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Fitzwater Fingerprint Consulting Services offers training courses in the fingerprint science. There are courses of varying lengths at different levels of expertise. The courses encompass all phases of the fingeprint science. Several courses are available. Fingerprint courses and training plans can be customized for the needs of a police agency.

Our instructor is a fingerprint expert, a retired FBI Latent Print Unit examiner and supervisor. Mr. Fitzwater possess over 39 years of law enforcement experience conducting examinations of inked and latent fingerprints, including crime scene and laboratory examinations. He has presented court testimony on numerous occassions as a fingerprint expert at the local, state, Federal and international levels. He is a member of the International Association for Identification.


Mr. Fitzwater has presented fingerprint training across the United States, having taught fingerprint classes since 1988 at the local, state and Federal levels. He has served as the FBI Latent Print Unit Training Program manager and trained fingerprint experts at the FBI, US Secret Service, US Post Office, and other Federal agencies. As an fingerprint instructor, he possesses the unique characteristics of an outstanding trainer who is also a subject matter expert. His training abilities were developed through thousands of hours of conducting police schools.

Instruction is presented by multimedia lecture, demonstration, and maximizes hands-on exercises. Students finish each training course with the knowledge and a high degree of self-confidence in their newly acquired skills.

Training of law enforcement personnel in all aspects of the fingerprint science, including Advanced Latent Print DevelopmentBasic Fingerprint Classification and Comparison; and Advanced Friction Ridge Comparison & Identification, Simultaneous Impressions, and  Expert Courtroom Testimony.







Basic Fingerprint Classification and Comparison

Course Description:     This five day 40 hour course is designed for law enforcement and correctional professionals who desire to learn how to identify and classify fingerprints. The course will consist of lecture, demonstrations and many hands-on practical exercises.

The student will be equipped with essential skills and knowledge in regards to…
  • Recognition of the three pattern groups
  • Identification of the eight types of fingerprint patterns according to the Henry System of Fingerprint Classification and the NCIC System
  • Loop Fingerprint Patterns recognition and classification, including ridge counting
  • Arch fingerprint pattern recognition and classification
  • Whorl fingerprint pattern recognition and classification
  • Counting loop and tracing whorls
  • Practical classification exercises
  • Analyze, compare, evaluate and verify fingerprint identifications - (ACE-V)
  • Methods for taking legible inked fingerprints and Major Case / Elimination prints
  • Developing and recovering latent fingerprint impressions through the use of powders, forensic light sources, and cyanoacrylate ester (Superglue) fuming
  • Photography of latent crime scene fingerprint impressions
  • The presentation of fingerprint testimony
A three ring binder containing the course material will be provided and fingerprint magnifiers will be loaned to the students.

Class Size: 15  to 25 students.

Although automated fingerprint identification is changing the methods of criminal record keeping, the Henry Classification System remains the backbone of law enforcement record identification. This training is vital for any individual who wishes to pursue a career in police criminal identification.



Advanced Latent Print Development Techniques Course

Course Description:      This course will provide the investigator, CSI, or fingerprint technician with the essential skills and knowledge of the proper methods for finding, developing, recovering, and documenting latent fingerprint evidence. This course maximize hands-on practice with latent print development materials. Proven latent development techniques are discussed, demonstrated and practiced during the seminar. Ample time is allotted for each student to utilize many of the latent development processes. This course will prepare the student to successfully present latent print evidence in a court of law.

Course content includes:
  • Choosing the techniques that will maximize success for developing latent prints on a variety of surfaces
  • Cyanoacrylate development of latent impressions
  • The application of magnetic and non-magnetic powder
  • Proper brush techniques to develop latent fingerprints
  • Lift and mount powdered latent print impressions
  • The use of luminescent powders
  • The use of forensic light sources to locate latent prints
  • Techniques to develop latent prints on evidence exposed to fires
  • The application of Small Particle Reagent (SPR) to develop latent prints on a wet surface
  • Selection and use of chemical processes to visualize latent prints
  • Awareness and concern for personal safety in processing evidence for latent prints
  • Photography of latent print impressions
  • Determining if a latent print is of value for AFIS search
  • Documentation procedures and maintenance of chain-of-custody records for latent prints recovered from a crime scene and/or on items of evidence
  • Presentation of testimony in reference to the submission of latent print evidence in a court of law
Length of course: 3 days

Size of Class:   15 - 25



Advanced Friction Ridge Comparison & Identification Course

Course Description: This an intensive four day, 32 hour course is designed for law enforcement and correctional professionals who desire to learn how to compare and identify latent prints with inked fingerprint and palm print impressions. Others who may consider this course are AFIS and Ten-Print Technicians and those preparing to become Certified Latent Print Examiners. The course will consist of lecture, demonstrations, and extensive hands-on practical exercises.

Course Content:
The student will be equipped with the essential skills and knowledge in regard to…
  • An understanding of the basis for the science of identification by friction ridge impressions
  • The ACE-V methodology of latent print comparison and identification
  • Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 detail in latent print comparisons
  • Analysis of friction ridge impressions
  • The initial elimination or inclusion of a suspect by fingerprints or palm prints
  • Evaluation of comparisons and conclusions of comparisons
  • Verification protocols, note taking, and documentation matters
  • Becoming proficient with ACE-V, a scientific method for comparing and identifying friction ridge impressions
  • Latent print orientation and comparison search clues
  • Palm print orientation and palm print search clues in latent print comparisons
  • Presentation of expert testimony in a court of law
  • An understanding of what juries want to see & hear from a latent fingerprint expert
  • Daubert and post Brandon Mayfield issues
The course fee includes a three binder containing copies of reference material and practical exercises.

Class size: Limited to 12 - 20 students.

Prerequisite:     Must have successfully completed the 5 day Fingerprint Identification & Classification course, or the 40 hour FBI Basic Fingerprint Classification Course, or an equivalent course recognized by the instructor to be accepted in the Advanced Ridgeology Course.

Students should dress casual for the class.




Simultaneous Impressions

Description:     This 2 day course is for qualified latent print examiners that wish to conduct advanced latent print examinations of simultaneous and disjunct latent impressions.
  • Recognizing possible simultaneous impressions
  • Recognizing disjunct impressions
  • Analyzing friction ridge impressions to determine simultaneity 
  • Analyzing a simultaneous impression to determine value for comparison purposes 
  • How simultaneous impressions are compared
  • Comparison exercises with simultaneous latent impressions
  • Conclusions from the comparison of a simultaneous impression 
  • Documenting the examinations of simultaneous impressions
  • Reporting results of examinations of simultaneous impressions
  • The SWGFAST standard in the examination of latent print simultaneous impressions
Length of Course: 2 Days, 16 hours

Class Size: Minimum 15 students


PO Box 502   Fredericksburg, Virginia 22404
540-373-7121

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