The HSI Forensic Laboratory (HSI-FL) Latent Print (LP) Section provides finger and palm print services and support across all investigative disciplines. These services include, but are not limited to, processing evidence for latent prints (e.g., drug packaging and paraphernalia, firearms, computers, currency, compact discs), latent print comparison, inked print comparison, searching automated fingerprint identification system databases, and providing crime scene assistance.
The LP Section conducts the following forensic examinations:
The HSI Forensic Laboratory Questioned Document (QD) Section specializes in determining the authenticity of documents and identifying the presence of alterations within those documents. Specialized equipment may be used during the examination process that will not affect or damage the original document.
While the QD Section specializes in a full range of travel and identity documents, including but not limited to, passports, visas, driver’s licenses, identification cards and vital records (e.g., birth, death, marriage), any questioned document may be submitted to the HSI Forensic Laboratory for forensic examination.
The QD Section conducts the following forensic examinations:
The Operations Section comprises two sub-sections: the Document Training and Alerts Section and the Law Enforcement Support Section.
The Document Training and Alerts Section uses information developed in the course of the Laboratory's forensic examinations to enhance the abilities of field agents to recognize identity document fraud when they encounter it in the course of their duties. Initiatives include the following:
Intelligence analysis and the forensic disciplines are utilized by the Law Enforcement Support Section staff to assist HSI and other law enforcement agency investigations of illicit activity in the United States and throughout the world as facilitated by document fraud. Examples of the types of criminal activities include the following:
In addition to providing law enforcement support for current investigations, leads developed from on-going analysis of transnational criminal organizations are forwarded to HSI field offices and attachés.
The HSI-FL Polygraph Program consists of HSI special agents trained in the detection of deception as well as various interview techniques. The section conducts polygraph examinations in support of a wide variety of HSI investigations including counter-proliferation, human smuggling and trafficking, internal and narcotics. Polygraph examinations can establish a subject's credibility and identify additional leads, suspects and assets. Polygraph examinations are also given to foreign law enforcement officers seeking to join HSI vetted law enforcement units.
The HSI-FL oversees the Evidence Recovery Teams (ERTs) Pilot Program. The ERTs are designed to provide a standardized, agency-wide method for collecting physical evidence to ensure proper handling and preservation for subsequent scientific evaluation. The HSI-FL manages the ERT program development and training.
The HSI-FL is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board.