Criminalistics Section


The Criminalistics Section is the most multifaceted section in the Bureau. In general, the Criminalistics Section utilizes scientific principles to complete pattern recognition and interpretation, as well as, imaging analysis. At the WSCLB the Criminalistics Section consists of five units: Firearms and Toolmarks (Milwaukee), Latent Print and FootwearForensic Imaging, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (Madison), and Crime Scene Response. At this time Questioned Documents are not analyzed in Wisconsin.


Criminalistics Section

AFIS Specialists

Process and maintain a repository of fingerprint identification records in the State's Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

Crime Scene Response

Respond to calls from law enforcement agencies for assistance at major crime scenes and autopsies.  Document bloodstain patterns and evidentiary items.



Analyze firearms for operability, perform comparative analysis on fired bullets and cartridge casings, and maintain the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.  In addition, conduct serial number restorations, distance determinations, and toolmark comparisons.

Forensic Imaging

Conduct photographic and digital imaging examinations and provide technical support to analytical units.


Latent Print and Footwear

Develop and recover friction ridge ("finger") prints and footwear impressions from items of evidence.  Compare prints/impressions with known exemplars to establish identity/exclusion/association and conduct database searches.


As of September 1, 2013 the WSCLB will no longer provide the service of questioned documents and handwriting analysis.  For more information see this announcement.


As of January 1, 2016 the WSCLB  will no longer provide the service of tire track impression.  For more information please see this announcement.