The latent print examiner holds an accredited certification through the International Association for Identification and is responsible for the evaluation, comparison and identification of latent, patent and visible finger, palm and sole prints developed on crime scenes and crime scene evidence.
The evaluation, comparison and identification process involves a detailed side by side comparison of crime scene prints and known impressions utilizing a combination of manual or digital comparators and magnifiers. The process may also involve entering and searching [the crime scene] print in one of three automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) maintained in the CCSO Latent Print Office. The AFIX Tracker is a standalone AFIS whose database is comprised of Cumberland County arrestees only, the SAFIS is the NC State database comprised of known impressions taken from arrestees in all 100 counties of NC as well as fingerprints of concealed carry permit holders and other non-criminal records and the IAFIS is the database maintained by the FBI and is comprised of arrestees from all 50 states.
The Latent Print Office is also responsible for writing detailed reports on the findings of the comparisons as well as providing expert testimony in both state and federal courts.