This is a highly specialized, supervisory position serving as the top technical fingerprint expert for the Philadelphia Police Department. The employee in this class assigns, directs, and reviews the work of certified Latent Fingerprint Examiners and serves as the final technical review of assignments completed by other Fingerprint Identification Examiners and Specialists as necessary.  The incumbent in this class is responsible for providing technical assistance in the most difficult latent print individualizations, verifying the conclusions of all certified Latent Fingerprint Examiners and the conclusions made by other Fingerprint Identification Examiners and Specialists, making determinations based on the ACE-V methodology, and for preparing reports and court exhibits of their findings. Responsibility for establishing and maintaining quality control standards and procedures, and training programs for the professional development of all Fingerprint Identification personnel and for responding to Daubert style and other court challenges are significant aspects of the work. Work is performed under the general supervision of a higher-level police official.


ALLOCATING FACTORS:  (The following conditions must be met for a position to be                                                     allocated to this class.)





            Assigns, directs, and reviews the work of a group of Latent Fingerprint Examiners; performs final technical review of assignments completed by other Fingerprint Identification Examiners and Specialists as necessary; assists in the most difficult latent print individualizations requiring a high level of skill; conducts latent print comparison analysis; ensures positive identification meets the ridge characteristic requirements; verifies the conclusions of all Latent Fingerprint examiners; makes final decisions on technical questions involving expert forensic examinations; provides technical assistance to employees, detectives, law enforcement agencies, court personnel, and other departments, etc., on fingerprint matters.

            Assigns work to subordinates; maintains and enforces the unit production standards; distributes, monitors and controls the work of the unit; maintains daily, weekly, and monthly tallies and prepares statistical reports.    

            Prepares reports of findings and case records to include digital or physical files of latent lifts, printed photographs, chain of custody, exemplars, case notes, requests, and reports; prepares courtroom displays and photographic exhibits and gives expert testimony in criminal and civil court proceedings, handles Daubert style court challenges.

Identifies staff development and training needs and ensures that training is obtained; establishes procedures for training and may train lower level staff in a variety of fingerprint identification and classification procedures, evaluates progress and makes recommendations; provides instruction to subordinate employees on court procedures and testimony when fingerprints are subpoenaed for court use.

            Maintains communications with Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies and other fingerprint identification units, maintains records, prepares reports, and composes correspondence relative to the work; participates in conferences and seminars dealing with fingerprint issues and topics.

            Performs related work as required.






·         the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)

·         the National Crime Information Code (NCIC) classification system

·         Live Scan technologies related to capturing fingerprint images

·         the Universal Latent Workstation (ULW) software/program

·         theoretical and analytical principles of natural and physical sciences related to forensic fingerprinting; evidence collection and preservation procedures.

·         fingerprint classification, search and filing methods

·         friction ridge pattern recognition and interpretation

·         latent print comparison and identification techniques

·         quality assurance measures in friction ridge examination

·         the principles, guidelines, procedures, standards and controls of friction ridge examination ACE-V (analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification) methodology

·         the various methods used to record known friction ridge impressions and the ability to properly evaluate ridge structure based on each method

·         the Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis and Technology

            (SWGFAST) guidelines

·         factors regarding the admissibility of evidence and rules of discovery and evidence

·         relevant court cases and case histories

·         International Association for Identification (IAI) certification and re-certification requirements




·         comparing unknown latent friction ridge impressions to known impressions on file using the ACE-V method

·         applying quality assurance measures in friction ridge examination

·         verifying the conclusions of examinations to “prove the Identification” to the satisfaction of the Scientific Method

·         adhering to a code(s) of professional conduct




·         properly conduct a comparison

·         render a proper and accurate conclusion

·         compare friction ridge impressions

·         operate AFIS computer workstations

·         operate Universal Latent Workstations (ULW)

·         classify inked fingerprints by the Henry and NCIC systems

·         analyze friction ridge details to determine the value for comparison

·         apply and implement ACE-V methodology, principles, guidelines, procedures, standards and controls

·         accurately explain friction ridge examinations and conclusions in written and verbal form

·         provide expert testimony in response to Daubert style and other court challenges

·         establish and maintain quality control standards and procedures, and training programs for the professional development of all Fingerprint Identification personnel

·         reduce staff methodological and administrative errors by identifying staff development and training needs

·         provide clear, concise instruction to others

·         provide supervision to a group of Latent Print Examiners

·         establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates and police officials


MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE     (The following statement represents the minimum training and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests. Applications submitted by candidates for this class will be reviewed based on training and experience requirements as approved on 1/12)




            Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Physical Science, Natural Science or a related field.



            Current, valid certification as a Latent Print Examiner by the International Association for Identification (IAI).





            Three years of post IAI Latent Print Certification experience performing latent print examinations, including documented experience providing expert testimony in several court trials.


NOTE: Documentation of prior testimony may be one of the following or other similar    documentation:


a. Letter from judge in whose court you testified.

b. Letter from prosecuting attorney of case in which you testified.

c. Court transcript of your testimony.

d. Letter from your immediate superior who has personal knowledge of your prior testimony.




            Any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by the Office of Human Resources, which includes a Bachelor’s Degree and IAI Latent Print Certification as an educational minimum and the specific experience.




            Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.




             Possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator's license as issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to appointment and during tenure of appointment as a Fingerprint Identification Lead Expert.

            Must be able to pass a local, state and national criminal background check prior to appointment including a fingerprint-based check as required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Security Policy.     


                                                            Class Established:

CSC – 7/11

Ad Board –9/11

            Latest Spec. Changes:

CSC- 12/11

            Ad Board- 1/12