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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 507I
Category: Science & Engineering


This is the journey level of the series.  Performs advanced technical fingerprint and other biometric identifications and criminal records work consisting of analyzing, classifying, comparing, searching, and verifying biometrics of unknown and known persons and crime suspects according to acceptable methods. Perform identification and non-identification of biometrics for employment and licensing purposes.

Typical Work

Classifies fingerprint cards according to the Henry System, Alphanumeric, NCIC, or modifications of these methods required by the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS);

Identify the structures of friction ridge skin and distinguishes the minutiae characteristics for the purpose of effecting identifications;
Analyze, decipher and classify electronically received poor quality fingerprints and palm prints;

Analyze, compare and classify palm prints;Analyze, decipher between an actual poor quality print and a livescan device compression or distortion print;

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 identify of unknown and known subjects;

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

Perform database maintenance quality control prior to biometrics registering to the ABIS database and archive;

Access and verify specific records from ABIS archive for use in updating criminal history record information;

Previews fingerprint and palm print submissions for acceptable quality; rejects poor quality submissions as appropriate; Contacts submitting agencies to troubleshoot submission issues;

Operates high volume card scanner in conjunction with entering control fields to initiate biometric searches;

Operates biometric workstation to conduct quality control and visual verification of ABIS searches;

Identify ABIS system trouble and be able to escalate to the Supervisor, Lead or System Administrator to resolve;

Searches new biometrics that were checked against the name file with negative results through the master biometric file for the purpose of determining whether they are those of persons whose biometrics are already in file under a different name; compares biometrics on subsequent arrest cards with the indicated biometric records already on file;  

Assists in the training of other Fingerprint Technicians; 

Verifies other technicians' fingerprint and palm print classification and verification, both manually and electronically;

Conducts complicated comparisons and searches;

Ensure palm prints are registered correctly into the ABIS database;

Double verifies work of Fingerprint Technicians 1 and assists in their training;

Takes fingerprints and palm prints electronically and with black printers ink;

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

Receives training in effective courtroom testimony; may present testimony on fingerprint comparisons; prepare exhibits of fingerprint identifications for court testimony;

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

Performs other work as required.


Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  techniques of fingerprint science in the determination of pattern types, ridge counting, and whorl tracing and of the Henry Method, with FBI extensions, of classification or modification of this method required by the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS); principles of effective leadership; rules of evidence and court testimony procedures; fingerprint photography; procedures involved in fingerprint classification training.   

Ability to: write legibly; follow written and oral instructions; effectively utilize biometric data and information for assessment and analysis.  Effectively communicate with co-workers, criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies and the general public; ability to maintain confidentiality; learn advanced techniques of fingerprint science and other biometrics; ability to train other Fingerprint Technicians.



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

High school graduation or GED equivalent.


Completion of one or more courses in fingerprint science or fingerprint classification.


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

Note:  Technical fingerprint 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: 5-21-73
Revised minimum qualifications, general revision: 8-18-75
Class code change (formerly 4154): 8-15-86
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, and general revision: 11-13-87
Revised definition: 11-15-91
New class code:  (formerly 41530) effective July 1, 2007
Revised salary range, definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities, and desirable qualifications; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.