SENIOR LATENT PRINT EXAMINER
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is the highest level of non-supervisory lead level professional 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 provides technical oversight in case work involving analysis, identifying and comparing of latent prints and inked fingerprints. The Senior Latent Print Examiner is responsible for annual reviews of all Quality Assurance Control measures to ensure compliance with accreditation and conduct routine casework, ensure proficiency testing is completed; evaluate, prioritize and assign casework; and review all findings before reports are released. In performing casework, the Senior Latent Print Examiner utilizes a computerized automated fingerprint identification system to identify possible criminal suspects from fingerprint, vestigial prints left by hands, palms and feet, and latent print evidence left at the scene of a crime. In addition, the employee may be required to obtain inked fingerprints or process crime scene evidence for latent fingerprints. Work is performed under the general direction of the Laboratory Director who assigns work in terms of functional responsibilities, available resources and ongoing requirements for quality, quantity, timeliness and other factors. The employee is responsible for planning and carrying out unit technical leadership and quality assurance independently, resolving most of the daily problems that arise, coordinating work with others as necessary, and seeking supervisory assistance with vexing technical or administrative problems or conflicts. The employee is expected to plan and accomplish successive work steps and resolve problems in accordance with standard operating procedures. The employee has full technical responsibility for the work and makes final decisions regarding technical procedures, techniques, and all technical aspects of operations in the Unit; completed work is evaluated only from an overall standpoint in terms of effectiveness in achieving expected results. The employee has full technical responsibility for personal technical work and unit technical leadership. The employee has final authority on quality assurance issues in the unit. Personal technical work is evaluated only from an overall standpoint in terms of effectiveness in meeting laboratory objectives and accreditation standards. An employee in this class has definitive guidelines to follow (including but not limited to State and Federal regulations, standards and rules of evidence, Montgomery County Police Department directives and procedures, Accreditation bodies, County Crime Laboratory standards and procedures, Regional Automated Fingerprint Identification (RAFIS) Section Unit standards and procedures, forensic biology principles, methods and techniques, and County procedures that govern the leadership of employees). However, mature judgment is applied in evaluating new techniques, equipment and procedures for improvement of unit operations and adherence to accreditation standards, in interfacing with prosecutors, defense attorneys and others on high-stakes issues, in leading subordinates in their work, and in personally analyzing the evidence gathered in a case, determining the number and types of tests to conduct, and interpreting and explaining the results of tests. The complexity of this class of work is marked by continuing leadership of subordinates in their work; the analytical and technical nature of the work; the review of emerging trends to stay abreast of industry standards and accreditation requirements; and the ability to present findings which will stand up in a court of law according to Maryland Rules of Evidence. 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)
Serve as the Technical Leader, Administrative and Quality Manager of the RAFIS Unit
Reviews procedures for quality assurance system annually and train staff in procedures
Reviews all case work for technical and administrative requirements
Creates and updates all procedural and training manuals
Performs functions of Latent Print Examiner to include case work and maintaining a case load
Oversees all incoming RAFIS casework, prioritizes case submissions, monitors casework activity, reprioritizes and reassigns cases as necessary and keeps applicable statistics as required
Maintains all requirements to ensure accreditation standards by the accreditation bodies continue to be met, including providing documentation of remediation of all deficiencies and improvements
Examines and analyzes physical evidence submitted using appropriate established validated methods to provide association of latent prints to known individuals
Executes Quality Control (QC) procedures integral to the Quality Assurance (QA)
Program and assists in maintaining QA/QC records and developing new QC procedures, as needed
Makes final decisions regarding technical procedures and techniques
Reviews emerging trends related to accreditation standards
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Three years as a professional employee in a laboratory actively engaged in the forensic sciences, with particular area of forensic science expertise linked to the position vacancy - Senior/Lead Latent Print Examiner. Specific Federal- or State-mandated experience requirements shall apply.
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Science from an accredited college or university or Certification in Latent Print Examination by the International Association for Identification (IAI).
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted. Education and experience may be substituted if and exactly as permitted by the applicable Federal or State mandate.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD/LAB) accreditation requirements.
Knowledge of the principles of Quality Assurance/Quality Control.
Ability to oversee technical aspects of the Unit operations to ensure adherence to standards required to maintain accreditation.
Ability to remediate any technical aspect of Unit operations to ensure ongoing maintenance to accreditation standards.
Ability to provide oversight of the QA/QC program of the unit.
Thorough knowledge of the biological sciences that support friction ridge uniqueness, such as Biology, Chemistry, Genetics etc
Thorough knowledge of Latent Print Examination requirements.
Basic 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.
Ability to be certified in court as an expert witness and testify in criminal cases and administrative hearings in an authoritative, convincing and impartial manner.
Knowledge of and high level of skill in the use of Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems encompassing ten-print and latent entry and verification.
Ability to work under sustained periods of concentration.
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 prepare fingerprint charts for court testimony and other purposes.
Ability to pass a police background investigation.
Professional certification by the International Association for Identification not required but preferred.
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, 2011