LATENT PRINT EXAMINER
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is highly skilled, non-supervisory work involving the development, identification and preservation of latent prints and inked fingerprints associated with routine and complicated police investigations. Personal contacts include investigative officers to give and receive information; State's Attorneys, to discuss "expert" court testimony concerning the identification of latent prints; departmental records and technical service personnel regarding accuracy of criminal history information and matters related to collection and processing of evidence; and federal or state law enforcement representatives, to obtain fingerprint cards. This class of work does not require an employee to provide direct public service or assistance on a sustained basis.
An employee in this class utilizes a computerized automated fingerprint identification system to identify possible criminal suspects from fingerprint, vestigial prints left by hands, palm and feet, and latent print evidence left at the scene of a crime. In addition, employee may be required to obtain inked fingerprints or process crime scene evidence for latent fingerprints. The employee works under general direction and is expected to plan and accomplish successive work steps and resolve problems in accordance with standard operating procedures. Employee has full technical responsibility for the work; completed work is evaluated only from an overall standpoint in terms of effectiveness in achieving expected results. Because of the sensitive legal nature of the work, the employee is required to apply complex technical procedures to make critical and absolutely accurate identifications. Technical guidelines are used by the employee but are not always applicable due to the nature of the cases investigated which often are unusual and do not fit existing guides. The employee is expected to devise appropriate combinations of techniques and procedures to fit exceptional assignments. The work consists of a variety of processes and methods, requiring variations in approach and frequently entailing incomplete or conflicting data. The employee's completed work supports and has a direct impact on the accuracy of routine and complex police investigations. The work is primarily sedentary, performed in an office setting and does not require any special measures to safeguard workers against injury.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Analyzes, compares and identifies whole and fragmentary latent prints lifted from or developed on various and possibly unstable surfaces.
Enters and searches latent prints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and the Printrak Automated Fingerprint Identification System if deemed appropriate.
Gives expert testimony in sensitive court cases with the expectation of extensive and intensive cross-examination; prepares charts and/or exhibits as required.
Completes all phases of Lights Out Processing associated with electronic fingerprint submissions including quality control and identification decisions.
Prepares correspondence in response to fingerprint comparisons concerning complex latent print and related matters.
Receives and accounts for various police related records and files and evidence to maintain chain of custody.
Performs all phases of inked fingerprint work, including classifying, searching, sequencing and filing of difficult fingerprints.
Compares suitable impressions with known individuals to determine qualitative and quantitative detail.
Captures, enhances, and encodes minutia of latent print impressions in order to perform searches.
May prepare and present lectures, practicums, and/or demonstrations on latent print analysis and theory of fingerprints for Police personnel and public and private organizations.
Trains police officers and other personnel in latent print examination techniques and methodology.
Processes court ordered police record expungements.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Three (3) years of experience preparing, lifting, comparing, identifying and preserving latent prints and related evidence and three (3) years of experience taking, comparing and identifying fingerprints.
Education: Completion of high school or High School Certificate of completion recognized in the State of Maryland and formal training in both the classification, researching and filing of inked fingerprints and comparison.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Thorough knowledge of the Henry system of fingerprint classification and related identification systems, and laws of evidence.
Considerable knowledge of the principles, practices, equipment and materials used in detecting, lifting, identifying and preserving latent prints, including specialized knowledge of chemicals used in latent print examination.
Considerable knowledge of the methods, techniques and equipment used to take, develop and enlarge photographs.
Knowledge of courtroom procedures and ability to testify in criminal cases and administrative hearings in an authoritative, convincing and impartial manner.
Knowledge of and a high level of skill in the use of the Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems encompassing ten-print and latent entry and verification.
Ability to obtain inked fingerprints.
Ability to establish and maintain latent print and other files.
Ability to quickly and with absolute accuracy classify, search and identify fingerprints.
Ability to instruct and evaluate others in the use of fingerprinting equipment and the methods of classifying prints.
Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
Ability to maintain an inventory of equipment and supplies.
Ability to work under sustained periods of concentration.
Ability to prepare fingerprint charts for court testimony and other purposes.
Ability to pass a police background investigation.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core II Exam and Drug/Alcohol Screen
Class Established: November, 1981
Revised: January, 1986