Impression & Pattern Evidence

All of our webinars, reports, podcast episodes, and other educational resources are available to the public at no cost.

Funding for the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.

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2024 NIJ Forensic Science R&D Symposium

Overview The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) will assist the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in hosting the annual NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, from 8:30am – 5:00pm Mountain Standard Time (10:30am – 7:00pm EST) at the…

What FSSP Leaders Should Know about Artificial Intelligence and its Application to Forensic Science In-Brief

Date December 2023 Overview Artificial intelligence (AI), which leverages computers to perform tasks that enhance decision-making, problem-solving capabilities, and technology-driven innovativeness,” is a rapidly growing area of interest for both industry and the federal research and development (R&D) community.1 For forensic science service…

Physical Characteristics of Spatter Stains on Textiles

This webinar originally occurred on December 12, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview Bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) is a forensic technique for crime scene reconstruction, through analyzing bloodstains (e.g., size, shape, etc.) and their patterns (e.g., distribution, location, etc.) to recreate the…

FLN-TWG: A Roadmap to Improve Research and Technology Transition in Forensic Science

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Puzzle Fingerprint Examination Wordsearch

← Back to Main Page ← Back to All Puzzles Page Puzzle Instruction To view and complete the puzzle in a separate window, click the expanding arrows in the tool bar above the puzzle title. To input your answers click…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Fingerprint Game & Activity

← Back to Main Page Fingerprint Memory & Association Activities Challenge your short-term memory and attention to detail with variations of this fingerprint game. View the prints on the webpage or download the printable PDF versions with varying levels of…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Interview Montage

← Back to Main Page Overview In the past, the FTCOE has released written interviews with forensic practitioners in various stages of their career and working in various forensic disciplines. This year, we created a video comprised of multiple interviews with forensic practitioners from seasoned subject matter experts to young professionals early…

2023 National Forensic Science Week

Overview National Forensic Science Week (September 18-22, 2023) recognizes the contribution that forensic science makes to the criminal justice system. It is an opportunity to celebrate academic programs, forensic professionals, and scientific research in the various forensic disciplines.   Throughout the…

The Increased Value of Forensic Science to Lead Gun Crime Investigations

← Back to Webinar Series Page ← FTCOE ASCLD All Resources Page Part I originally occurred on January 16, 2024Duration: 1 hour Part II originally occurred on January 23, 2024Duration: 1 hour Overview The United States has seen the number…

Evaluation of Purdue University’s 3D Imaging Prototype for Footwear and Tire Impressions

Date September 2022 Overview Supported by two National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awards (2016-DN-BX-0189 and 2019-R2-CX-0069), Dr. Song Zhang and his research team at Purdue University led the development of a fully automated 3D imaging system for footwear and tire…

2022 National Forensic Science Week FTCOE Student Research Poster Session

← Back to Main Page Overview Thursday, September 22, 2022 | Posters will be available at 1:00 PM Eastern Welcome to our virtual poster session! As fall semester begins and in honor of National Forensic Science Week (September 18-24, 2022),…

2022 Update: 3D Imaging Technologies and Virtual Comparison Microscopy for Firearms Examination, A Landscape Study

Date August 2022 Overview The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), led by RTI International, provides resources that promote the use of technologies in the forensic community. This report is an update to a 2016…

Terrestrial LiDAR Scanners: Guidelines for Use in Criminal Justice Applications

This webinar originally occurred on May 3, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview Terrestrial LiDAR scanning devices (also known as terrestrial laser scanning devices, TLS) acquire complex geometric data that capture a three-dimensional representation of a scene. This technology can be used…

Guidelines for the Use of Terrestrial LiDAR Scanners in Criminal Justice Applications

Date March 2022 Overview Terrestrial LiDAR scanning devices (also known as terrestrial laser scanning devices, TLS) acquire complex geometric data that capture a three-dimensional representation of a scene; this technology is used in criminal justice applications such as documenting a…
brain, DNA, bloodstain

Human Factors in Forensic Science Practice Sourcebook

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, March 2022 Editors Heidi Eldridge, PhD | RTI International Barbara A. Spellman, JD, PhD | University of Virginia School of Law Thomas Busey, PhD | Indiana University, Psychological and Brain Sciences Working Group Members Paul…

U.S. National Footwear Database System Feasibility Study

This webinar originally occurred on February 15, 2022. Duration: 1 hour Overview Shoeprints at crime scenes, along with suspects’ footwear, are routinely collected and analyzed by qualified examiners in crime laboratories and forensic units to identify, include, or exclude suspects’…
gun & evidence

A Unique Approach to a Crime Gun Intelligence Center with the Inclusion and Support of 3D Virtual Comparison Technologies

This webinar originally occurred on February 10, 2022. Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Any effective Crime Gun Intelligence Program relies on the expeditious processing of firearms-related evidence to achieve the goal of intelligence led firearms-based investigations. The possible intelligence gained through…
microphone and headphones

Just Advanced Capabilities in Firearm and Toolmark Analysis

Original Release Date: December 3, 2021 In this special release episode, Just Science sat down with Nicole Jones, the Director of the Forensic Science Translation and Implementation Program in the Center for Forensic Sciences at RTI International, and John Grassel,…
fingerprints

Success Story: LatentSleuth: A Case Study on the Impact of Federal R&D Funding

National Institute of Justice and the Latent Print Research Community Date December 2021 Overview The development of technologies to improve the objective collection, analysis, and interpretation of evidence is driven by the multiple stakeholders that make up the forensic science…
ammo

Two-Pronged Study of Bullets Fired by Consecutively Rifled Barrels

← Back to Firearm and Toolmarks Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on December 16, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview The 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Report brought forensics, and specifically firearms identification, into the…
firearm & Ammo

Glock Pistol Toolmarks: A Literature Review and Introduction of Undocumented Toolmarks

← Back to Firearm and Toolmarks Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on December 14, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Glock pistols are well known for their generally distinctive class characteristics and the numerous toolmarks that they create on fired…
ammo

FLN-TWG: 3D Imaging for Firearms and Toolmarks

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…
US and forensic science disciplines

2021 Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders Public Meeting

Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), held a Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders meeting on November 8, 2021 from 9:00AM…
latent print and DNA

DNA recovery after sequential processing of latent fingerprints on copy paper

Publication Journal of Forensic Sciences, September 2021 Authors Abigail S. Bathrick, M.F.S. | Bode Technology, Lorton, VA Sarah Norsworthy, M.S. | Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, RTI International, Durham, NC Dane T. Plaza, B.S. | Bode Technology, Lorton, VA Mallory…
question marks and silhouettes

2021 National Forensic Science Week Practitioner Interviews

← Back to Main Page Overview The FTCOE has conducted a variety of written interviews with forensic professionals in various stages of their careers. From recent graduates to retired professionals, the FTCOE showcases real-world perspectives on the current state of…

2021 National Forensic Science Week FTCOE Student Research Poster Session

← Back to Main Page Overview  As fall semesters are getting back into session and in honor of the upcoming National Forensic Science Week (September 19-25, 2021), the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) would like to highlight student research…
A footprint next to a magnifying glass

Footwear Evidence Conclusions: A Discussion of Standards, Recommendations, and Structure

This webinar originally occurred on September 30, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview It can be challenging to write reliable, accurate conclusions that meet the expectations of stakeholders that oversee and use footwear evidence reports. Some of the challenges associated with…
arrows pointing to circle with footwear tread

Image Quality and Clarity: The Keys to Forensic Digital Image Processing

This webinar originally occurred on August 3, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview The ability to accurately and reliably analyze and compare forensic digital images relies on two key elements: image quality and image clarity.  Most forensic examiners understand that resolution…
microphone and headphones

 Just the Impression and Pattern/Trace Evidence Portfolio

Original Release Date: June 11, 2021 In episode two of our 2021 NIJ R&D and Beyond mini season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Gregory Dutton, a physical scientist in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the National Institute of Justice, to discuss NIJ’s Impression, Pattern, and Trace…
A digital fingerprint

A Comprehensive Look at LatentSleuth

This webinar originally occurred on June 8, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview LatentSleuth is a novel software toolset designed for (and with direct feedback from) latent print examiners. The toolset includes a small-scale automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) matcher that leverages a novel matching…
a firearm with the ASCLD logo

ASCLD Train the Director – Firearms 3D Technology: Advantages and Value for Implementing 3D Technologies 

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on June 2, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview This presentation demonstrated the effectiveness of integrating 3D technology into the forensic firearms/toolmarks discipline and the decision analysis used for selecting samples for virtual…
Bloodstain pattern and a ruler

Lessons Learned from Proficiency Test Results in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

This webinar originally occurred on April 15th, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview The Daubert ruling by the Supreme Court established “the known or potential rate of error” as one of several factors to be used when assessing the scientific reliability…

Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning Working Group for Criminal Justice Applications, First Meeting Report

Date July 2020 Overview On February 27 and 28 of 2020, The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International, convened the first meeting of the Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning (TLS)…
Circle with palm prints in the center

Results of a Black Box Study on the Accuracy and Reliability of Palm Print Comparisons

This webinar originally occurred on March 12, 2020 Duration: 1 hour Overview In 2011, a team of researchers from the FBI and Noblis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the first large-scale black box study measuring…

