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Monday, November 14, 2005

 
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.
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Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Boston Police Hire Civilian Fingerprint Analysts   WHDH-TV, MA  - Nov 12, 2005 ...Boston police have hired two civilian fingerprint analysts as part of an overhaul of their fingerprint unit...

Ex-nurse Guilty in 2 Dismemberment Murders BOSTON GLOBE, MA - Nov 11, 2005 ...fingerprints were found on the bags containing the victim's remains....

Lip-print Case Flawed, Court Told CHICAGO TRIBUNE, IL - Nov 10, 2005 ...expert: "there is ample science supporting fingerprint identification, but none exists regarding lip prints."

DNA Matches Win Few Convictions in Va.   USA TODAY - Nov 7, 2005 ...Virginia's crime lab has found there were convictions in less than one-quarter of 3,000+ cases...

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Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
Last Week's Board topics containing new posts

JPEG v. WSQ Digitized Fingerprints
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Erroneous Tenprint ID?
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Shaheen Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:20 pm

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David Tivin Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:31 pm

(http://clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2)

UPDATES ON CLPEX.com

No major updates on the website this week


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Last week

We looked at a study relating the results of contextual information on examination conclusions.

This week

We review the recent results of the U.S. House and Senate appropriates for forensic science, specifically concentrating on latent print examination as related by Joe Polski in the IAI Update:
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IAI Update

Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO)

GREAT NEWS!!!!

As you know, the IAI is one of six organizations that comprise the CFSO.  The IAI, the AAFS, ASCLD, ASCLD-LAB, NAME and FQS are each contributors of funding, ideas and energy to accomplish the goals we have established for the Consortium, namely to influence in a positive way, funding and policy for the forensic sciences at all levels of government but particularly at the national level. 

Yesterday I received a call from Beth Lavach, the Washington, DC consultant to the CFSO.  She said that the House and Senate had reached agreement on the Commerce, Justice, State/Science appropriations bill and that the forensics language and funding in the Senate bill (which we favored) was approved by the conference committee.  In summary form, that means the following:
 

  • For the past few years, almost all federal funding assistance to forensic science has been directed toward DNA.  Approximately $3.4 million dollars over the past two years have gone to DNA.  Our position has been that DNA is wonderful but don’t forget everything else.  The language just approved appropriates $89 million dollars from the Justice for All Act (another name for the President’s DNA Initiative) to forensic science and does not restrict those funds to only DNA.  That funding will be distributed through NIJ (in a process yet to be determined) to state and local crime labs and forensic service providers and can be used for whatever is deemed to be the greatest need for those agencies.  This is great news for those who have needs in areas other than DNA.
     
  • Coverdell Grant Funding is set at $18 million dollars, $3 million more than last year.  That is in addition to the funding noted above.
     
  • The Consortium has been advocating a study by the National Academies (formerly called the National Academy of Sciences) to undertake a  wide ranging review of forensic science.  That will now become a reality.  This legislation provides $1.5 million to the National Academies to conduct that study.  Anne Marie Mazza, a Program Manager for the National Academies will be the person to coordinate the study for the Academies.  You may remember Anne Marie from her presentation to the IAI’s Board of Directors in St. Louis and also as an attendee at the Fingerprint Forum held in Chicago a couple of years ago.
     

Below are highlights of the recently agreed upon legislation:
 

·         $89,500,000 to assist in forensics and DNA. Within the amounts provided, OJP may apply up to 5 percent of the total funds to support the continuation of the development of standards and Standard Reference Materials at the NIST OLES, to maintain quality and proficiency within federal, state and local crime laboratories.
 

·         Based on the study's findings, the budget should allocate funds to all disciplines as opposed to just one. The results of these studies are indicative of a larger problem within the forensic science and legal community: the absence of data. While a great deal of analysis exists of the requirements in the discipline of DNA, there exists little to no analysis of the remaining needs of the community outside of the area of DNA. Therefore, within the funds provided for the DNA and Forensics Initiative the Committee directs the Attorney General to provide $1,500,000 to the National Academy of Sciences to create an independent Forensic Science Committee. This Committee shall include members of the forensics community representing operational crime laboratories, medical examiners, and coroners; legal experts; and other scientists as determined appropriate. The National Academy of Sciences Committee shall:

(1) assess the present and future resource needs of the forensic science community, to include State and local crime labs, medical examiners, and coroners;

(2) make recommendations for maximizing the use of forensic technologies and techniques to solve crimes, investigate deaths, and protect the public;

(3) identify potential scientific advances that may assist law enforcement in using forensic technologies and techniques to protect the public;

(4) make recommendations for programs that will increase the number of qualified forensic scientists and medical examiners available to work in public crime laboratories;

(5) disseminate best practices and guidelines concerning the collection and analysis of forensic evidence to help ensure quality and consistency in the use of forensic technologies and techniques to solve crimes, investigate deaths, and protect the public;

(6) examine the role of the forensic community in the homeland security mission;

(7) interoperability of Automated Fingerprint Information Systems; and

(8) examine additional issues pertaining to forensic science as determined by the Committee. The National Academy shall issue its report to the Committees on Appropriations no later than June 1, 2006.
 

This morning I spoke with Anne Marie Mazza at the National Academies and she requested that the IAI submit a list of names of individuals who could assist the NAS Committee in its work.  President Joe Maberry will be considering that request and we certainly want to participate in this committee.

[JOE POLSKI
COO, IAI]


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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.

Have a GREAT week!