Forensics Round-Up

Use AFIS? The NIJ needs your help. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) needs state and local law enforcement agencies that own an automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) to respond to a survey assessing the current state of latent...


Use AFIS? The NIJ needs your help.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) needs state and local law enforcement agencies that own an automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) to respond to a survey assessing the current state of latent fingerprint interoperability. By identifying successes and barriers, results will provide baseline input for analysis and improvement of interoperability over time. NIJ developed the survey in cooperation with the AFIS Interoperability Task Force, which was part of the Subcommittee on Forensic Science that serves the Committee on Science and the National Science and Technology Council. The survey contains questions concerning AFIS product information, AFIS funding (acquisition, upgrades and maintenance), enrollment capabilities, repositories (finger, palm and latent), latent print-related staffing, search capacities, official agreements for searching, and search methods and capabilities from different perspectives, such as state to state and local to state.

The Sensor, Surveillances, and Biometrics Center of Excellence is conducting the survey on behalf of NIJ.

To participate, please contact Mark Persinger at (304) 254-2334 or by email at Mark.Persinger@ManTech.com.

Contact the NIJ through Mark Greene, (202) 307-3384, mark.greene@ojp.usdoj.gov.

Test the drug, not the user

Touch&Know is the first non-biological drug testing kit offered by a U.S. retailer,” explains Identa Corp.’s CEO Yaacov Shoham. “Touch&Know safely tests the substance, as opposed to the person, and provides immediate results. It is a fully non-invasive method.”

The company has partnered with drugstore.com, making IDenta’s detector kits available to all consumers.

ID a bruise: accidental trauma vs. child abuse

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has made available a technical report on a technology tool to help differentiate accidental trauma from child abuse. This report is the result of an NIJ-funded project, but was not published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Development of a Surrogate Bruising Detection System to Describe Bruising Patterns Associated with Common Childhood Falls” (pdf, 66 pages), Gina Bertocci, Ph.D., P.E., University of Louisville; Raymond Dsouza, M.S., University of Louisville. Authors’ abstracted, edited and excerpted:

…The research goal was to design and develop a prototype surrogate bruising detection device having the capability to predict potential bruising patterns in children, when adapted to a test dummy used to simulate common household fall events often stated as false scenarios in child abuse. The project included development of a “sensing skin” that can be adapted to a commercial test dummy representing a 12-month-old child, along with a data acquisition system and software capable of displaying sensor output and location on a 3D representation of a human surrogate.

Download the report.

Here’s your handbook on handling biological evidence

“‘The Biological Evidence Preservation Handbook: Best Practices for Evidence Handlers,’ created by the Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation, offers guidance for individuals involved in the collection, examination, tracking, packaging, storing and disposition of biological evidence. This may include crime scene technicians, law enforcement officers, healthcare professionals, forensic scientists, forensic laboratory managers, evidence supervisors, property managers, storage facility personnel, lawyers, testifying experts, court staff members, and anyone else who may come in contact with biological evidence. While many of the recommendations relate to the physical storage, preservation, and tracking of evidence at the storage facility, this handbook also covers the transfer of the material between the storage facility and other locations, and discusses how the evidence should be handled at these other locations.”

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