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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 507K
Category: Science & Engineering


Supervises fingerprint technicians. Assigns and schedules staff work.  Reviews completed work of fingerprint technicians and is responsible for their training.  Performs complex biometric identification and criminal record work consisting of analyzing, classifying, comparing, searching, and verifying biometrics of unknown and known persons and crime suspects according to acceptable methods.  

Typical Work

Schedules, supervises, trains, evaluates, and reviews the activities of clerical staff, Fingerprint Technicians 1 and 2 and Fingerprint Lead Technicians assigned to the unit; includes documentation, counseling, developing, disciplinary actions and investigations;

Assists the Fingerprint Unit Manager in developing and preparing staffing requests;

Trains and delegates tasks and assignments to leadworkers;

Interviews and recommends new hires;

Performs verification manually and electronically of the identification, classification, and comparisons of biometric data for all fingerprint technicians and leads;

Provides court testimony related to inked and electronic biometric data identifications and comparisons;

Analyze, compare, evaluate and verify (ACE-V) criminal and applicant biometric data against ABIS database to assist criminal justice and non-criminal justice, private and public sector agencies determine identity of known and unknown subjects;

Perform complex Quality Control (QC) on biometric submissions to prepare for technical search and comparison of the ABIS database.  Substitute better quality biometrics when applicable to maintain database image integrity;

Performs ABIS searches on incoming biometric submissions previously compared against the WASIS data base with negative results to determine whether any prior criminal history exists on those individuals under a different name; compares biometrics on subsequent arrest cards with the indicated biometric records already on file;

Performs comparisons of individual inked fingerprints on welfare fraud cases to determine positive or negative identity, includes searching the inked fingerprint as a latent print on the ABIS and testifying in court as to results of search and comparison;

Serves as a resource to and assists criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies with fingerprint or palm print comparisons and searches.

Serve as daily operation administrator for the ABIS system and other interfacing systems;

Responsible for daily ABIS operation; includes implementing and establishing guidelines; monitoring system usage, queue maintenance; coordination with the vendor planning for future upgrades and system usage;

Identify ABIS system issues and be able to diagnose and troubleshoot the issue using appropriate interfaced systems.  Determine if the issue is ABIS operating system hardware or software, interfaced criminal history database, live scan device or other outside agency system. Request trouble ticket from the trouble source and track the progress of the resolution until completed; 

Conducts complicated comparisons and searches; 

Provides instruction to criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies and the public and private sector on how to take fingerprints and palm prints;

Provide testimony on fingerprint identifications and comparisons; prepare exhibits of fingerprint identifications for court testimony;

Write and technical evidence reports for identifications made for federal agencies, criminal justice agencies, coroners, and medical examiners;

Completes special projects as directed by the Unit Manager;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: fingerprint classification methods and procedures; latent fingerprint comparison techniques; rules of evidence and court testimony procedures; fingerprint photography and the preparation of exhibits; procedures involved in obtaining inked fingerprints, fingerprint classification and identification training.

Ability to: supervise and train others; classify fingerprints using the Henry, NCIC, and ABIS classification formulas; instruct others in classification and comparison techniques; testify in court; work independently with minimal supervision; implement and innovate new procedures; follow written and oral instructions; effectively communicate with co-workers, criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies and the general public; ability to maintain confidentiality; instruct classes on fingerprint related topics; speak before large audiences.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

Five years of technical fingerprint classification experience in the identification section of a law enforcement agency.

Note: Technical fingerprinting classification experience is defined as experience requiring the application of the basic technique of fingerprint science in determination of pattern types through ridge counting, whorl tracings, and use of the Henry Method of classification (with FBI extensions).

Class Specification History

New class: 5-10-96 (effective 7-1-96)
New class code: (formerly 41532) effective July 1, 2007
Revised salary range, definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.