Post Number: 8
|Posted on Monday, September 25, 2006 - 07:14 am: ||
The answer will vary greatly depending on the laboratory/agency/unit environment, individual Latent Print Examiner work habits, and factors often beyond the Examiner's control. Hopefully several Latent Print Examiners will post responses to help give a balanced answer to this worthwhile question...
What is the average day like for a Latent Print Examiner?
On most days, a Latent Print Examiner arrives at the office and reviews their assigned case backlog to determine what cases need to be worked first, as determined by upcoming court dates, requests from attorneys and investigators, and guidance from supervisors.
Sixty percent of the scientist's time may be spent conducting physical evidence examinations, i.e., note taking, visual examinations, electronic/chemical/physical procedures to render latent finger/palm prints visible, photographic recording, all in a continuous cycle of analysis, comparison, and evaluation... followed by verification.
The other forty percent of the examiner's time may be spent assisting with the unit's quality control/quality assurance program, assisting with chemical preparation, assisting with processing room cleaning, fielding phone calls from attorneys and investigators, preparing for court testimony, training, and completing miscellaneous administrative tasks.
You will never become rich from your public service as a Latent Print Examiner. For every one person you identify, you will eliminate many others as not being the donor of questioned impressions you examine.
Your job is not to determine guilt or innocence. Sometimes a forensic scientist may feel that justice is a figment of the imagination of the members of a court (judge and/or jury). As a forensic scientist, your role is somewhat similar to being a foreign language translator serving as a friend of the court (neither pro-prosecution nor pro-defense). You explain what is before you, never adding or subtracting information with a consideration for guilt or innocence. Your job is to explain the truth based on the application of appropiate methodology within your training, experience and ability.
(Message edited by admin on September 26, 2006)