Latent Print Unit

Law Enforcement > Bureau of Criminal Investigation > Laboratory Division > Latent Print Unit

Latent Print Unit

The Latent Print Unit examines evidence for the presence of fingerprints, palm prints and bare footprints using physical, chemical, and electronic processes. Prints determined to be of value are compared with submitted standards or those from state and/ or FBI records. Unidentified prints can be searched through the Ohio AFIS and the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. BCI also maintains an unsolved latent print database that searches eligible prints daily through AFIS.

What is “sufficiency” in terms of Latent Print Examination?
Sufficiency is the product of the quality and quantity of the objective data under observation (e.g., friction ridge, crease, and scar features).

What is an inconclusive comparison?
A complete comparison of the latent print to the known exemplar(s) could not be completed due to insufficient and/or poor quality of the latent.

The BCI Comparison Conclusion Scale further defines the laboratory report conclusions.

What is an incomplete comparison?
A complete comparison of the latent print to the known exemplar(s) could not be completed due to insufficient and/or poor quality of the known. (i.e. missing tips of fingers, lower joints, or other areas of the known exemplars or smeared not fully rolled impressions).

What are major case prints?
Major case prints are the fully registered fingers including the tips and sides of the fingers and palm prints including sides of the palms and complete lower joints of the fingers.

Directions to record fingerprints.

An example of Major Case Prints.

What is AFIS?
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is a local and state database of known exemplars.

What is NGI/IAFIS?
Next Generation Identification (NGI) /Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) is a federal database of known exemplars.

Are unidentified latent prints searched constantly through AFIS?
No, they are searched once through the system unless requested to be enrolled into the Unsolved Latent Database (ULDB).

If a latent print is sufficient, is it always searched through AFIS and/or NGI?
Not necessarily. The latent might contain sufficient ridge information but might be an area that is usually not visible on the known finger/palm print cards (i.e. tips of fingers, lower joints, far sides of fingers and palms; the quality of the print may effect it’s eligibility for AFIS/NGI searches (distortion, creases, poor contrast, background noise, etc.); or the latent might be a repeated impression that has already been searched.

If I have a suspect, what information should I give to the laboratory?
Please provide the name, BCI# and Date of Birth of any person(s) of interest so that a manual comparison can be performed.

Can I submit digital images of prints?
Yes. However, the digital images should be in a .TIFF/.RAW (not .JPEG) format and should include a scale.

Latent Print Section Submission Policies
In order to efficiently serve our customers, the laboratory has incorporated the submission policy for this section:

Latent Print Submission Policy

Latent Print Database Policy

Latent Print Section Laboratory Contacts:
London BCI Laboratory
Mark Losko
Laboratory Supervisor

Bowling Green BCI Laboratory
Cassandra Agosti
Laboratory Supervisor

Richfield BCI Laboratory
Laura Risdon
Laboratory Supervisor