Latent Print and Footwear


The Latent Print and Footwear Unit examines items of evidence using a variety of physical and chemical methods to process and visualize both latent fingerprints and footwear impressions. When fingerprints or impressions of value are located, they are compared with submitted standards. Due to the nature of the work, the Latent Print and Footwear Unit works closely with both the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and Forensic Imaging Units and as such, their workload directly impacts those two areas.


Latent Print and Footwear Units are located in all three Bureau locations: Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau. To support the unit, there are fifteen total positions. Recent changes in the Latent Print and Footwear Unit include the temporary suspension of Footwear analysis in Wausau; cases will be re-distributed to Madison and Milwaukee. In addition to the temporary suspension, the WSCLB eliminated tire track analysis from its scope on January 1, 2016.  For more information please see this announcement.


Latent Print and Footwear : Caseload and Case Type


In 2016 the case intake for the Latent Print and Footwear Unit remained relatively stable. The positive impact on the case backlog as well as the turnaround time can be attributed to process improvements and hard work.  As demonstrated by the graph below, and similar to 2015, a majority of the cases worked in the Unit are from property crimes and possession of a controlled substance.