100% Digital Comparisons

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Mike French
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:45 pm
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100% Digital Comparisons

Post by Mike French »

I'm curious about agencies or individuals following a 100% digital imaging workflow for latent print comparisons. This would mean that even prints developed in powder are either imaged on the object, or the lifts are scanned for comparison that will use some form of software. Feel free to email me at mike@appliedforensicservices.com, if that works better. Thanks!
"They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction."
(Janet Reno)
jwes90
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:28 pm

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by jwes90 »

Mike,

At my agency we photograph any latent print that we want to conduct a further analysis on. So we do a limited analysis of the impression on the item/lift, if we think it could be potentially of value (or is of value), we will photograph, and conduct a proper analysis (marking up the minutiae/features we see). Most of us then typically compare off of the captured latent print displayed on the screen, some examiners have the knowns on the screen and some have the knowns under a magnifier.

Not sure if this is what you are asking about. If you have further questions, happy to discuss more with you.
Mike French
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by Mike French »

This was precisely the type of feedback I was looking for. I have also received emails which indicate every agency is different, ranging from 100% digital, to some hybrid operations. I plan to write some articles on the subject, and when I do I will post a link here. If you have input for those feel free to drop me a note @ mike@appliedforensicservices.com. -Thank you.
"They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction."
(Janet Reno)
josher89
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:32 pm
Location: NE USA

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by josher89 »

Mike, we are similar to @jwes90.

Physical lifts that come in from CSI or customers are scanned in. All prints developed in the lab by us are photographed. Images are retained of latents that are later determined to be of no value but all OV impressions are given item numbers.

They are enhanced, if necessary, in PS and compared either on-screen to a known or under a glass to a card. So not 100% digital but all latents are captured electronically and maintained in the case file. Any that are searched are compared on screen at the AFIS terminal.
"...he wrapped himself in quotations—as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors." - R. Kipling, 1893
orrb
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 6:48 am

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by orrb »

At the PD we are 100% digital. Latent prints developed on evidence are photographed or scanned and then uploaded to DIMS and LIMS. Lift cards from the field are scanned and uploaded to our LIMS. Lift cards are retained in Property and Evidence.
B. Orr
AaronH
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:52 pm

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by AaronH »

Hi Mike,
I worked at a Police Agency in Australia that is completely digital. When a latent is developed at a scene or on an exhibit, it is photographed and that digital image is uploaded from the scene/lab, via a device (computer/ipad) to the forensic-register software (LIMS). The image/s of the developed impressions can be immediately sent to fingerprint experts for searching and comparison. If we lifted an impression, which is rare and only done to aid the photography (mirrors, curved or hard to get to substrates, etc), we would immediately photograph the lift and there was no requirement to keep the lift.
We've been using this system since 2011 and it significantly increases the speed of identifications. I have personally identified impressions within an hour of them being digitally sent from a scene. The subsequent verification and technical reviews were conducted and the armed robber was identified and detectives formally notified in 75 minutes from submission.

After 17 years in crime scene and Latent comparison I now work for the company that provides the software. If you're interested, I'm presenting at the IAI conference this year in Maryland. I'll be discussing a fully digital fingerprint workflow and Lights Out Latent processing of impressions.
Mike French
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: Washington
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Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by Mike French »

Thanks for the reply Aaron. I look forward to meeting you at the IAI conference this year, and discussing.

Best regards,

Mike
"They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction."
(Janet Reno)
AaronH
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:52 pm

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by AaronH »

Apologies for being unable to present this year. There was a death in the family. Maybe next year. If anyone is at IAFS in Sydney in November I'd be happy to catch up and discuss digital workflows.
orrb
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 6:48 am

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by orrb »

Mike,

I responded to your post a year ago. I want to update my response because we have come a long way in a year. We have built a digital workflow that is working very well in our lab.

To give you some context, we are a small lab servicing a city with a population of 150K and a police department with 240 employees. Most of our case work is latent prints. Everyone is a CLPE. We do collect trace evidence and DNA sampling. One of our examiners is a NIBIN Tech and we do evidence photography when requested i.e., tool marks, serial numbers, identifying marks and shoe impressions, etc. We are a laboratory function; we do not respond to crime scenes.

