Sheriff's Office

Forensic Investigation Section (FIS) - Crime Scene Response and Latent Print Processing

Renee Armstrong, Supervising Criminalist 
Main Phone: (775) 328-2824

Crime Scene Processing

Processing a crime scene includes various methods of evidence preservation, including but not limited to: still or video photography; collection and preservation of evidence; friction ridge (fingerprint) processing; Alternate Light Source (ALS) examinations; shoe, tire, and tool impression casting; Luminol; Hemastix presumptive testing; and 2D and 3D diagrams. The FIS Criminalists are continuously trained in these areas, assuring a competent and thorough investigation.

The Forensic Investigation Section is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Multiple Criminalists are assigned to respond to the following types of scenes:

  • Homicide
  • Attempted homicide
  • Officer involved shootings
  • Questionable deaths with detective on the scene
  • Kidnapping
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual assault with substantial bodily injury or unknown suspect
  • Battery with a deadly weapon with substantial bodily injury
  • Armed robbery with substantial bodily injury
  • Bank robbery with substantial bodily injury
  • Robbery, strong armed, with substantial bodily injury
  • Fatal traffic accidents when vehicular homicide is suspected
  • Homicide autopsy

They do not usually respond to crimes such as burglary, recovered stolen vehicle, evidence collection from officers at the hospital, consensual sexual cases, single vehicle fatalities, or collect a piece of evidence in the absence of a CSI officer, without extenuating circumstances.

Should you have a vehicle that requires processing, FIS has two onsite garage bays.

Any latent prints collected at a scene will be automatically submitted to the latent print comparison section unless the lead agency requests otherwise.

Any requests for services outside of the Washoe County area must be directed to the FIS Supervisor or designated scene response supervisor.

Latent Print (Friction Ridge) Processing and Development

In addition to latent processing at crime scenes, FIS also offers in-house latent print processing of evidence.

On scene, our Criminalists utilize powders, ALS (alternate light source), and photo documentation to collect latent prints. In the laboratory, additional chemical methods are available.

The chemical methods used during latent print processing may damage the evidence. Analysts will use their professional judgment to determine the best processing method based on the requested examinations.

For further information regarding any latent print processing requests, please contact the FIS Supervising Criminalist at 775-328-2824.




Submission Of Evidence for Latent Print Processing

DO NOT process the item yourself prior to the submission.

Proper packaging of evidence will greatly enhance the probability of finding latent prints. If you have any evidence packaging questions, you can call FIS or consult the Evidence section. An up-to-date packaging manual is available in the evidence packaging room located at 911 E. Parr Blvd.

  • On-call FIS
  • Evidence: (775) 328-3060

 Any latent prints collected during in-house latent print processing will be automatically submitted to the comparison section for evaluation.