Project Discussion



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  • Unit 4 Seminar

Project Discussion:

  • Project Discussion:
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  • Has everyone read about their project in Unit 6?
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  • Your project is due at the end of Unit 6. That is the week after Midterms! Does everyone know what supplies they will be using?
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  • I suggest that you ask your local law enforcement agency if they will donate some black fingerprint powder and a brush for you to use.
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  • Most departments are willing to do this for our students.
  • If you do not choose this option, you can take crushed charcoal and use a make-up brush. Some students have even used cocoa or corn starch and said it worked fine.
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  • If you choose to purchase an official fingerprinting kit, you only need black powder and a brush. Not white or magnetic powder. A good website to order from is Redwop.com.
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  • It is very important to pick a variety of different surfaces for this assignment. I would say at least 5-10 different types of surfaces (porous and nonporous) should be attempted.
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  • Can anyone suggest some types of surfaces that you would expect to find fingerprints on?
  • Think about items that are commonly found in your home and that might be touched if someone had burglarized your home.
  • Are they porous or non porous?
  • Is it a smooth or textured surface?
  • Would the surface be conducive to developing latent prints?
  • How about: Microwave, oven, door knob, window, sliding glass door, bathroom mirror, toilet seat, paper items around the house, cars, soda cans, bowls and dishes, glasses, ect.
  • **One note to those of you that are planning on using real black fingerprint powder for the project: the powder is not healthy to inhale. I suggest you either wear a painter's mask or a simple bandana over your nose for safety reasons. If you powder outdoors, be sure not to situate yourself downwind of the powder!
  • If there are no questions, we will move on to the topic for the evening!
  • This seminar will discuss how a fingerprint identification is made using the AFIS system.
  • What does Live Scan enable police officers to do?
  • Does Live Scan make matches to latent prints?
  • Can Live Scan help an officer determine if someone is using an alias?
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  • Today, a Live Scan machine is being used more and more. This device uses specially coated glass platforms where the subject’s fingers are rolled.
  • The image is captured from underneath the glass by a charged couple device circuit board camera and converted into a computerized file.
  • That file, along with the demographic information about the subject, can be transmitted electronically to a central database for print comparison.
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  • If the subject has a warrant on them or is in the system under a different name, the law enforcement agency will be notified. Take a look on the web to see a picture of the instrument if you haven’t seen one before.
  • Live Scan enables police officers to enter the fingerprint records into a state or national database and receive confirmation of a positive identification before that person is released from custody.
  •  Live Scan is not capable of making matches to latent prints.
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  • However, when a suspect's prints are scanned in the Live Scan..... If there is another set of the same inked prints in the system it will hit on them.  That is how you find out if someone is using an alias.
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  • Live Scan is also a faster way of getting known fingerprints into the AFIS system. It replaces inking the prints and mailing them to the FBI.
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  • The textual information normally found at the top of a fingerprint card (e.g., name, date of birth, arrest information, etc.) is entered on the keyboard of the live-scan system. This textual information, along with the digital fingerprint images, are compressed and transmitted electronically to the state’s AFIS system.
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  • In departments where they do not have Live Scan, the ten print cards have to be hand scanned into the database.
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  • What does AFIS stand for and what is AFIS?
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  • Does each state have its own AFIS system?
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  • Whose finger prints are entered into the AFIS system?
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  • Are regular citizen’s prints maintained in AFIS?
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  • The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
  • The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is a computer based search system. Each state has its own AFIS system. Here in Florida, our fingerprint database has approximately 1.3 million known ten prints of arrested individuals in it. In MOST AFIS systems, only arrested individual’s prints are in the database.
  • For now, most AFIS databases are criminal databases and do not contain regular citizen's fingerprints. Once a job applicant's prints are run through the system and it is determined that they do not have a criminal record, the inked prints are destroyed. The inked prints are not saved in the AFIS database.
  • But this is beginning to change and you will soon see police officer's prints as well as school employee's prints saved in a section of the AFIS database called the applicant portion of the database.
  • Although this applicant database is within the AFIS system, prints from crime scenes are not searched in this section.
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  • How do latent prints get into the AFIS database?
  • When you are searching the AFIS data base what is generated for the latent print examiner?
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  • Does AFIS make the identification or does an experienced latent print examiner?
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  • Latent images can be scanned into the AFIS system directly from physical ‘lifts’, negatives, photographs or uploaded from digital cameras. all in high quality detail (up to 1000Dpi).
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  • When you scan an unknown print into the database, the examiner marks the minutiae characteristics with a dot.  Characteristics such as Galton points we have been talking about and that you marked for your project. The computer reads the minutiae that the examiner has marked.  
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  • AFIS creates a geometric map based on those dots.  If the algorithms or geometrical configurations are not close, it will eliminate the fingerprint.
