COLLEGE STATION – Solving a crime may depend on identifying suspects through fingerprint comparison. Now you can learn the fundamentals of fingerprint analysis and comparison in a new online course offered by the Texas Forensic Science Academy, part of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
And the 16-hour course, Foundations of Fingerprint Comparison, is available tuition-free through September 2015, thanks to funding from the Texas Office of the Governor – Criminal Justice Division (CJD).
The course modules cover the science of fingerprint analysis and comparison, print patterns, how to evaluate prints for a match and verification for presentation in a court case. Participants play the role of a latent print examiner and expert witness in court, where they must convince a “judge and jury” that their print comparison and verification is accurate.
Designed for law enforcement officers and non-commissioned personnel, the course covers the standard ACE-V method: Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation and Verification. Qualified personnel are eligible for 16 hours of credit from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). There are no prerequisites, so those considering a career in forensic science may also be interested in the course. Nearly 500 participants have enrolled in the course since its launch on April 20, 2015.
“Our online courses allow more officers in rural areas to receive vital training and save agencies time and money,” said TEEX Law Enforcement Training Director Cullen Grissom. “The courses are highly interactive and available 24/7. In this new fingerprint analysis and comparison course, our curriculum development team has done a great job of developing and delivering complex content in a dynamic and engaging format. Even seasoned veterans report learning new information that is relevant to their work.”
The Texas Forensics Science Academy also offers other online courses, including: