HPD Addresses Assessment on Latent Print Unit

December 1, 2009 - For the past few years, steps have been taken to determine if the Latent Print Comparison, Latent Print Processing, and Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Units, all located within the Identification Division, could attain American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors - Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB) accreditation status - similar to what occurred with HPD’s Crime Lab.

In the process of preparing to become accredited, consultants were hired to assess “operational readiness” and to assess “staffing and resource capabilities.” Additionally, an ASCLD-LAB team conducted a “pre-assessment” to determine our compliance with various accreditation standards.

Despite attempts to demonstrate compliance with ASCLD-LAB standards, it became clear problems within the operation were quite serious.

Significant deficiencies were found within the following areas:

a. Insufficient staffing
b. Lack of proper supervisory review
c. Inadequate quality control/quality assurance protocols
d. Technical competence inconsistent with Industry standards
e. Insufficient training
f. Inadequate standard operating procedures

These problems will require the following action, which is already being implemented and managed by HPD in consultation with Vendor: Ron Smith and Associates, Inc. (see footnote at bottom of page) :

g. Take steps to begin re-staffing portions of the Latent Print Unit operation
h. Conduct a re-analysis of past casework to determine if errors exist
i. Reduce/significantly eliminate a 6,000 plus case backlog
j. Turn the day-to-day operation of the unit over to qualified consultants
k. Institute a training program for qualified staff within the Identification Division to become latent print examiners - an 18 month process
l. Revamp SOPs and enhance QA/QC protocols

Forecast costs associated with this effort are being determined and have not been finalized at this time.

Footnote: RS & A, Inc. has been incorporated since 2002 and since that time has grown significantly, while developing a long list of clients. Numerous federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Customs and Border Protection, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, United States Secret Service, United States Drug Enforcement Administration and others have utilized the consultants and trainers of RS & A, Inc. to meet the every increasing demand of their agencies. RS & A, Inc. has been privileged to provide training and/or consulting services in over forty-five states and numerous other countries.

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200 .

HPD is Hiring!