Fingerprint experts at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are able to “better visualize” fingerprints collected from crime scenes thanks to grant funding that paid for a forensic comparator/examination workstation.
LARGO – Since Aug. 1, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has been able to “better visualize” fingerprints collected from crime scenes.
Thanks to funding from the National Institute of Justice’s Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvements Grants Program, PCSO was able to purchase a forensic comparator/examination workstation, now in use by the latent fingerprint section.
The new workstation is housed in the automated fingerprint identification system section at the sheriff’s office in Largo.
Benefits of the workstation include:
· The ability to capture images of latent prints using high resolution cameras and three different light sources.
· The ability to enhance the clarity of images during both the capture of the image and the comparison process.
· A complete suite of photo editing tools, designed for forensic case work is available in the comparison software of the workstation.
· Ability to document the comparison process and meet criteria of the recently enacted Daubert Standard in court.
· Use of a WACOM touch screen monitor to allow accurate and efficient annotation of images and the comparison process.
· Ability to conduct training of staff and demonstrate proficiency of new examiners.
The Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program awards grants to states and units of local government to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services.