Greenville County
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Forensic Division
Latent Fingerprint Section
Latent Prints

The Latent Print Section is staffed by a combination of certified law enforcement officers serving as latent print examiners and a civilian employee in a support role. Latent Print Examiners are responsible for the analysis and comparison of all fingerprints, palm prints, footprints, and footwear impression evidence collected by members of the Crime Scene Section. Latent print evidence is also submitted for analysis by other law enforcement agencies in Greenville County. These services are available to law enforcement agencies outside Greenville County with the approval of the Laboratory Director.

This section maintains a known fingerprint database of individuals fingerprinted at the Greenville County Law Enforcement Center for criminal and civil purposes. This database is also queried by the Greenville County Detention Center in verifying the identity of individuals being booked into the facility. This section also maintains a computer interface called AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) with SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). AFIS can be searched to provide known comparison standards for unknown prints from crime scenes and identity confirmations.

In many instances fingerprint identifications serve as investigative leads for law enforcement and could lead to individuals facing criminal charges. Although the AFIS system is a highly advanced piece of technical equipment it is only a searching tool. An experienced and trained examiner ultimately makes a determination based upon a detailed physical examination of the known and unknown prints. Prior to a report being issued all casework must be peer reviewed to confirm the identification.

All latent print examiners are required to participate in ongoing training/professional development and participate in annual proficiency testing in each discipline they conduct analysis. Latent Print Examiners provide expert witness testimony in judicial proceedings regarding assigned casework and ultimate findings.