At Forensic Identification Services (FIS) both police officers and civilians use science to solve crimes. Forensic Identification Officers collect evidence over the course of hours and sometimes days in order to paint a complete picture of a crime for the courtroom. Officers use many tools to capture fingerprints, detect traces of blood, recreate a crime scene and analyze what they have found. Civilian members are employed to compare fingerprints, process photographs, create drawings and models as well as create composite drawings of suspects or victims of crime.

The FIS Waltz Video captures some of the techniques and work of members of Forensic Identification Services

  1. A 3D laser scanner for scene documentation and analysis. The scanner head spins to capture 940,000 bits of information per second to recreate the scene in 3D (see item #10 below).
  2. A digital camera is used to capture crime-scene fingerprints and search these fingerprints in the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Information System) computer database.
  3. An officer uses a tracer laser to create an alternate light source to fluoresce chemically treated fingerprints.
  4. Trajectory Lasers are used to establish the path of a projectile, such as a bullet. Working back from the bullets holes, the trajectory lasers are used to determine the specific location of the shooter.
  5. Fingerprint powder is brushed on a surface to develop previously invisible fingerprints.
  6. Fingerprints are seen rotating on an AFIS computer screen. The prints can be rotated to align them to the orientation of the other print being compared.
  7. An alternate (ultraviolet) light source is used to illuminate various stains not detectable by the naked eye.
  8. A document is treated with Indanedione to expose purplish fingerprints. The same document is then examined with a laser to enhance the fingerprints.
  9. A 3D rendering of a facial reconstruction created by the C.A.R.E.S. (Computer Assisted Recovery Enhancement System) section. The reconstruction can simulate what a person may have looked like when only a skull is recovered.
  10. A fly-through rendering from a 3D laser scanner. Reconstruction of the crime scene can now be presented to a jury in minute detail.
  11. Stain surrounding knife is treated with a blood reagent causing the blood to glow in the dark in order to examine the crime scene.
  12. An eyedropper is used to mix chemicals used to enhance fingerprints or bloodstains.
  13. A hammer strikes a blood covered puck is used to simulate an attack and reproduce the subsequent blood spatter so the bloodstain pattern can be analyzed.
  14. An architectural model of a crime scene can be built to assist with the court presentation of evidence.
  15. A Forensic Identification Services challenge coin carried by members of FIS.


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