IACP 2000 Product Report

By Dees, Tim | Law & Order, February 2001 | Go to article overview

IACP 2000 Product Report


Dees, Tim, Law & Order


Latent Print Finder

A new imaging device from SIRCHIE uses a 250-nanometer light source to locate latent prints that might otherwise go unnoticed. The special image intensifier in the device renders the light reflected from the surface containing the latent print visible, without the use of sprays, powders, or other chemical aids. The viewer will adapt to a Sony Cybershot digital camera for recording the latent print seen through the viewer.

Palm Prints

NEC's new automated palm print indexing system was recently evaluated against a database of 15,210 subjects, and achieved a hit rate of more than 71%. The evaluation used 80 latent palm prints with varied numbers of minutiae identifiable on the latent. This level of success was described by the evaluators as "exceptional," exceeding their best expectations. The new system can be integrated with NEC's existing AFIS solution to yield a much greater hit rate on latent prints run through the network, as unknown prints are found at about 60% of crime scenes, with 80% of these being palm prints only.

Another NEC product was their raPID hand held scanner, which will read a fingerprint in the field, transmit its characteristics wirelessly to a central database, and then display the identifying information and a mug shot photo for verification. The device will also store internally up to 100 "hot" records of persons that need to be identified immediately if contacted. The raPID is designed to be used by field personnel, being a little larger than a typical cellular phone.

Sagem Morpho also exhibited a new palm print scanning and indexing line, called MetaMORPHO, using commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. The advantage of Sagem Morpho's solution is that it is intended to run on an existing PC network, rather than require dedicated servers that are costly and sometimes duplicative of resources. Sagem Morpho's AFIS software attempts to match live scan prints by an index finger

or thumb print, but will automatically attempt a match on another finger if the index finger or thumb is missing. This time-saving option is absent on some competitor's systems.

Digital Biometrics, Inc. also displayed a wireless addition to their Identification Based Information System (IBIS), in the form of a Remote Data Terminal (RDT). The RDT has capabilities similar to NEC's raPID, but can also capture a mug shot or other digital image in the field, so that subjects can be "enrolled" in the automated system right from the crime scene or other incident. The RDT includes a magstripe reader for drivers licenses and other identification documents that are using this increasingly widespread technology.

RangeFinder, another product of NEC, captures a three-dimensional image of a person or object, and then allows that image to be rotated and viewed from any angle. This capability is useful for situations where a witness saw a person only

from an odd angle, and needs to see a matching image from that same angle in order to make an identification. RangeFinder also has applications for the analysis of physical evidence where handling or transportation of the evidence is impractical, as the image of the evidence can he examined from any perspective.

Raman Spectroscopy

Narcotics officers and those handling HazMat incidents can now perform laboratory-quality analyses of unknown substances in the field, using Thermo Gamma-Metrics PDA200. This analyzer-in-a-suitcase uses a process called Raman Spectroscopy to analyze and identify substances nondestructively, so that they can still he preserved as evidence. The analysis procedure can be conducted with the substance contained within a bottle or plastic bag, or while it is dissolved in a liquid. The characteristic spectrographic profile of the substance is compared against profiles of known substances stored in a computer that is contained in the system, and identifies the substances in plain English in under a minute. …

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