2019 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

Date February 2019 Overview The 2019 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium is intended to promote collaboration and enhance knowledge transfer of NIJ-funded research. The NIJ Forensic Science R&D Program funds both basic or…
tire treads and shoe print

Portable Advanced 3D Imaging for Footwear and Tire Impression Capture

This webinar originally occurred on October 23, 2019 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview This webinar will explain the principles and capabilities of a fully automated portable system with an easy-to use-graphical user interface (GUI) for shoe and tire impression capture. We…

Juror comprehension of forensic expert testimony: A literature review and gap analysis

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, March 2019 Author Heidi Eldridge | RTI International Abstract Forensic scientists and commentators including academics and statisticians have been embroiled in a debate over the best way to present evidence in the courtroom. Various forms…
old hand holding young hand

Cradle to Cane: Investigation of Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims

This webinar originally occurred on March 21-23, 2017 Duration: 14 hours Overview: In 2017, the National Institute of Justice, Charleston Southern University, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, and the Shaken Baby Alliance worked together to create and host “From Cradle to Cane: Investigation of Crimes…
microphone & headset

Identification: Just Forensic Technician Vicarious Trauma

← Back to Just Science Podcast Original Release Date: March 29, 2019 In episode eight of our Identification season, Just Science interviews Selena McKay-Davis, lead senior forensic specialist at Riverside Police Department, about job-related stress for forensic technicians and sworn…

Success Story: Advancing 3D Virtual Microscopy for Firearm Forensics

National Institute of Justice and Cadre Forensics Date March 2019 Overview Examining bullets and cartridge cases from crime scenes can help link crimes, moving investigators one step closer to identifying a suspect. Firearm forensic analysis can also link recovered evidence…
microphone & headset

Identification: Just a Modified Direct to DNA Approach to Sexual Assault Kit Testing

← Back to Just Science Podcast Original Release Date: February 21, 2019 In episode three of our Identification season, Just Science interviews forensic biologist Caitlin Rogers. Forensic scientists are always looking to improve the efficiency and accuracy of sexual assault…
microphone & headset

Identification: Just the Sole of Impression Pattern Evidence

← Back to Just Science Podcast Original Release Date: February 4, 2019 In episode one of our Identification season, Just Science interviews Lesley Hammer, former president of the International Association for Identification and the current Chair of the Education Committee…

ASCLD Train the Director – NIBIN Challenges and Opportunities

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on January 24, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview This is the first webinar in the ASCLD Train the Director Webinar Series. Crime Gun Intelligence utilizes evidence-based technology to provide law enforcement a…

Advancing Research Initiatives and Combatting the Human Trafficking Epidemic

This webinar originally occurred on November 1, 2018 Duration: 1 hour Overview Trafficking in persons is a multi-faceted global epidemic which has seen a significant increase in public awareness. However, there is a substantial need to expand capacities and technologies…

Conference Proceedings: 2018 Impression Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

Date May 2018 Overview From January 22 to 25, 2018, RTI International, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) held the 2018 Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium (IPTES) in Arlington, VA, to…

Conference Proceedings: 2018 Research and Development Symposium

Date April 2018 Overview The 2018 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium is intended to promote collaboration and enhance knowledge transfer of NIJ-funded research. The NIJ Forensic Science R&D Program funds both basic or…

Statistical Interpretation Software for Friction Ridge Skin Impressions (FRStat)

Date April 2018 Overview The Defense Forensic Science Center (DFSC) developed FRStat in response to criticisms from legal and scientific commentators on the lack of an empirically demonstrable basis to substantiate conclusions in pattern evidence. This tool is intended to…
microphone & headset

Just Fracture Matches

← Back to Just Science Podcast Original Release Date: February 12, 2018 In episode two of our 2018 IPTES Season, Just Science interviews Dr. Ashraf Bastawros from Iowa State University. Dr. Bastawros discusses how fracture mechanics principles can be used with statistical learning tools to give quantitative results. Explore the mind of…

2018 IPTES Plenary – Closing Keynote Speaker Adam Benforado

Overview IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout – Day 2 PM

Overview IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout Day 2 AM – Part 2

Overview IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout Day 2 AM – Part 1

Overview IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout Day 1 PM

Overview IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/24/2018. The National Institute…

2018 IPTES Plenary – Statistics & Testimony From Practitioner

Overview IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities.This original Live Webinar took place on 01/24/2018. The National Institute of…

2016 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

Date July 2016 Overview The 2016 NIJ Research and Development Symposium is intended to promote collaboration and enhance knowledge transfer of NIJ-funded research. The NIJ Research and Development (R&D) Program funds both basic or applied R&D projects that will (1)…

Conference Proceedings: 2015 Impression, Pattern, and Trace Evidence Symposium

Date December 2015 Overview This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our…

A Validation and Evaluation of Magneto-Optical Imaging Technology

Date August 2015 Overview Serial Numbers are removed from firearms in an effort to prevent tracking. MO sensor technology is a non-destructive method for restoring serial number identification in firearms. Phase II of this FTCOE technology evaluation validates the detection and…

Forensic Optical Topography Working Group Meeting

Date April 2015 Overview Primarily, the working group will examine optical topography instruments, methods, data systems, and analysis from a practical perspective for ballistic and tool mark identification. The meeting participants considered current technologies for optical topography, including the requirements for…

An Evaluation and Utility Assessment of Magneto-Optical Sensor Technology

Date March 2014 Overview The discovery of more effective methods to detect and restore erased markings in firearms is of great interest to firearm examiners, in particular the invention of new non‐destructive methods. Magneto optical (MO) sensor technology may address this…

A Landscape Study of Mobile ID Fingerprint Devices

Date January 2014 Overview This report provides a “landscape” view of the issues and products associated with mobile devices for fingerprint identification, with a focus on forensic applications. The document is intended to furnish laboratory managers and investigators with a survey…

Understanding Basic Statistical Concepts: Fingerprints

Overview Fingerprint conclusions are expert judgments. These specific types of judgments may be more appropriately termed as inferences, or subjective probabilities, where frequency rates have not been able to be calculated. For over a hundred years researchers have attempted to…

R&D 2014 – Fundamental Forensic Science Research-Part II

Overview This archival portion of the 2014 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: Quantitative Metrics of Friction Ridge Detail Derived from Information Theory by Thomas Busey Definition of the Concept of Sufficiency in Latent Print Examination by Cedric Neumann…

R&D 2014 – Fundamental Forensic Science Research – Part I

Overview This archival portion of the 2014 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: Review on some Fluid Dynamics Aspects of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis – Daniel Attinger From Basic Research to Routine Use in the Courtroom: Elemental Analysis and Comparisons…

Latent Fingerprints: Reducing Erroneous Exclusions

Overview This presentation discusses reducing erroneous exclusions in latent fingerprints. The exclusion decision is a fairly recent change in latent print comparisons, and the discipline is still struggling with how to handle exclusions. Erroneous exclusions are being discovered with surprising…

Latent Fingerprints: Developing Methods and New Technology

Overview The first presentation given by Mark Dadmun is titled: Developing Methods to Improve the Quality and Efficiency of Latent Fingermark Development by Superglue Fuming. The second presentation given by Igor Pacheco and Brian Cerchiai titled: A Research Study for…

Fingerprint Identification: Reliability and Accuracy

Overview New technology is constantly being tested by Researchers and Developers to help this vital tool move forward in today’s society. These new technologies will assist in furthering the accuracy and reliability of using latent fingerprints. Our featured presentations for…

Collecting Footwear and Tire Impressions in Snow

Overview From footwear to tire to snowmobile impressions, snow impressions can provide extremely valuable evidence in helping to resolve criminal investigations. Unfortunately, photographing and obtaining a cast of a snow impression is often a challenge for the crime scene examiner.…

A General Framework for the Estimation of Likelihood Ratios

Overview This talk provides a very general framework for the estimation of likelihood ratios using similarity or dissimilarity scores resulting from a comparison of two patterns that overcome this deficiency for suitably chosen similarity measures. In such instances, the likelihood…

2017 NIJ R&D Series Impression, Pattern, & Trace Evidence

Overview The NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium was a free and open meeting where attendees learned about NIJ-funded research across a variety of forensic science areas. Morning Session I – Impression, Pattern & Trace Evidence Speakers & Presentations…

2016 NSAPS Panel 2 – Victim-Centered Approaches

Overview The National Institute of Justice, through its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence hosted “Looking Ahead: The National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium” on September 8-9, 2016, in Washington D.C. The audience learned how first responders such as medical staff, victims’…

2014 TechBeat Articles Featuring the FTCOE

Short Tandem Repeat Study Released Issue: Nov/Dec 2014 Page: 27 Click here to read the article Magneto-Optical technology shows promise in “Unerasing” Serial Numbers Issue: Sep/Oct 2014 Pages: 21-24 Click here to read the article Report Provides Insight Into Mobile ID Fingerprint Technology Issue: Jul/Aug 2014…
ammunition and smoking gun

Success Story: Demonstrating Objectivity in Ballistic Identification

National Institute of Justice and Intelligent Automation, Inc. Date April 2015 Overview Firearms experts are seeking to strengthen their understanding of the accuracy and reliability of methods they use to associate fired ammunition recovered from a crime scene with a…