The Latent Print Section of the MCL examines evidence for the presence or absence of latent fingerprints. When latent prints are found, they are compared with known inked prints in an attempt to determine the identity of the individual to whom the prints belong. If a manual identification is not effected, the primary tool used in making the comparisons is the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). AFIS is a computer-based system which compares fingerprints entered into the system with those already in the system from throughout the state. The Latent Print Section is also responsible for Inked Fingerprint comparison and Image Enhancement. During Fiscal Year 2000, the Latent Print Section of the MCL accounted for approximately 11% of the cases submitted to the Laboratory. Latent Print services are available in all branches of the MCL.
Primary duties of the Latent Print Section
- Examine and/or process physical evidence submitted by law enforcement agencies for the presence of absence of latent prints.
- Compare identifiable latent prints with known prints of suspects or victims.
- Search unidentifiable latent prints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (A.F.I.S.).
- Report the results of examinations to the submitting agency.
- Testify as an expert witness in courts of law upon request.
- Provide crime scene support to local law enforcement agencies upon request.
- Provide training to law enforcement personnel.