Latent Print Examiner Trainee


Job Specifications


Class Code:  BN1
Analyst:  MM
Date Originated: 10/07
Date Revised:  






Under close supervision performs the duties of making comparisons of inked and computer images of ten-print fingerprints; learns to operate Santa Cruz County Automated Fingerprint Identification System (ten-print/latent/latent palm system) as well as California Identification Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Automated Latent Print System; performs related work as required.




This is a trainee-level class for Latent Print Examiners.  The Latent Print Examiner Trainee is assigned to the Sheriff’s Office and is under the direct supervision of the Sheriff’s CSI Sergeant.


Incumbents receive training in higher skill level duties and perform ten-print examinations and comparisons under initial close supervision.  Once becoming proficient in ten-print comparisons and making positive identifications, the incumbent learns latent print examinations and comparisons under close supervision.  Positions in this class are non-sworn civilian positions within the Sheriff’s Office.  This class is distinguished from sworn officer classes in that persons in this class do not carry firearms, do not hold peace officer status and responsibilities and do not undergo peace officer training.    The Latent Print Examiner Trainee class is distinguished from the class of Latent Print Examiner in that the latter class is assigned the full range of duties and works independently.  Trainees will serve a one (1) year probationary period.    Successful completion of the probationary period will result in automatic promotion to Latent Print Examiner.  Employees may not obtain permanent status in the trainee class.




Learns to write reports,  prepare evidence and present evidence in court;  rolls finger and palm prints; operates federal, state and local criminal history systems and correctly interprets  responses; evaluates, compares and identifies ten-prints from computer generated or hard copies;  consolidates/purges fingerprint records and  jail records; maintains and files fingerprint cards and fingerprint evidence; learns and develops skills to use various fingerprint identification equipment and other technical and scientific equipment for observing and comparing ten-prints and latent prints; communicates with various law enforcement agencies as necessary;  encodes latent prints into automated system and  uses  resulting printouts to develop lists of probable suspects; takes and develops photographs of latent fingerprints;  operates various computer terminals to collect, maintain and retrieve offender records from several databases;  maintains appropriate files as required.






Working knowledge of:


  • ten-print examinations and comparisons
  • latent fingerprints


Ability to:

  • Learn to operate computer and photographic equipment
  • Learn and develop skills related to making comparisons using fingerprints from both manual and automated systems
  • Work with and without direct supervision
  • Learn and develop skills in collecting fingerprints from deceased persons in varying states of decomposition
  • Follow oral and written technical instructions
  • Write and speak in an articulate manner
  • Learn to use technical law enforcement terminology
  • Perform assigned tasks according to prescribed procedures
  • Learn to make accurate observations
  • Work in a safe and prudent manner
  • Learn to testify as an expert witness
  • Adhere to Sheriff’s Office code of ethics
  • Read, understand, and follow departmental policies, rules, instructions, laws and ordinances
  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with staff and clients


Experience and Education/Training:

Any combination of education and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and abilities as qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:



  • Possession of a High School Diploma, GED Equivalency or a High School proficiency Certificate and completion of 15 semester units or 20 quarter units with an accredited college or university which must include:  a course in English Composition or Report Writing; a course in Mathematics or Statistics; and a course in Biological or Physical Science.


  • One (1) year verifiable work experience in criminal identification activities, such as at a Law Enforcement Agency; (identifying criminals, establishing and maintaining a variety of records necessary to support law enforcement activities; locating and identifying persons who are missing, wanted or deceased; registrations of specified offenders and licensing of persons or establishments and any other criminal identifications functions of a law enforcement agency) or experience in 10-print comparisons and identifications; the taking, classifying and comparing of fingerprints as well as operating automated ten-print systems.





  • Possession of High School Diploma, GED Equivalency or a High School proficiency Certificate.


  • Two (2) years of experience in a Law Enforcement Agency in criminal identification with working knowledge of ten-print identification




  • Two (2) years of college with major course work in criminal justice, forensic science, evidence technology or closely related field.


Special Requirements/Conditions:


  • Mentally and physically capable of performing the classification’s essential functions as summarized in the typical tasks section of this job specification with or without reasonable accommodations.
  • Physical Ability: Tasks require the ability to exert moderate (though not constant) physical effort, typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling; and may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (12-20 pounds).
  • Sensory Requirements:  Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, sounds, forms, textures or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks or people.
  • Environmental Factors:  Exposure to environmental factors poses a limited risk of minor injury or illness.
  • Hours:  May be required to work flexible hours, shifts, weekends and holidays and be subject to holdover and callback duty; and to provide a telephone number or means by which employee can be reached.
  • License Requirement:  Possession of a California Class C driver license issued by the California State Department of Motor Vehicles by the time of appointment.
  • Background investigation:  Ability to pass a full background investigation.



Bargaining Unit:  41

EEOC Job Category:  02

Occupational Grouping:  62

Workers Comp Code:  0285