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Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Project - FY 2016 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $76,150)

From 2000 to 2014, Spotsylvania County's population increased 5.5% to 129,188 citizens. However, during that same period Part I Violent Crime has increased by 86.08% from 115 to 214 offenses. Currently, fingerprint analysis is sent out to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. The current turn-around time is between thirty to ninety days. As crime increases, so does the amount of evidence that is gathered and sent to the state forensic lab. The delay results in the development of investigative case backlogs. Delays in the acquisition, examination and analysis of fingerprint evidence increases the time that criminals can continue their illicit activities and/or provide them with the necessary time to flee.
The goal is to achieve a demonstrated improvement in the timeliness and quality of fingerprint evidence analysis by creating an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) site at the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office. This goal will be achieved through the certification of a current Detective as a Latent Examiner and AFIS Operator. The Detective will attend two fingerprint classes and complete an internship of between six to twelve months under a currently certified Latent Examiner. Upon completion of the internship, the Detective will take a day-long exam proctored by the AFIS Section/ Virginia State Police. Grant funds will be used to purchase an AFIS workstation, AFIS software and two portable forensic light source kits to be used to identify evidence at crime scenes as well as enhance contrast with fingerprint powders and chemicals.
The Sheriff's Office works with multiple agencies to include international, national, state, and/or other local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. The AFIS project will be completed with the assistance of the City of Fredericksburg Police Department, Virginia State Police, and the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.
The anticipated outcomes and deliverables for this project consist of the certification of a Detective as a Latent Examiner and AFIS Operator. It is anticipated that if fingerprint evidence can be processed at the local level, the timeliness of receiving results for a single fingerprint will be reduced anywhere from 99.72% (from thirty days to two hours) to 99.91 % (from ninety days to two hours). The impact of promptly processing fingerprint evidence will be that criminal cases can be resolved before criminals commit additional crimes or have the opportunity to flee. Resolution of criminal cases will also reduce the fear of crime within Spotsylvania County.

Date Created: September 18, 2016