People think that they know crime investigation and forensics like the back of their hand all thanks to the crime drama TV shows and movies that people have been exposed to in the last decade or so. Real life crime investigation might not be as glamorous as it is portrayed by the media, but it sure is definitely more life-changing.
Andrew Reitanauer, the owner of Delta Forensics is this webinar’s resource speaker. He is a Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst (CSCSA) through the International Association for Identification. He is an active Latent Print Examiner, Crime Scene Responder, Technical Leader and Section Supervisor within the forensic laboratory system and has done so for at least a decade. He is also a trainer, teaching forensic science for new examiners, outside agencies, and at the collegiate level.
Andrew will delve into the technical side of forensic science as he provides a primer on the physical and chemical methods used to develop latent prints on non-porous evidence. Some of the topics he detailed on the course are:
- What non-porous evidences are, their characteristics, examples of which, and the types of prints that may be obtained from these.
- The steps included in examining surfaces starting with visual inspection, collection, documentation, alternate light source examination, and processing.
- The importance of taking photographs of any evidence before being sent for processing in the laboratory.
- The method of superglue fuming involved in processing latent prints detailing the procedure and how it is used.
- Utilizing fluorescent dye stains to visualize impressions, the different types of fluorescent dye stains available, their characteristics, and their advantages and disadvantages.
- The use of fingerprint powders, the different types used in crime investigation and, each of its qualities.
- A discussion on lifting powdered impressions done through various methods, how each of these are done, and things to remember to take note of and include in printed lifts.
- Lifting prints from wet surfaces using small particle reagents.
- The importance of photography in crime investigation.
- Remembering to align all the investigative process and initiatives to the objectives of the case.
- The nature of latent prints, and the factors that can affect the quality and recovery of a latent print.
- A recap of the full non-porous evidence process and things to consider in successful evidence gathering.
Andrew clarified the audience’s concerns during the Q&A pertaining to:
- Picking up fingerprints from vehicles
- How law enforcement can assist laboratory personnel in their tasks
- Launching or advancing a career in forensic sciences
- Availability of internships in forensic sciences
- Situations where a certain type of powder is preferred over another
- What agencies lacking crime scene experts and technicians must do
- Ensuring and obtaining quality testimonies
- Using DNA for cold cases