Deciphering Distortion in Latent Prints

3 Day Course - $399

Class dates TBA. Check back soon!

A new hands-on approach with rapid in-class feedback covering all aspects of distortion

Course Description:

Designed for both the novice and experienced examiner, Deciphering Distortion in Latent Prints is primarily a hands-on workshop meant to provide you with a practical understanding of distortion in latent prints. More importantly, you will learn in a way that facilitates your continued understanding of distortion after you've returned to your agency. Deciphering Distortion in Latent Prints was intentionally designed to be different than most typical classroom workshops . The instructors, drawing upon both their professional experience as latent print examiners, and years of teaching both graduate and undergraduate university students, have discovered what works and what doesn't when it comes to teaching distortion of latent prints. Before you finish Day 1 of Deciphering Distortion in Latent Prints you will have attained a fundamental understanding of basic distortion. In the remaining days you will explore in greater depth each variable that determines the ultimate appearance of any latent print. Each topic will be enhanced by your own hands-on creations and analysis. Real-time, in-class feedback and discussion will help to reinforce your understanding. You will return not only more capable of accurately interpreting distortion in latent prints, but will also have been shown how to apply this practical knowledge in ways that can benefit others in your agency.

This course has been approved for use for credits towards IAI certified latent print examiner certification or recertification (24 hours training credits)

Course Topics:

  • Impact of latent print residues (matrix) on appearance
  • How certain development techniques can affect the latent print
  • Substrates and distortion
  • Deposition Pressure
  • Lateral movement and rotation
  • Overlapping deposits
  • Complex Latent Prints and agency application
  • What constitutes "significant" distortion and assessing quality
  • Application of the GYRO system of Annotation with distortion
  • How to communicate the distortion of a latent print to a jury

Is your agency interested in hosting this course?” Contact Anita Zannin or 716-913-8530.


David P. Tate, M.S., CLPE
David holds a B.S. in Human Biology (University at Albany) and an M.S. in Forensic Science (University of New Haven). He is an IAI Certified Latent Print examiner and has been employed at the Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences (Syracuse, NY) since 2007. David is also an Adjunct Professor at the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University where he teaches Introduction to Latent Prints as well as Advanced Latent Prints.  He has testified in both state and federal courts in NY. 

Jesse Eller
Jesse holds a B.A in Physical Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a member of the IAI and was a Certified Crime Scene Investigator through the IAI (2010-2015). He worked as both an Identification Technician and Forensic Specialist for the Santa Monica Police Department from 2007-2013. Jesse currently works as a Latent Print Examiner for the Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences (Syracuse, NY). In addition, Jesse is an Adjunct Professor at the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute at Syracuse University where he teaches Latent Print Processing: From Crime Scene to Laboratory. He has testified as an expert in latent prints in state court in both CA and NY. 


  • Students should bring a magnifier with pointers to this course.

Payment Information

  • Payment must be received no later than 2 weeks prior to the start of class.
  • We are aware that unforeseen circumstances like court testimony, a large scale scene, etc. may arise. If the original attendee must cancel, an alternate attendee from the same agency may attend. Please contact with new attendee information.
  • 50% refund if cancellation received up to 14 days prior to class
  • 25% refund if cancellation received 2 to 13 days prior to class
  • Students must provide copy of valid student ID - email picture of ID to

For more information call: 716-913-8530 or begin your registration by clicking here.