The Document Section is responsible for the processing, examining and identifying latent fingerprints and palm prints found on criminal writings like hold-up notes, counterfeit money, real money, threatening letters, fraudulent cheques and hate crimes.

Documents received from various units of the Toronto Police Service are chemically treated to develop any latent fingerprints thereon. The developed prints are then photographed and the negatives filed for future comparison. Any fingerprints found on the documents are compared to the fingerprints of suspects supplied by the investigating units. If no identification is made, the found prints, if suitable, are searched via AFIS.

If an identification, or "match" results from comparison or search, the Fingerprint Technician who found the fingerprint on the document will, if required, present the identification evidence in court.

Processes Used

  • DFO and Indanedione visualize: Amino acid reagent, requiring an alternate light source
  • Ninhydrin: Amino acid reagent
  • Physical Developer: Silver based process that reacts to lipids, oils and waxes in fingerprint secretions
  • Oil Red O: Chemical treatment that reacts to lipids, oils and waxes in fingerprint deposits, used on wetted documents and papers.


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