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How Do I Get Fingerprint Training?

Fingerprints are the impressions of the epidermal ridges on a fingertip.
Law enforcement officials will collect latent fingerprints from a crime scene as a means to identify the perpetrator.
If private classes aren't an option, there are training manuals that can teach a person about fingerprinting.
Training in fringerprinting can be acquired from many different sources.
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  • Written By: Klaus Strasser
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2014
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Fingerprinting has been a tool used to identify individuals since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. With scientific developments over the past 500 years, it has become an important part of forensic science. There are many available options for you to get fingerprinting training. Private classes or accredited institutions may offer courses in fingerprinting. Other options can include fingerprint training manuals or videos.

Impressions of the epidermal ridges of a fingertip are called fingerprints. The technique of fingerprinting, also known as dactyloscopy, is the identification, classification, and comparison of these impressions. As fingerprints are unique to each individual, they usually provide an invaluable investigative tool. The identification of fingerprints can be made by comparing gathered impressions with other impressions to decide if they belong to the same individual.

Training in fingerprinting can be acquired from many different sources. There are special private academies that specialize in this kind of training. The length of training can run anywhere from a course of a few hours that provides you with the fundamentals, to more extensive courses that may take place over a few days or a week. Many one-day sessions in dactyloscopy are provided in the format of seminars or workshops. For many of these courses, no previous experience or training in the field is required.

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Courses typically will specify what aspects of fingerprint training in which you are to be instructed. In this regard, it usually is a good idea to look at the curriculum of the course to decide if it is right for you. Some independent companies also offer private fingerprint training which can be arranged on an appointment basis.

If you intend to make a career in law enforcement, many institutions provide a fingerprinting training course as part of their curriculum. Individuals who are already professionals in law enforcement may also take supplemental fingerprint training, which is usually free of charge. This can help familiarize you with the latest techniques in the field while also sharpening and practicing the knowledge you already have.

Organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have released their own fingerprint training manuals. These books describe the basic methods of fingerprint identification, classification, and comparison. Many of these manuals are available online, providing you with a free resource with which to begin your training. There are also lots of books available on the subject written by professional dactyloscopists. These can be a great source of information.

Fingerprinting training videos are also available on the Internet. Some of these videos are produced by professional organizations such as the FBI. These types of videos also may provide you with an excellent introduction to the field.

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