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SPD Home / Police Jobs / Civilian / Latent Print Trainee

Latent Print Trainee

Latent Print Trainee

Latent Print Trainees learn on the job.


Latent print examiners collect and preserve latent physical evidence in the lab, at crime scenes and from a wide variety of materials using physical, chemical, electronic and optical techniques.

If you are interested in becoming a Latent Print Examiner but are lacking experience, you have the opportunity to apply to become a Latent Print Trainee if you have the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with a major in Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, Physical or Natural science, or related field (your degree must include course work in Chemistry).

  • One year of experience in the identification
    and analysis of fingerprints and/or evidence processing. 


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Starting salary $60k per year

Position QUalifications

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with major in Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, Physical or Natural science or related field (your degree must include course work in Chemistry) and one year experience in the identification and analysis of fingerprints and/or evidence processing.
  • Satisfactorily pass the training curriculum and examination for Latent Print Examiner within 18 months of hire.
  • Ability to respond to crime scenes on weekends and holidays.
  • Ability to stand, walk or bend for extended periods.
  • Willingness to handle or work with hazardous substances (i.e., blood, other body fluids and various hazardous chemicals).
  • Ability to lift up to 25 lbs.
  • Processing and obtaining fingerprints from potentially abusive/threatening people.
  • Pass a Seattle Police Department background investigation.
  • Pass a physical exam by City-approved doctor.
  • Current driver’s license and be able to operate the Latent Print processing van.
  • Must obtain a Washington State ACCESS/WACIS certification within one year of employment.

Desired Qualifications:

Temperament to work with deceased bodies, body fluids, biologic pathogens, hazardous materials, and firearms in a professional and safe manner. Certification by the International Association for Identification (IAI). Coursework from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in latent print examination or other forensic training. Working knowledge of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Highly detail oriented with the ability to follow oral directions and written operating procedures. Reliable judgment, problem solving and decision making skills. Self-motivated individual with experience working in a team environment.


As a trainee, you will learn how to locate, develop, recover and preserve latent impressions on a wide variety of materials and surfaces using physical, chemical, electronic, and optical techniques. Administer infrared, ultraviolet, and other special forensic photographic procedures, including digital imaging devices. Evaluate and enter suitable latent prints into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) by photographing, determining the minutiae, identifying position, tracing, and inputting the impression. Determine identifications and non-identifications by comparison and verification of each latent print to AFIS candidate lists. Write detailed reports concerning results of analysis. Recover fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints from deceased and decomposed bodies, victims of crime, and potentially violent suspects. Train Identification Technicians in the proper collection, preservation, and documentation of latent print evidence. Provide training to law enforcement personnel concerning the proper collection and preservation of physical evidence. Testify in criminal legal proceedings as needed concerning methods of analysis and results. The expert Latent Print Examiner team is part of the Department’s Forensic Support Services including the Identification Unit, Evidence Unit, Photo Lab, and Video Unit.


The Latent Print Team works in a new state-of-the-art laboratory, and is part of the Department’s Forensic Support Services, which also includes the Identification Unit, Evidence Unit, Photo Lab and Video Unit. Latent Prints is physically located near these units as well as the SPD CSI unit and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, for easy access and to encourage partnership.

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Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
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