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Latent Prints

Latent Print Operations


The Latent Print Operations Unit (LPOU) conducts timely, high-quality scientific examinations in the area of friction ridge analysis, including the development and comparison of latent fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints; reports findings; provides expert testimony relating to these examinations in legal proceedings; and provides training and forensic field support to the law enforcement community on a national and international level.

The Team

Physical scientists (forensic examiners), fingerprint specialists, and management and program analysts

The Work

  • Locate, process, preserve, examine, and compare friction ridge impressions;
  • Ensure all examinations and documentation are in compliance with FBI, Laboratory Division, and ASCLD-LAB/International policies, procedures, and guidelines;
  • As part of the Disaster Squad, work to identify victims of mass fatality incidents, including Hurricane Katrina, the Thailand Tsunami, the Oklahoma City bombing, TWA Flight 800, the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, the attack on the USS Cole, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks;
  • Provide Indian Country Evidence training, Evidence Response Team training, new agent training, National Academy training, and in-house training;
  • Testify in legal proceedings;
  • Prepare technical correspondence and technical articles for publication and provide speakers for seminars, conferences, and meetings; and
  • Provide technical assistance regarding friction ridge matters to the worldwide law enforcement community.