Modern science is helping Waterford police better identify and decipher fingerprints.
For nearly three decades, Waterford police detectives have used a little box to solve crimes. Over the past couple of weeks, they have been using new technology. Gas and light are the new tools of the detective trade.
"This is the air science fumigator," said investigators Nicolas Surdo.
The machine allows investigators to lift fingerprints off practically any solid piece of evidence including a gun or even a car fender collected at a crime scene.
"It brings up the fingerprints for us so we can actually dust it a lot of times. It locks in the actual DNA, and we can send it to the lab for analyzation," explained Surdo.
The new machine only costs $7,800. The funds came from asset forfeitures seized by the department.
To make it work, investigators place drops of super glue onto a heat plate to create the gas fumes that will reveal the fingerprints. They distilled water is added in a humidifier to control the environment.
"Close it to make sure it is secure. You hit the button and it's going to run itself through the system," said Surdo.
Detectives are also using an alternative light source used at crime scenes.
"A high powered light that allows you to analyze a crime scene for evidence of value," explained Waterford investigator Michael Fedor.
Hair, fingerprints and even blood can be easily seen with the technology. Bruises on victims show up a lot better under the special light and glasses.
Investigator Fedor believes it beats the old way of detective work.
"Flashlights get on your hands. Then you have to get on your knees and walk around looking for stuff. It took much longer," explained Fedor.
It only takes eight minutes for the fingerprint analyzer to produce the prints that are then photographed and handled.
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