Fingerprinting Software Gives Students Edge in CSI Field

OGDEN, Utah – Students of the Department of Criminal Justice at Weber State University are gaining added experience in fingerprint matching thanks to a new resource at the university.

An Automated Fingerprint Identification System recently purchased by the department is a computer method of researching fingerprint matches. AFIS, which makes a digital signature of a fingerprint, is used by crime scene investigators to quickly compare fingerprints at a crime scene to fingerprints in a database.

"This is really about benefiting the students," said Brent Horn, assistant criminal justice professor. "It gives them a leg up on training in a field that's becoming highly competitive."

Having this program allows students to learn how to compare millions of fingerprints in databases throughout the country before leaving school. According to Sandra Ladd, a crime scene investigator at the Weber-Metro Crime Scene Investigation, knowledge of AFIS is essential in today's CSI units. "We use it every day," she said.

Horn also believes students will easily translate their understanding of fingerprint databases to other forensic records like DNA and firearms databases.

WSU's AFIS program was made possible through federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Brent Horn, assistant criminal justice professor
(801) 626-8843 •
Travis Clemens, assistant director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7948 •