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Grand Rapids Police Department Latent Print Unit Improvement Plan FY2023

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $16,880)

The Forensic Services Unit is a specialized civilian unit within the Grand Rapids Police Department which provides 24-hour crime scene response and internal fingerprint examination. The Crime Scene Unit consists of eight Crime Scene Technicians to document, develop, and preserve evidence on crime scenes. The Latent Print Unit consists of two Latent Print Examiners that perform friction ridge comparisons. The Latent Print Unit was granted Forensic Inspection accreditation (ISO/IEC 17020:2012) in 2021. 

The senior Latent Print Examiner is eligible for retirement in 2024. A formal transition plan was implemented to fill the anticipated vacancy without any major interruption to services provided. A temporary increase in staffing was approved to incorporate a full-time training position (Latent Print Technician). This provisional position was created to train a new latent print examiner to replace the existing employee without any disruption to the workflow.

While the operating budget was increased to sustain an additional position, the training budget remained static. Currently, the levels of experience in the Latent Print Unit range from eighteen years to two weeks. Formal training is not only needed to develop the skills of the novice examiner, but also to strengthen the skills of the intermediate examiner, in preparation for the departure of the veteran examiner.

International educational conferences demonstrate innovative technology and contemporary practices. Attendance can result in the application of learned techniques to improve effectiveness and efficiency. 

This project proposal seeks to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic services through the acquisition of training courses and curriculum for the Latent Print Unit.

The anticipated outcome would include:

 -The proper training and implementation of a new Latent Print Examiner

- The ability to conduct quality print analysis and efficient examinations for all Examiners

- The continuity of service and the prevention of a backlog

- The awareness of recent developments and technology for application

Expenditure reports will be furnished as evidence of appropriate disbursement. Performance metrics will be reported through training hours recorded, continuing education hours recorded, attendance/course completion certificates, AFIS Certification by the State of Michigan, and productivity reports based on examination data.

Date Created: September 25, 2023