints to the IAFIS ULF, it may be a good idea to make sure they are
aware of this issue so that a potentially large number of ULM's over the next
week are not a surprise.
message board is always open: (http://www.clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2).
For more formal latent print discussions, visit
UPDATES ON CLPEX.com
Updated the Detail Archives with the last four Weekly Details
Updated the Smiley Files with two new smileys
Updated the Newzroom with news from the last four weeks
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!