Laboratory Requests:

We had our IT department create an application with Microsoft Power Apps for our laboratory submission form. The link sits on our SharePoint site and can be accessed by anyone in the department. It can be accessed by our officers from their vehicle laptops. When an officer or detective submits the request through this app, they are emailed a receipt for their records.

These requests are sent to an email address specifically set up for this. We grab the emails every morning and enter them into our LIMS and LERMS. The submission form can then be assigned to an analyst from LIMS.

Digital Evidence Capture:

We digitize everything. We photograph every latent print, markings, serial numbers, tool marks etc. These images are then uploaded to DIMS. DIMS assigns a barcode number. This is how we track the images, and we note these barcode numbers in our reports. We do this because the system will only generate one barcode number per image. We discovered human generated item numbers are duplicated across different cases and in some instances can be duplicated in the same case. This is especially common with cases with a large amount of evidence.

We scan all lift cards and any documents that may be of probative value.

Laboratory Information Management System:

We are using Foray Technologies ADAMS Latent Case Management. We are very happy with this product. It was customized for our workflow. We can upload digital evidence, assign cases, track the progress of the case, and create reports. This is where I collect all my statistics for analysis and reporting to management.

We can do most of the tasks involved in Verifications, Technical Reviews, and Administrative Reviews in ADAMS. You can export directly into Adobe Photoshop CC or export to a working file. We use Adobe Acrobat Pro to edit our reports.

Managing the Office and Laboratory Administrative Information and Tasks:

We use Notion productivity app to track our SOP's, meeting notes, training, chemical control logs, inventory, etc. Some of this information is also recorded on other systems. We do not keep any case information or CJIS information on Notion.

Notion is great for meeting notes. During meetings, someone takes notes on a Remarkable digital note taking device. The notes are uploaded to Notion. They are transferred to a template. The meeting notes are then available to everyone on the team. I then create a to-do list from the action items and assign them from Notion. When an action item is completed, is it updated on Notion and added to the next meeting template for discussion.

Sharing information from Notion is very easy. Documents, pages, section of pages, lists, and logs can be shared via a link, PDF, or in Markdown.

Notion has an option to activate an AI bot. We do not subscribe to that feature.

Latent Searching, Examination, and Documentation:

We use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, CSIpix Comparator, and CSIpix Matcher. Our local AFIS is IDEMIA and we are able to access this system from our desktop. This is very handy for our workflow.

We retrieve our AFIS documentation as a PDF and our exemplars as a NIST file. These get added to a working file and uploaded to LIMS.

Comparisons and documentation are done on Photoshop, and or, CSIpix Comparator. It is the examiners choice. I have found the documentation process is much more efficient on CSIpix Comparator. Both CSIpix programs have saved us hours of examination and documentation time. I still prefer Photoshop for pre-processing and Lightroom for formatting images for print.

Communication:

Email is a great tool, and we use it for official business correspondence. Communications within the lab we rely on Teams Workspace Messaging and Teams Meetings. We found that messages get lost, overlooked, or buried in email. Since we have started using Teams for messaging,
response time and task completions have improved.

Wrap Up

Our case work is completely paperless. Everything is digitized and stored on LIMS, DIMS, or LERMS. It is all retrievable. I am sure I have missed some processes here. We have been operating like this for a over year and it is working great. We have hybrid working schedules. The only work tasks that require anyone to be in the office is for processing evidence in the laboratory.

We have many more processes to improve on. I am working on trying to find out what office and operations processes can be automated. Artificial Intelligence is now available in Office365 suite. If we adopt this, then I have a bunch of use cases in mind.

I am not affiliated with, nor do I endorse any company or product in this post. The views and opinions expressed in this past are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of my employer, any affiliated organization, or any other entities. I take full responsibility for the content presented herein.
B. Orr
Mike French
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: 100% Digital Comparisons

Post by Mike French »

Nice description. Glad this is out there for folks to see. As I see far too much printing still...
"They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction."
(Janet Reno)
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