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  • When searching an unknown print against the AFIS database, the system provides a "candidate list" of the closest matching fingerprint images from the fingerprint database.
  • The fingerprint examiner verifies the results and indicates whether an identification or match has been made to the nominated candidates.
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  • While the list provided by the AFIS system is given in order of decreasing match value, the final identification is established by the fingerprint expert, may not necessarily be among the first few candidates on the list. Latent Print Examiner verification is still needed.
  • The computer bases their guess on the geometrical spacing between the points you marked on the unknown print. Sometimes, you will get respondents back that don't even have the same pattern!
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  • Key point: It does NOT make the identification-an experienced examiner does.
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  • Does the instrument actually come back with a name of the suspect?
  • Does AFIS contain palm prints or just fingerprints?
  • What are the drawbacks of AFIS?
  • What happens if a suspect is fingerprinted poorly and his prints are entered into the AFIS system?
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  • There are some systems that allow for palm print searches, however, not all AFIS systems are equipped with a palm scan.
  • Drawbacks-even if an agency has the capability to search palm prints on their AFIS, they usually have to create their own database of palm prints from inked palm prints they have on record. The manufacturer only provides a set number of scans for your money. Having to scan your own suspect palm prints takes extra manpower and is very time consuming!
  • Prints stored electronically in one state’s AFIS database cannot be searched by a system sold by another vender. Therefore, when you search a print, it will only come back with arrestees in the particular state you are in.
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  • I am aware of an instance in which a set of inked prints in the AFIS system where one of the fingers had actually been rolled with a band aid on it. If you don’t have quality prints in the system you may miss making an identification.
  • IAFIS is the national database. In July 1999, the FBI started using IAFIS which today contains over 55 million ten-print records. The fingerprints and corresponding criminal history information are submitted voluntarily by state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies.  
  • The IAFIS system has suspect prints from different states in it, however, you are limited to how many entries you can request the FBI make in a month depending on the size of your organization.
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  • The reason there is a limit is so the system will not be bogged down with a plethora of entries coming in from all over the states. At our agency in Florida, we are allowed 10 entries a month. They also limit you to the type of crime that may be run. Only latent prints from homicides or other extremely violent crimes may be run through IAFIS.
  • Other AFIS Databases besides the criminal database
  • So we have learned that the FBI database checks fingerprints against those of known criminals.
  • The US-VISIT database has a different purpose than the FBI's AFIS system. US-VISIT simply verifies the visitor’s identity by comparing their fingerprints and photographs to those submitted when they obtained their visas.
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  • When the system was launched (2005) the 1.5 million foreign nationals screened through US-VISIT generated 125 watch list alerts and resulted in 51 criminals apprehended.
  • The FBI database has all ten fingers scanned of a known criminal’s prints. Having all ten fingers in the database is a must because CSIs often find only a single print at a crime scene.
  • The US-VISIT program only takes prints of two index fingers because collecting all ten fingerprints would create too much congestion at airports. If immigration officials have suspicions about a visitor, they can take all ten fingerprints and submit them to the FBI
  •  They are hoping to expand the system to all ten images in the future.
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  • Many experts feel a plan should have been developed that was fully compatible with the FBI's AFIS. The Justice Department estimates that it will take at least four years for the FBI and Border Patrol systems to be combined to allow for a quick, automated check of fingerprints for the roughly 1 million illegal immigrants caught each year.
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  • The military has its own AFIS system with over 500,000 soldier’s prints in it and palm print identification capability. Law Enforcement does not have access to this database. It is only used to identify injured or deceased military personnel or is used by the military police for military investigations.
  •   Authentiprint-does anyone know what this is?
  • Authentiprints are the round tabs that tellers place on a check you are cashing. They ask you to place your finger on it for a minute causing a chemical reaction with the substance on the tab. It results in a blue fingerprint and no residue on your finger. Grocery stores and banks tend to use this inkless system the most.
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  • The inkless fingerprinting system and checking IDs protect the person's account as well as the business or the bank,. It is a good idea to check photo IDs along with using the fingerprinting system because that information is needed to prosecute such cases.
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  • Crooks have learned a trick. They put a layer of lotion or wax on their finger before they go to the store to leave the print. When they touch the pad-no reaction. Just a blue blob shows up. Tellers don't know how to examine fingerprints so they don't even notice!
  • Authentiprints are the round tabs that tellers place on a check you are cashing. They ask you to place your finger on it for a minute causing a chemical reaction with the substance on the tab. It results in a blue fingerprint and no residue on your finger. Grocery stores and banks tend to use this inkless system the most.
  •  
  • The inkless fingerprinting system and checking IDs protect the person's account as well as the business or the bank,. It is a good idea to check photo IDs along with using the fingerprinting system because that information is needed to prosecute such cases.
  •  
  • Crooks have learned a trick. They put a layer of lotion or wax on their finger before they go to the store to leave the print. When they touch the pad-no reaction. Just a blue blob shows up. Tellers don't know how to examine fingerprints so they don't even notice!

No seminar next week during Midterms!

  • No seminar next week during Midterms!
  • You will have a Multiple Choice Midterm Exam (50 questions) and 2 essay questions.
  • Make sure your essays are 2 to 4 pages and referenced. Your cover and reference page do not count as pages.
  • If there are no questions that concludes our seminar. Good luck with your Mid Terms!


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