|Criminal Investigations Section
Detectives generally complete follow-up investigations in order to identify and locate the persons suspected of committing crimes, and to build a case sufficient for filing of criminal charges with the state or municipal prosecutor's office.
The Investigations Section has five detectives. Along with the Detective Sergeant, there are two detectives assigned to general investigations, who assist the Patrol Section in processing complex crime scenes. In addition, the Investigations section includes a School Resource Officer, a detective who handles juvenile cases and a Narcotics Detective who is assigned to a regional narcotics task force.
The Criminal Investigations Section is part of the Department’s career development program, which means that officers are selected from the Patrol Section to serve four years in Detectives before being rotated back to Patrol.
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Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
One very valuable tool our investigators use is called AFIS, which stands for the Regional Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). AFIS provides criminal identification services that officers, investigators, prosecutors, and corrections staff have all come to rely upon. The program is recognized for its high standards in quality, accuracy, and service. Its existence aids in solving crimes throughout King County, and contributes to the safety of both officers and citizens.
Comparing Fingerprints in Minutes
At the heart of the program lies a computer system called AFIS, which stores and compares minutiae found in fingerprints from known individuals and from crime scenes (“latent prints”). A list of possible candidates is produced by the AFIS in a matter of minutes. The fingerprint examiner then visually compares any potential ‘hits’. The AFIS contains almost a million fingerprint records, and now also includes palm print records.
Providing Positive Identification
The King County Regional AFIS Program is comprised of much more than the AFIS itself. The program is designed to improve the ability of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to not only identify and convict criminal offenders, but also to exclude or dismiss innocent subjects from suspicion. It allows law enforcement representatives to respond quickly and effectively to community concerns.
For more information about AFIS, please visit their website at www.kingcounty.gov/afis.