Latent Print Unit of the Police Crime Lab
As latent evidence is received from crime scenes, Latent Print Unit personnel encode and search all suitable prints against the Metro Nashville Police Department Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database of approximately 550,000 individuals. This database includes the fingerprints and palm prints of adults and juvenile subjects. The Latent Print Unit has the capability to electronically submit unidentified latent impressions to the FBI for a database search. Latent prints that are not identified are registered to the AFIS database and subsequently searched against all new arrestee fingerprints and palm prints. Each AFIS search result requires a manual comparison and verification by Latent staff. In addition, many latent prints are not suitable for AFIS search, and are manually compared to the fingerprints (and palm prints) of individuals submitted as suspects by investigators.
Standard equipment for analyzing latent impressions includes magnifying devices and large, high-resolution computer monitors. As personnel analyze evidence and conduct comparisons, observations are documented in the Digital Image Management System. The Laboratory Information Management System is utilized to track chain of custody and electronically report findings.